Cheshire-based WPI Civil Engineering was also fined £300,000 for safety breaches that led to the death of Henry Jones on Redrow’s Summerhill Park housing development in Liverpool on 8th August 2013.
The case once again highlights not only the dangers of standard dumper trucks but also the slow speed of the British justice system, taking four and a half years to reach conclusion.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how 67-year-old Henry Jones was walking across the site when he was struck by a reversing dumper truck. Mr Jones was crushed under the rear wheels of the vehicle and confirmed dead at the scene. The incident was witnessed by Mr Jones’ son who was also working at the construction site.
An investigation by the Health & 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 subcontractor WPI failed to provide a banksman or have any employees on site trained as banksmen, and that the vehicle involved was not fit to be used on site.
Redrow Homes Ltd of Ewlowe, Flintshire 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 Ltd of Middlewich, Cheshire pleaded guilty to the same breaches. It was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.
HSE inspector Jacqueline Western said after the hearing: “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.”