A commercial director and a health and safety consultant have been sentenced to imprisonment after a worker was killed on a construction site when an excavation collapsed. The excavations were not properly supported, and they collapsed on top of the worker, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The director, who was also the site manager, was aware of the dangerous state of the excavations but had taken no action. The consultant, who had been contracted out by an external organisation, had drafted an inadequate method of work statement which had then been ignored. He had also been assigned the authority to halt work at the site, which he had not done despite being aware of the dangers.
The director was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, and the consultant was sentenced to nine months in prison. Speaking after the judgment, the Detective Chief Inspector who headed the investigation said: “There was overwhelming evidence that [the director] and [the consultant]’s failure to carry out their respective roles directly resulted in the death of [the deceased]. In this case the danger of collapse was not only foreseeable, it had been specifically identified by [the consultant] in his risk assessments”.