The latest case from the HSE;
Automotive group McLaren has been fined £650,000 after a father-of-five from Portsmouth fell to his death carrying out an inspection.
David Oldham’s widow, Patricia, says she has been “robbed” of her husband following the tragedy. The couple had been married for 14 years and lived in Hereford.
Fifty-five-year-old David worked for Zurich Management Services Limited. He was carrying out a structural inspection of McLaren’s Paddock Brand Centre, a hospitality unit used by its Formula One racing team, when he fell from one of the upper floors. He later died of his injuries.
The incident happened on 18 October 2016, while the structure was undergoing maintenance at one of McLaren’s warehouses on Vanwall Road, Maidenhead.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found McLaren had failed to properly assess the risks and to put measures in place to prevent workers falling from height at its Paddock Brand Centre.
Falls from height remain the biggest cause of fatal accidents involving workers. In the five-year period between 2017 and 2022, 174 workers in Great Britain – a quarter of those killed in accidents at work – tragically fell to their death. HSE guidance can be found at: Work at height – HSE
Following a trial at Reading Crown Court, McLaren Services Limited, of Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey, was found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £650,000 and ordered to pay £110,132 in costs at Reading Crown Court on 31 March 2023.
HSE inspector Saffron Turnell said: “Patricia’s powerful words make clear the impact David’s loss has had on her life. This is a devastating tragedy and our thoughts remain with her and David’s family.
“Work at height is a high risk activity and falls can result in life changing injuries and death. It’s the number one reason why people like David didn’t get home from work. Those responsible to ensure his health and safety failed to do so.
“It is very important that those in control of the work identify the risk, plan to eliminate it if possible, or where it is not possible, take appropriate precautions to safeguard workers and others. Good management will also include regular monitoring that the controls in place are keeping people safe.”