Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

hseTwo company directors have been heavily fined and given suspended sentences after a worker was killed in a workplace accident involving a dumper truck.

Mr Daniel Whiston, 20, was killed at Sweetings Farm near Tiverton in October 2009 after a four-tonne dumper truck over-turned on a bank and crushed him. Two directors of Wedgewood Building Limited, Mr Friend and Mr Plume, were subsequently found guilty of health and safety breaches and fined a combined total of £50,000, as well as being given suspended sentences and ordered to undertake community service.

Mr Whiston started work for Wedgewood Buildings Limited on 27 October 2009 as a labourer and was assigned to work on the expansion of a pond at Sweetings Farm. On the day in question Mr Whiston was put to work on a four-tonne dumper truck and told to excavate the pond and move spoil around the site. Whilst Mr Whiston was driving the dumper-truck he drove up a bank with a full load of spoil in the excavator and toppled down a 60 degree slope, falling out of the truck and being crushed to death.

The Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”) was notified of the accident and investigated. Their investigations found that there were a number of health and safety breaches by Wedgewood Buildings Limited including:

  • A failure to properly train Mr Whiston to undertake his duties;
  • A failure to ensure that a trained, competent teacher was teaching and supervising Mr Whiston;
  • That the dumper had a number of serious defects, including steering failure, defecting and inoperative front braking and a non-functioning handbrake with worn-out parts;
  • No suitable or sufficient risk assessments being undertaken;
  • No safe system of work being undertaken; and
  • That the causeway used by the dumper truck to transport material from the pond to the dump site was too narrow for the dumper

The HSE investigation recommended that the directors of Wedgewood Buildings Limited, Mr William Friend and Mr Robert Plume, be prosecuted for health and safety breaches.

The case came to the Exeter Crown Court on 22 December 2014 with both directors each pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Each director was given a suspended custodial sentence of 12 months, suspended from being company directors for two year, given 180 hours of community service (to be completed within a year), and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £25,000 each.

HSE inspector Mr Jonathan Harris stated after the sentencing: “Anyone in control of construction projects must ensure the work is properly planned and risk assessed to avoid similar tragedies in the future. Knowing what needs to be done is not the same as knowing how it should be done safely.”

Marc Hadrill, a specialist personal injury solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Company directors – as well as companies – have duties under health and safety legislation to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of workers – the court found in this instance that the company and the company directors had not taken those steps.”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.76 Average

124 Reviews

Brittany

I was very grateful for Redmans to treat my case with respect and discretion. At the time, I was very new to London and it was meaningful to have someone on my side and win the case for me. Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone who is in need of it.

Posted 4 months ago

Jake L

Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service. It was a pleasure to work with Chris H, who is brilliant at what he does and very efficient. Their Senior Associate Rana T. is also very knowledgeable and resolves any queries speedily and efficiently. My issue could unfortunately not be resolved, but that was due to my employer and not the firm. Redmans however did all they could. I would definitely recommend them.

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Very pleasant and quick to deal with. Mnay thanks.

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

Easy to get hold of. Quick.

Posted 6 months ago

Owen J

Very helpful, efficient service.

Posted 6 months ago

Anonymous

I am very lucky that I worked with Mr. Chris Hadrill and he managed my case very progressively with an analytical approach and trustfully. Of course with a very positive result. I strongly recommend Mr. Hadrill to any one seeking for a successful result from a highly qualified solicitor.

Posted 6 months ago

Kulbir S

Amazing, quick friendly service from Chris from the start and Caroline. They made me feel at ease during a difficult time, they understood and advised accordingly and I am really happy with the outcome of my case. Will always advise anyone who needs legal advice to contact Redmans, I’m so glad that I did and can confidently say I don’t think any other firm could have handled my case any better. Well done guys, wish you all the best and please keep doing what your doing, simply the best!

Posted 7 months ago

Mark A

Excellent service - rapid and “to the point” advice given to ensure meeting the target time frame

Posted 7 months ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill kept me sane during the negotiations with my employer. He was courteous professional and he cared about doing the best he could for me. I will use Redmans again if ever I need an employment solicitor. Excellent service.

Posted 7 months ago

Muhammad Z

Awesome services. Professionals at their best .

Posted 7 months ago

Anonymous

Thanks for the advice and for negotiating a good outcome. Good to have the support at a very stressful time

Posted 7 months ago

Chloe F

My solicitor at Redmans was very helpful and efficient. Really pleased with the smooth service.

Posted 7 months ago

Anonymous

Chris was absolutely excellent. Clear and concise, offering sound advice.

Posted 7 months ago

Tim O

Experienced and competent advisors

Posted 7 months ago

Rachel A

Quick and expert assistance. I would highly recommend Chris for any of your legal needs.

Posted 7 months ago

Joe S

I was very happy with the service provided by Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. I felt very comfortable discussing all matters with Chris and am very grateful for all the help and guidance I was given throughout the whole process. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to friends and family!

Posted 7 months ago

Anonymous

I had a very good experience working with Chris Hadrill during a difficult and emotional time. This held true from the moment I spoke to him on the phone, to the end of the process. Overall, he was attentive, professional and highly supportive. He provided sound advice and clarity. It was the reviews that led me to Redmans! I was very happy to know they were all true. I highly recommend working with Redmans Solicitors. Thank-you to the entire team!

Posted 7 months ago

Anonymous

Good service

Posted 7 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service. Highly recommend.

Posted 7 months ago

Rob O

Very prompt response and I could not fault the service. My solicitor listened carefully to the details of my case and I felt very confident in the advice I was offered. All emails and work done on my behalf with my former employer was of the highest standard and Redmans helped take a lot of the stress out of the situation for me.

Posted 7 months ago