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The Health & Safety Executive brought a successful prosecution under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 against Ashtead Plant Hire Company Limited who were found guilty and fined £200,000 following a fatal accident involving one of their employees.

Specialist Lawyers dealing with Fatal AccidentsThe Kent based Construction Company actually had a procedure in place for the job but were criticised for having employees at their depot who knew nothing of the procedure. 

Phillip Pearce, 55 from Medway in Kent, had worked as a fitter at the company's depot at Tovil, Maidstone. He had only been employed by the company for around three months when he died on August 16, 2006. His job was to prepare accommodation units – including site huts, welfare units and storage containers – which were then hired out to construction companies.

With two units stacked on top of each other, the court heard that he climbed onto the top of a stack to help attach lifting chains so that the top unit could be lifted down. He fell more than five metres and died at the scene.

The employees working at the depot had not been provided with appropriate safety equipment for working at height nor had they been trained how to use it. The company’s work at height procedure requires workers to wear safety harness and inertia reel line while climbing a secure ladder. If they slipped or fell during the procedure, the inertia reel line would prevent a serious fall.

The company had failed in their duty to implement a risk that they had already identified.

The company fell foul of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 which compel contractors to plan sufficiently for jobs, manage them and ultimately monitor them. The company were prosecuted at Maidstone Crown Court and were also ordered to pay £15,000 in prosecution costs over and above the £200,000.  

Thompsons have vast experience in assisting the families’ of fatal accident victims.  We understand the first and most important thing that a family need and demand is answers!
Without answers as to what happened and why it happened they cannot move on with their lives, they need to know that no other family will be touched as they have been by the loss of a loved one.
Contact Thompsons today on 0800 0891331 and we will help you obtain the answers to your questions.

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