Engineering company fined over 'tragic and entirely preventable death'

Engineering company fined over 'tragic and entirely preventable death'

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Hannah Crouch

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Engineering company fined over 'tragic and entirely preventable death'

A Maidenhead business has been ordered to pay more than £615,000 in fines and costs following the death of a worker.

Costain Limited, an engineering company based in Vanwell Business Park, was found guilty on several counts of breaching Health and Safety at Work guidelines.

On July 20 2011, Mark Williams, an employee at Attley’s Roofing Limited, was using a telehandler to lift a pallet of tiles to a fourth story roof at a construction site in Newbury.

The vehicle overturned and 41-year-old Mark, from Nuneham Courtenay, was unable to move in time and it landed on top of him, causing fatal crush injuries.

Following an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive [HSE] concluded that the safety of the vehicle was compromised by limited space and other obstructions in the area where he was required to work.

As the principal contractor, Constain Limited was prosecuted for failing to provide a safer system of work.

During a five-week trial at Reading Crown Court in April this year, it was revealed that Mark’s death could have been avoided if the space constraints had been properly assessed and a better system of work was put in place.

Speaking after the sentencing, HSE principal inspector, Steve Hull, said: ““This was a tragic and entirely preventable death. Mark Williams was required to use a telehandler that was wholly unsuited to the confined area he worked in.

“He had no option but to raise the boom so he could turn the vehicle, and in doing so he critically undermined the stability, resulting in the inevitable overturn.  

“He should have been provided with alternative, more appropriate equipment and a better system of work.

“Costain had clear responsibilities to ensure that happened, but they failed to properly assess the risks and ultimately failed Mr Williams.”

The company was fined a total of £525,000 and ordered to pay a further £90,577 in costs.

Mr Williams’ employer, Attley’s Roofing Limited, was cleared of identical health and safety breaches.

The company, based at Spital Farm, Thorpe Mead, Banbury, was acquitted after being jointly prosecuted by the HSE alongside Costain. 

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