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James Swinton Co fined after death

Scottish-based James Swinton Co Ltd has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,063 in costs after one of its workers died four weeks after being struck by a telehandler driven by a co-worker.

Charles Wilkinson, 51, from Uxbridge, was struck by the telehandler as it was being reversed the wrong way along a one-way residential street in Tweedmouth on 10 November 2008.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the company, James Swinton Co Ltd, of Hawick, had not requested a road closure from Berwick District Council and there were still residents’ cars parked in the street.

The telehandler driver was reversing his vehicle up the street the wrong way when it mounted the pavement and struck Mr Wilkinson.

The company pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE Inspector Dr Dave Shallow said: “Site transport activities should be managed to minimise as far as possible the need for reversing. But where it is necessary to reverse, site managers should ensure that it is done in a safe and controlled manner, using a banksman, reversing aids on the vehicles and segregation of pedestrians and vehicles.”