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    DIRECTOR JAILED OVER MEWP RELATED FATALITY

    Warning to all company directors concerning personal responsibility

    Manchester Crown Court has heard how father-of-three Paul Williamson died on 29 January 2014 when a remote controlled Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) he was loading on to a truck fell from the ramps and crushed him.

    The court was told that Paul was not adequately trained on the use of the ramps, the lorry or the MEWP. There was no risk assessment in place and a safe system of work had not been created for the equipment, which had been in operation for only eight days.

    The gradient of the ramps exceeded the manufacturer specification and they were not secured to the lorry. During loading of the MEWP onto the truck it toppled from ramps on to Paul Williamson.

    Right equipment and training missing

    Company director Kenneth Thelwall, Enfield, was charged under Health and Safety at Work Act etc. Act 1974 Section 37 and sentenced to 12-months in prison and ordered to pay costs of £4,000. He was also disqualified from being a company director for seven years.

    Thorn Warehousing Ltd was charged under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act was fined £166,000 and ordered to pay £10,400 costs. The company is currently in administration.

    HSE’s Inspector, Helen Jones said:

    “Kenneth Thewall failed in his duty as a director to protect his workers. He was involved in the day-to-day running of Thorn Warehousing Ltd and should have ensured the company provided Paul Williamson with the right equipment and training to carry out his job. Had he done so Mr Williamson would still be alive today.

    This case should act as a stark warning to all company directors of their personal responsibility to protect their workers’ health and safety and the tragic consequences when they fail.”

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