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Claire Harden-Frost secures million pound fine for Health & Safety breaches

News | Mon 25th Jan, 2016

The defendant company Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering were sentenced today at Canterbury Crown Court for breaching duties under sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.  The defendant pleaded guilty at Canterbury Magistrates Court on 6th October 2015 to 2 charges and the case was committed to the Crown Court for sentence

It was the Crown’s Case that on 2nd October 2012 there was a road traffic accident on a section of the A2 in Kent which caused damage to the central reservation barrier.  It needed to be repaired and at the time the defendant company had the contract for repairs for this section of road. 

One of the engineers working on the repair to the barrier was Mr Newman.  The damage was such that the team could not excavate a concrete footing in the usual way.  There was no method statement for dealing with this situation so the team used the boom or arm of a crane to dislodge the footing.  It swung suddenly hitting Mr Newman who was killed by the impact. 

The defendant should have had in place a method statement and an appropriate risk assessment but they did not, and had not for some time.  They also failed to provide appropriate equipment so that the task could be carried out safely essentially allowing the team repairing the barrier to come up with a means of ensuring the job got done, and as a result their employees and subcontractors were exposed to risk.

The defendants accepted failing in their duties to ensure the health and safety of their employees and sub-contractors. 

Her Honour Judge Adele Williams fine the company £1,000,000 and ordered them to pay all prosecution costs within 2 months.

Claire Harden-Frost was instructed by Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP.

Click here to read more on this case.

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