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Firm fined £35k for fatal collapse

Chesterfield-based T G Beighton was fined £35,000 at Sheffield Crown Court today following the death of an employee in July 2004.

John Morton was killed when an excavation collapsed during construction of 11 industrial units on a brownfield site in Sheffield. Co-worker Daniel Thompson also sustained serious injuries.

During the six-day trial the Jury heard that the 3m deep area of excavation in which the men were working had no precautions in place to prevent the sides from collapsing.

Site foreman Mark Winter was found not guilty of manslaughter but was fined £750 and ordered to pay £150 costs after pleading guilty to health and safety charges.

Health and safety director Richard was fined £2,500 with costs of £1,000.

HSE inspector Dave Bradley said: “Each job needs to be properly planned to ensure that the appropriate controls are identified and provided on site, and thereafter, they are communicated to the persons undertaking the work.

“Equally, where circumstances change on site as the work progresses, risk assessments and method statements need to be revised accordingly. It is also important that both directors and individuals on site realise that they too can be prosecuted if they fail to discharge their responsibilities relating to health and safety.”

T G Beighton was also ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.