Building giant is fined £525k after dad’s death

Mark Williams

Mark Williams

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A CONSTRUCTION firm was fined £525,000 yesterday for health and safety breaches which led to the death of a father-of-two.

Mark Williams’s mother said last night he was “totally let down by the people he trusted”.

The  41-year-old, of Nuneham Courtenay, survived by his partner Sam Collins and their daughters Tilly and Ellie, died when the forklift truck he was driving on a building site in Newbury toppled over on July 20, 2011.

His family said the day before he died, Mr Williams told construction firm Costain Ltd in a meeting that someone was going to get killed on the site.

In a statement, his family said: “Sadly for us, someone did get killed – him.”
Reading Crown Court heard that he had complained to management after several near misses at the crowded site and difficulties getting around the site the day before his death.

He had been lifting a pallet of tiles when the vehicle began to topple and fell on top of him.

After a five-week trial at Reading Crown Court in April, Costain was found guilty of four breaches of health and safety regulations. 

Yesterday it was fined and ordered to pay £90,577 in costs. 

Judge Angela Morris said the fine was intended to punish the breaches and not place a value on Mr Williams’s life.

Oxford Mail:

Mark Wiliams' mother Shenda Williams-Long, with partner Tom Long.

His mother Shenda Williams Long, of Nuneham Courtenay, said: “I always felt that I have lived a very privileged and happy life, but all that changed when police officers knocked on our door and informed me that our beloved son had been killed.

“Mark was a loving son, brother, partner, friend and an amazing dad to his two daughters.

“Little did we know that fateful day  it would be the last morning we would feel peaceful, happy and complete.

“Mark was totally let down by the people he worked for and trusted.”
Health and Safety Executive principal inspector Steve Hull said it was a “tragic and entirely preventable” death.

He said: “Mark Williams was required to use a telehandler that was wholly unsuited to the confined area he worked in.

“He had no option but to raise the boom so he could turn the vehicle and, in doing so, he critically undermined the stability, resulting in the inevitable overturn.”

Mr Williams’s  direct employer, Attleys Roofing Ltd – which provided the machine – was acquitted of all charges.

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Comments (1)

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7:18am Thu 24 Jul 14

HomerSimpsonDoh says...

Why was not the CEO or any directors charged with corporate manslaughter?. That would have made others firms take notice not a fine that they can fiddle through the books.
Why was not the CEO or any directors charged with corporate manslaughter?. That would have made others firms take notice not a fine that they can fiddle through the books. HomerSimpsonDoh
  • Score: 4

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