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Redrow fined £500k after scaffolder killed by tipper truck

Redrow and WPI Civil Engineering have been fined a total of £918,000 after a scaffolder was killed on site.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how on 8 August 2013, 67-year-old Henry Jones was walking across a Redrow site in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, when he was run over by a reversing tipper truck.

Mr Jones’ son, Chris, was working on the same site and witnessed the incident, with his father being pronounced dead at the scene.

An Health and Safety Executive investigation found that there was no separation between vehicles and workers where Mr Jones was working, and that the subcontractor, WPI Civil Engineering, did not have a banksman present.

The vehicle that killed Mr Jones was also found to be unfit for use.

The Liverpool Echo reported that Mr Jones’s son read out a statement at the hearing.

He said: “Dad had been a scaffolder for 40-odd years and he died doing what he loved. This was an accident waiting to happen.

“The dumper truck’s reversing alarm was barely audible and it was a noisy building site, so his hearing wasn’t the issue. It could have happened to me, or my son.”

Redrow Homes of Ewloe, Flintshire, was fined £500,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was also ordered to pay costs of £101,000.

WPI Civil Engineering of King Street Trading Estate, Middlewich, was fined £300,000 after pleading guilty to breaching sections 3(1) and 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. 

It was 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 subcontractor 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’s statement in response to the incident said: ”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.”

WPI Civil Engineering has been contacted for comment.

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