A 67 year old scaffolder was crushed to death by a dumper truck on a Redrow Homes building site in Liverpool.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how, on 8 August 2013, 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 rear wheels of the vehicle and confirmed deceased at the scene. The incident was witnessed by Mr Jones’ son who was also working at the construction site.
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. It was heard that the 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 failed to provide a banksman (a person trained to direct vehicle movement), 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 was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay 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 and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.
Speaking 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.”
Redrow has issued a statement, the company said;
“The tragic incident in 2013, which led to the death of Mr Jones, deeply affected everyone involved.
Our thoughts remain with Mr Jones’s family, friends and colleagues, who’ve waited over four years for this case to be heard.
Although Judge Goldstone has found that the groundworks contractor was more culpable for this tragic accident, we pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety Act in connection with failings, on our behalf, relating to traffic management.
We fully accept Judge Goldstone’s findings.
Health and Safety is our first priority and until this tragic accident we had an unblemished record stretching back over forty years of building.
Immediately following the accident we reviewed our Health and Safety policies and implemented changes to processes and procedures.
We, again, wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr Jones’s loved ones.”