Cotswold Geotechnical has been fined £385,000 after being found guilty in the first ever corporate manslaughter prosecution.
Within this last month a landmark case has come to court for serious failings in the construction industry, seeing the first corporate manslaughter prosecution ending with a guilty verdict.
Geologist Alexander Wright, 27, was investigating ground conditions in a deep trench on a development site in Stroud when it collapsed and killed him in September 2008.
The court heard that Wright had been left to work alone in an unshored 3.5 metre-deep trench to ‘finish-up’ after the company director had decided to leave for the day.
The two people who owned the development plot decided to stay at the site as they knew Wright was working alone in the trench. About 15 minutes later they heard a muffled noise and then a shout for help. While one of the men called the emergency services, the other one ran to the trench where he saw earth had fallen in and buried Wright up to his head. He climbed into the trench and removed some of the earth to enable the young geologist to breathe. But more earth fell into the pit covering the geologist completely. Wright died of traumatic asphyxiation.
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