Huge fine after exhausted welders killed in van crash

Grant Prior 5 months ago
Share

Welding specialist Renown Consultants Limited has been fined £450,000 with £300,000 costs for failing to ensure that two of its workers were sufficiently rested to work and travel safely.

The aftermath of the tragic crash
The aftermath of the tragic crash

The sentence was passed virtually today by His Honour Judge Godsmark sitting at Nottingham Crown Court today after Renown were found guilty on 19 March 2020 following a prosecution by the Office of Rail and Road.

The sentencing brings to an end a complex case in which Zac Payne, 20, and Michael Morris, 48, died on 19 June 2013 while traveling in a company van back to Doncaster after a night shift in Stevenage.

In the early hours of the morning on the A1 near Claypole their van crashed into a parked articulated lorry.

Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways said: “We welcome the sentence which is the first time that ORR has prosecuted in relation to failures of fatigue management.

“It shows the seriousness with which the court has taken this tragic case, and shows the fatal consequences that can occur when fatigue policies are disregarded.

“We hope this has acted as a reminder to companies that safety comes first and fatigue policies should be enforced to ensure their workforce is not too tired to work.”

ORR’s prior investigation found failures to manage fatigue among the workforce.

The judge found that Payne was driving the van at the time of the incident, despite the company’s insurance policy that stipulated only over 25s may drive their vehicles, and that the company accepted during the trial that under 25s frequently drove company vehicles.

The judge said Renown’s gravest failing was to perform a suitable and sufficient risk assessment on the day before the fatalities, which led to the company failing to comply with its own fatigue management procedures.

It also failed to comply with the working time limits for safety critical work, such as welding and trackside work, which insist there should be a ‘minimum rest period of 12 hours between booking off from a turn of duty to booking on for the next’.

HHJ Godsmark said in his closing remarks: “Operations and managers knew what they were supposed to do in relation to fatigue but lip service was paid to these systems.

“Senior operations cut corners and I found blindness at Doncaster in relation to people driving to and from jobs.

“This failure to take seriously was reflected in [Renown’s] attitude and wilful failure of its no under 25 policy.

“In regard to those breaches to fatigue falling far short…I consider this a serious and systemic failure by Renown.”

Latest news

Places on £5bn Welsh housing framework up for grabs

South and Mid-Wales housing framework to cover all sizes of projects
11 hours ago

Over £1bn worth of Manchester schemes get green light

Historic planning meeting approves BAM indoor arena and four major housing schemes
18 hours ago

Nmcn boss John Homer steps down

Civils contractor confirms sudden departure of CEO
16 hours ago

Crossrail chiefs plan another construction blockade

Another period of 24/7 working planned after success of 53-day summer surge
1 day ago

West Midlands firms wanted to work on HS2

Online event will highlight thousands of contract opportunities: Register now
18 hours ago

Green light for £120m Great Yarmouth River Crossing

BAM/Farrans JV to start lifting bridge project early next year
17 hours ago

Robo cone layers go live on Kier road job

Automated cone laying vehicles tested for first time on site
19 hours ago

Construction sites face crackdown on dust dangers

HSE month-long blitz will also check sites are Covid-secure
19 hours ago

Contractors urged to adopt NHS Covid app

QR codes on site entrances to help contact tracing authorities
2 days ago

Sunak unveils new emergency jobs support scheme

Chancellor also gives companies an extra four years to pay back Covid loans
2 days ago

Builders’ merchants sales confirm strong V-shaped recovery

Monthly sales in July just 1.3% below same time last year
1 day ago

Construction’s most considerate contractors revealed

Top industry performers recognised at virtual awards ceremony: Full details
2 days ago

Contest starts for £1.4bn Scottish highways upkeep

Bidding starts for north west and north east highways upkeep
2 days ago

Green light for £200m Kent business district

Developer U+I finalises planning for 800,000 sq ft Tunbridge Wells scheme
2 days ago

SIG makes a £125.4m pre-tax loss in first half

Materials distribution giant aims to stem losses during rest of 2020
2 days ago

Plans in for 18-storey Sheffield tower

St Mary's Gate student block will rise to 18 storeys
2 days ago

B&K wins first £18m job for new Peterborough Uni

Work on 60,000 sq ft building to start shortly following council land transfer
2 days ago

Green light for £650m Nottingham regen scheme

McAlpine to start work on first phase of 40-acre site in November
2 days ago

Vinci wins £14m Macclesfield cancer centre

Civils specialist Cidon starts work on the The Christie at Macclesfield project
2 days ago

BAM installs Covid killing spray tunnel on site

Workers treated with dry mist as they access major London site
3 days ago

Plan for £270m Leeds Lisbon Square scheme

Council names developer for city centre flats, hotel and office scheme
4 days ago

HS2 tells contractors to cut CO2 by half

Costain Skanska claims first use of zero carbon concrete in London
3 days ago

Plans to be lodged for £200m London eye hospital

First look at new Moorfields building design as bidding starts
3 days ago

Van Elle branches out into plant operator training

Two key plant operator card schemes back new training centre
3 days ago

Race on for £45m Greenwich council housing scheme

Work to start on four blocks at Kidbrooke in March
3 days ago

CityFibre calls in Bechtel to speed up £1.5bn work plan

CityFibre to award major construction contracts in coming months
4 days ago

Countryside to build private rental homes in London

Rental homes deal with Sigma and investor EQT to advance London schemes in tougher market
4 days ago

Billington keeps in profit after 30% revenue plunge

Steelwork contractor reports orders at near historic levels
4 days ago

Watchdog finds apparent breaches in KPMG Carillion audit

Initial report sent to KPMG for comment before decision on further action
4 days ago

Winvic trials new AI site safety zone system

Workers will be warned when they stray into computer generated danger zones
4 days ago

Contractor services