Turner Access Higher Safety Total Access
Total Access Ethentic Chipmunk Data
Chipmunk Data Turner Access Ethentic

ENGINEER PROSECUTED OVER DOUBLE FATALITY

Conduct fell far below that expected of competent engineer

Engineer, Barry Potts and contractor Elliston Steady & Hawes (Building) Limited have been fined after being fined (14 February) for health and safety offences following the death of two man in October 2010.

The sentencing took place at Ipswich Crown Court in relation to the deaths on a building site in Suffolk where Kevin Ruffles and Matthew Skeet died as a consequence of a wall collapsing.

This incident was investigated by the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, working closely with HSE.

In June 2013 Barry Potts was summonsed to court for two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and one offence under the health and safety act, and legal representatives for the building company were issued a summons for two offences under the health and safety act.

The CPS had alleged that Mr Potts gave Matthew Skeet and Kevin Ruffles permission to dig a trench under part of the wall, which weakened the foundations and led the wall to collapse.

Guilty pleas entered regarding H&S offences

At a hearing at Southwark Crown Court on Monday 16 December guilty pleas were offered on behalf of Barry Potts and Elliston Steady & Hawes (Building) Limited in relation to the health and safety breaches.

On 14th February Barry Potts was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £5000 towards prosecution costs and Elliston Steady & Hawes (Building) Limited, were fined £45,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Smith who led this enquiry said:

“This was a tragic incident in which two men lost their lives. It has taken over three years to achieve the sentencing outcome today and I am conscious that this has caused additional heartache for Kevin and Matthew’s families.

I would stress that the investigation into how the wall collapsed and the surrounding circumstances has been very complex and demanding for a number of reasons.

After the wall collapse the Malting’s building needed to be made safe, before structural engineering experts and investigators could properly examine the site.

During our investigation, over 200 witness statements were obtained, a number of key personnel were formally interviewed and large quantities of associated material needed to be reviewed in order that we could present detailed evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service.

In passing sentence Mr Justice Singh, has recognised that both Barry Potts and Elliston Steady and Hawes (Building) Limited committed serious breaches of health and safety regulations.

In the case of Potts it was confirmed that the evidence demonstrated his conduct fell far below that which could be expected of a competent engineer.

He failed to inspect and test the foundations underpinning the wall and gave advice to Kevin Ruffles which was grossly negligent.

Unfortunately, at the time this incident occurred, Elliston Steady and Hawes (building) Limited were not managing the Malting’s building project as they should have been. They missed an opportunity to challenge Potts’ negligent advice, they failed to secure written method statements and did not appoint a temporary works co-ordinator.

I know that the sentences passed today will provide little comfort for Matthew and Kevin’s families and our thoughts remain with them at this time.

I hope that in some way this case and today’s outcome will act as a stark reminder to the construction industry of the ever-present dangers in their work and the fatal consequences of failing to implement appropriate health and safety measures.

I would wish to thank the Health and Safety Executive, the Crown Prosecution Service and prosecution counsel with whom we have worked closely over an extended period of time.”

Walls must be supported so they do not become unstable

Investigating Health and Safety Executive Inspector Lesley Balkham said:

“This was an entirely preventable incident that resulted in the tragic deaths of two people working on a construction site. There were basic failings in the way the work was planned and managed.

Those working in construction, especially contractors and designers, need to make sure that construction work is planned and carried out safely. Structures such as walls and excavations must be supported during construction work so they do not become unstable and liable to collapse.”

 

Latest Construction Health and Safety News

ROOF FALL CAUSES LIFE CHANGING INJURIES

Inadequate planning and absence of necessary equipment caused fall

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 25th June 2017

LIFT PLANNING AND CONTROL FOUND WANTING

Female building worker struck by scaffold fittings tipped from stillage

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 25th June 2017

FATALITY: CRANE COLLAPSE ON HOMES PROJECT

Two workmen die in crane collapse in Crewe

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd June 2017

BUILD UK EXPLAINS PROJECT H&S TRAINING STANDARD

UK contractors clarify skill cards needed on CDM 2015 projects

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 21st June 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 21 JUNE 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 21st June 2017

CIVILS FIRMS PAYS PRICE OVER PUBLIC DANGER

Fencing wire struck member of public relaxing in own garden

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 20th June 2017

DELAYED RESCUE CONTRIBUTED TO DEATH AT HEIGHT

MEWP operator died trapped between controls and roof beam

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 20th June 2017

CLIENT FINED UNDER CDM 2007 & CDM 2015

Construction work must be properly managed from outset

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 19th June 2017

WORKMAN BURNED WHILST CUTTING LIVE CABLE

Firms to pay £500,000 over unsafe system for electrical work

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 19th June 2017

WORKMAN CHEATS DEATH IN 8M ROOFLIGHT FALL

Steel fabricators fined over unsafe short-term roofwork

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 19th June 2017

HOMES FIRM DIRECTOR CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER

Excavation collapse dangers ignored by director and digger operator

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 14th June 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 14th JUNE 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 14th June 2017

BOSS AND FOREMAN CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER

Safety standards allowed to fall despite HSE enforcement action

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 10th June 2017

WORK AT HEIGHT ADVANCES HIGHLIGHTED AT EXPO

Access Industry Forum (AIF) puts height safety first at Expo 2017

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 9th June 2017

PRICE OF NON-COMPLIANCE RISES STEADILY

Roofing company fined £80,000 for ignoring advice and HSE notice

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 9th June 2017

MANUAL HANDLING OFFENCE FINED £67,000

Significant risk in handling excavator wheel not avoided or assessed

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 8th June 2017

COMPANY RELIED UPON EXPERIENCED WORKERS

Lack of precautions to prevent fall through fragile rooflight

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th June 2017

CLIENT FAILED TO APPOINT COMPETENT CONTRACTOR

Contractor receives prison term whilst CDM client fined £160,000

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th June 2017

PUZZLES HELP DELIVER CITB AND NEBOSH COURSES

Innovative new tool available to support effective H&S training

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th June 2017

NEW DUMPER TO IMPROVE SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY

Manufacturer promises greater visibility, stability and operator protection

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th June 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 7th JUNE 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th June 2017

NEW GUIDE ON GUILTY PLEA SENTENCING

Sentencing Council guidelines may assist corporate H&S offenders

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 6th June 2017

MAJOR CONTRACTOR RESPONDS TO ‘BEARDS BAN’ BLAST

Union calls for dust elimination and consultation before imposing ban

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 5th June 2017

CONSTRUCTION DEATHS TUMBLE IN 2016/17

Latest HSE latest records suggests substantial drop in worker fatalities

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 5th June 2017

WRONGLY INSTALLED MACHINE SEVERED HAND

Manufacturer instructions not followed during saw installation

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 2nd June 2017
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access