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Fri October 23 2020

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Demolition worker killed after being struck by digger bucket

13 Sep 10 Fines totalling £30,000 have been handed out to two construction companies following the death of a demolition worker, who was struck by an excavator bucket.

Fines totalling £30,000 have been handed out to two construction companies following the death of a demolition worker, who was struck by an excavator bucket.

John Cain, 36, from Salford, was working on a project to demolish the Albert Park Inn in Salford on 22 November 2004 when he was hit by the bucket on a digger. He died from his injuries later that day.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted two individuals and one company for health and safety offences, following an investigation into his death. They were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on 10 September – the day Cain would have celebrated his 42nd birthday.

Business partners Barry Godliman and Robert Watson were the principal contractors on the site, and Windmill Demolition Company was a specialist subcontractor hired to carry out the demolition work.

Godliman and Watson pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of workers on the site.

Godliman was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 towards the cost of the prosecution. Watson was also fined £7,500 with costs of £2,000.

Denton-based Windmill Demolition was found guilty of the same offence following a trial at Manchester Crown Court in July. The company was fined £15,000 with no costs.

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Karen Doran, John Cain’s ex-partner and the mother of his three young daughters, said: “It’s been very hard for the children coping with what happened as they’re still very young. It’s been like an open wound.

“Hopefully, now that those responsible for health and safety on the site have been punished, we’ll be able to put this behind us and get on with our lives.

“I just hope the prosecution will send a message out to companies that they cannot get away with ruining people’s lives.”

HSE inspector Stuart Kitchingman added: “This case demonstrates how important it is for contractors to be aware of their health and safety duties, especially when there are several companies working on a project.

“Barry Godliman and Robert Watson were the principal contractors on the site and so should have made sure all work was carried out safely. Windmill Demolition had been hired to oversee and carry out the demolition work, and so had responsibilities for managing safety as well.

“I hope this case will encourage construction companies to do more to manage health and safety on sites effectively.”

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