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MAJOR CONTRACTOR CONVICTED IN TELEHANDLER TRIAL

fragilefallmanCourt hears how deceased workman feared tragic incident

It has been reported (3 April) by Newbury News that contractor Costain Ltd has been found guilty of health and safety offences following a trial at Reading Crown Court.

Prosecution by HSE follows the death of telehandler operator Mark Williams who was crushed during an incident in July 2011 when the telehandler he was operating overturned during construction of the Newbury Parkway shopping centre.

The 41-year-old from Oxfordshire, was employed by contractors Attleys Roofing Ltd. Costain Ltd was the principal contractor for the project.

Both firms denied four charges including two counts of failure to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment; one count of failure to ensure health and safety and welfare of an employee at work and one count of exposing others to a risk to health and safety.

The jury found Costain Ltd guilty of all four charges and Attleys Roofing Ltd not guilty on all charges.

Expert witness visited after construction complete

Judge Angela Morris summed up the evidence presented during the four-week hearing. She reminded jurors how Mr Williams had warned colleagues that someone “was going to get killed”.

Prosecution expert witness Michael Dix (CITB) visited the site the day after the tragedy. It was his opinion that “there was a risk of things falling” and there were “various items in the way” of the telehandler and that the carriageway was too narrow for safety.

Defence expert witness Lawrence Waterman (former head of health and safety for the Olympic Delivery Authority) also gave evidence. The judge reminded jurors that Mr Waterman visited the site after construction was complete.

Costain Ltd will be sentenced on 23 April 2014

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