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Company director jailed following workers death

A company director has been jailed for 12-months following the death of one of his workers.

Father-of-three Paul Williamson, who was 51 years old, 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.

Manchester Crown Court heard how Paul Williamson had not been adequately trained on the use of the ramps, the lorry and the MEWP. There was no risk assessment in place and no safe system of work had been created for the equipment, which had only been in operation for eight days.

The gradient of the ramps were above the manufacturer’s specification and they were not secured to the lorry. As the MEWP, a Spider 1800, was loaded onto the truck it toppled off the ramps on to Paul Williamson.

Company director Kenneth Thelwall, Burleigh Road, Enfield, was charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, 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.”



7 September 2016