Contractor fined £150k for corporate manslaughter

Grant Prior 3 years ago

A stonemasonry company has been fined £150,000 after being found guilty of corporate manslaughter at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Cavendish Masonry Limited was found guilty by a jury of corporate manslaughter following the death of one of their employees in February 2010.

Cavendish previously pleaded guilty to safety breaches and has now been ordered to pay £87,117.69 costs and a £150,000 fine.

The court heard that on 9 February 2010, David Evans, a 23-year-old stonemason’s mate employed by Cavendish Masonry Limited, was erecting a large wall at the Well Barn Estate in Moulsford, Wallingford.

A two tonne limestone block fell off a concrete lintel and crushed Evans.

He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital by air ambulance and was pronounced dead later the same day.

Cavendish was found guilty of a gross breach of its duty of care in its management and organisation of its activities at The Well Barn estate, by failing to take reasonable care in the planning and execution of those activities contrary to section 1 (1) of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

Investigating officer Det Con David Edwards said: “This has been a long and complex investigation. I am very grateful for the patience and support of David’s family, the hard work of both the Health and Safety Executive, the expert witnesses in this case and the prosecution team.

“I now hope that the Evans family can now start to rebuild their lives.”

Speaking after the conviction, the family of David Evans said: “On Tuesday 9th February 2010, David, our son, our brother, was cruelly taken from us.

“Since that day, over four years ago, there has been a void in our lives. We miss his smile, his infectious laugh andhisprofoundly honest nature.

“Not a single day passes without us thinking of him and wondering what his life and our lives would have been like were he here today.

“While we know that this trial will not bring David back to us, we now know how and why he was taken from us, how and why hispromising life was cut so tragically short and how and why he will never be able to fulfil the potential thatsomany have attested to him having.

“We hope that this trial and the conclusions that are reached serve as an example to others in the industry.

“We hope that it is understood that the Health and Safety legislation is there to provide a safe working environment for all employees.

“We hope that it is understood that following such legislation and its guidelines provides a working environment where incidents such as the one that claimed the life of David are easily avoided.

“Most of all, we hope that these lessons are learned and communicated throughout the stonemason and construction industry.

“We do not want another family to go through the devastation and uncertainty that we have experienced over the last four years and th epain of loss which will always be with us.We do not want another family to lose someone as special as David John Evans.”

Following the sentencing, HSE Inspector Peter Snelgrove, said: “David Evans’ tragic death was completely avoidable had Cavendish Masonry Limited properly planned and managed the installation of the heavy limestone.

“The lift itself was relatively straightforward, and there is no blame on the part of the crane operator who put the stone in place.

“The stone toppled because its shape was such that it was potentially unstable when free standing, yet nothing was used to fix it in place. It needed to be sufficiently restrained before the lifting slings attaching it to the crane were removed.

“The drawings for the work were wholly insufficient, and the overall execution of the project fell significantly below the standard required and expected of a competent masonry company.”

Latest news

BAM to finish Carillion’s Birmingham Paradise project

One Chamberlain Square subcontractors get all-clear to restart stalled project
24 hours ago

Construction worker stabbed on Liverpool site

Police arrest man after incident on city centre job
18 hours ago

Carillion fells M&E specialist with 160 jobs at risk

Vaughan Engineering ceases to trade, closing Edinburgh, Warrington and Newcastle offices
1 day ago

Torsion lands record deal with £28m resi win

Contractor beats Interserve and Speller Metcalfe to Birmingham job
1 day ago

Delayed Aberdeen Bypass pushed back an extra 6 months

Transport Scotland caught unawares by Balfour Beatty project delay statement in results
2 days ago

Lendlease director to lead drive to recruit more military vets

Angela Forbes to chair BuildForce initiative to tempt ex-forces personnel into a construction career
1 day ago

Police admit role in construction blacklist scandal

Scotland Yard confirms undercover officers spied on building workers
1 day ago

Boot shines with record profits up 40%

Mixed development, land and construction model pays big dividends
1 day ago

Council advances plan to build a university in Milton Keynes

Feasibility work starts on building a 5,000 student university
1 day ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
3 weeks ago

Morgan Sindall gets funding nod for £28m A421 upgrade

Work to start in weeks on final 3km stretch of A421 dualling near Milton Keynes
1 day ago

Private equity firm buys railway ground engineer Aspin

Aspin sets sights on £60m revenue target by 2020
2 days ago

Family pays tribute to demolition worker killed in fall

Statement highlights human cost of construction accidents
2 days ago

Interserve agrees £292m rescue funding with banks

Banks extend borrowing facility to £834m in short-term fix for Interserve
3 days ago

£5bn Southern Construction Framework renewal race starts

Eleven contractors in fight to retain places on UK's largest regional framework
2 days ago

Sunderland council rebids Carillion Vaux brewery project

Work set to restart on Sunderland business district scheme
2 days ago

PwC racks up £20m fees since Carillion collapse

PwC is charging 12,500 a week for each member of staff
3 days ago

Crossrail construction enters final stages: Picture special

Latest site shots released as nine-month countdown to completion begins
2 days ago

BAM confirmed for £65m Leeds Uni science complex

Work starts on University's largest ever single project investment
3 days ago

New UK Managing Director at Turner & Townsend

Patricia Moore promoted to run whole UK operation
3 days ago

Cladding specialist Cover Structure goes into administration

Robertson takes over from stricken subcontractor on Aberdeen conference centre
4 days ago

Watkin Jones 780-bed Coventry student scheme approved

Student accommodation builder's work pipeline swells to nearly 10,000 rooms
3 days ago

Rival rescues Hydrock division from administration

Vertase FLI swoops to safeguard jobs under threat at QDS Contracting
3 days ago

BAM gets planning for £23m Aylesbury school

Work to start next month on Buckinghamshire secondary school
3 days ago

Procure North West launches £2bn bid race

New north west region public building framework launched
3 days ago

Kier clinches £57m student village for Warwick Uni

Five student blocks to be demolished to make way for new buildings
4 days ago

Clugston to start work on £25m Hull warehouse

Arco national distribution centre will be extended for extra 220,000 sq ft
4 days ago

McAlpine JV wins pre-construction deal on £466m hospital

J3 Limited joint venture chosen for new Jersey hospital
4 days ago

Lendlease and McLaren win £1bn Manchester St John’s scheme

Enabling work to start next month on St John's neighbourhood
4 days ago

DNA research firm to build new plant in Oxfordshire

Oxford Nanopore reveals plans for new manufacturing centre after £100m cash injection
4 days ago

Contractor services