A COMPANY has been fined £175,000 over the death of a man at a construction site at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

A court heard today how Portuguese national Guilherme de Oliveira was crushed to death when a beam suspended from a crane was caught by a gust of wind.

The 44-year-old was swept through the air and crushed against a tower crane at the hospital during the incident on November 10, 2008.

Mr Oliveira left a wife, Albertina, and two young children, Ricardo and Bruna.

The main contractor at the hospital site, construction firm Bouygues UK, admitted a charge brought by the Health and Safety Executive in connection with the death.

Judge David Turner QC fined the company £175,000 plus £80,000 costs.

The court heard Mr Oliveira was helping to build a concrete frame at the hospital site when a beam was caught in a gust of wind.

His spine was broken and he died at the scene, the court was told.

Judge Turner said the company should have taken more notice of weather forecasts and better procedures for shutting down work by cranes in windy conditions.

There was no question of the company putting profit before safety, the judge said.

He added: "It is clear the company had taken the death extremely seriously and are determined to learn lessons from this."

The two day hearing was told Mr Oliveira left Portugal and came to work in England in May 2008 and was hired by Portscope Contractors, which supplied tradesmen to Bouygues UK to work at the Broomfield Hospital site.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at Mr Oliveira’s inquest in November.