It has been reported by the Skegness Standard that a construction site manager has been ordered to pay £77,500 in costs after he was prosecuted by HSE following the death of a bricklayer who fell from scaffolding on a housing development in 2010.
Chestnut Homes Ltd and site manager Peter Tute were sentenced in September 2013 after admitting breaching health and safety legislations. The company was fined £40,000 and 49-year-old Tute of Lincoln was given 240 hours unpaid work.
Judge Michael Heath at Lincoln Crown Court has now ruled that the £155,000 costs of the prosecution should be shared equally by the company and Tute. The judge gave each of them 28 days to pay.
Timothy Green, prosecuting for the HSE, said Mr Tute asked the deceased workman and a colleague to build a scaffolding platform when he should have used competent scaffolding contractors.
Mr Green told the court Mr Tute failed to give the two men any instructions or ask if they had any experience building scaffolding, adding:
“He relied on them to do their best. They did their best but it wasn’t good enough as the death of Mr Gillman demonstrated. It was literally an accident waiting to happen.
We do not know exactly the physical cause of him going over the edge. He may simply have forgotten he had gone near the edge of his platform. If a guard rail had been present then he would not have gone off the edge, but it wasn’t. He fell and was crushed to death with the bricks landing on him.”
Lighthouse Comments: This seems to be a very rare occurrence and also a very sad occurrence. However the size of the fine is staggering and seems unrealistic that a site manager would actually be able to pay back the £77k. However the HSE can only prosecute for what can be actually be repaid without jeopardising the future of the guilty party. Lets hope lessons have been learnt after this event.