9 March 2018

£800k in financial penalties following death of scaffolder

A principal contractor and a civil engineering subcontractor have been fined more than £800,000 after a scaffolder was run over and killed on a building site in Liverpool.

Redrow Homes Limited and WPI Civil Engineering Limited were fined after the death of scaffolder Henry Jones in 2013.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how, on 8 August 2013, 67-year-old Henry Jones was walking across the Redrow Homes construction site in Knotty Ash when he was struck by a reversing dumper truck. Mr Jones was crushed under the vehicle’s rear wheels and confirmed dead at the scene. His son, who was also working on the site, witnessed the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Redrow Homes had made no provision to maintain separation of vehicles and pedestrians in the plot where Mr Jones died. They found that traffic management across the entire site was poorly managed and was an underlying cause of the accident.

The investigation also found that sub-contractor WPI Civil Engineering Limited didn’t provide a banksman or have any employees on site trained as banksmen, and that the vehicle involved was not fit to be used on site.

Redrow Homes Limited pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(c) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £500,000 with costs of £101,000.

WPI Civil Engineering Limited of King Street Trading Estate, Middlewich, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(c) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £300,000 with costs of £17,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jacqueline Western said: “This tragic incident was wholly avoidable. Having safety measures to protect pedestrian workers is a basic and well recognised principle of good construction management.

“Mr Jones’ death could easily have been prevented if both the principal contractor and the sub-contractor had implemented safe systems of work and ensured that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.

“Tragically, on this occasion both Redrow Homes and WPI Civil Engineering failed to do this.”

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About the Author
Laura Shirley, Associate Solicitor Advocate
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