Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Death and the Construction Industry

Jul 29, 2017 | Personal Injury

Russell Worth Personal Injury Blog:

Death and the Construction Industry

In 2014, Shane Wilkinson accepted a job on the on the Collyweston construction site. As a single parent of five children, he needed the money. In only a few days, those children lost their father; he was crushed to death when an unsecured trench wall collapsed.

On 1st July 2017, site manager and director of Conquest Homes, Andrew Winterton, was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter, in relation to Mr Wilkinson’s death.

He was sentenced to four years in jail.

Dean Wortley was convicted of a failure as a self-employed person to discharge his duty to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment, contrary to section 33(1a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.

After the trial, senior investigating officer, Detective Superintendent Steve Woliter from Northamptonshire Police, said:

“His [Mr. Wilkinson] death was an avoidable and terrible loss of life due to the gross negligence of Winterton and the dangerous environment created by both him and Wortley.”

“Shane’s death could easily have been avoided if Winterton and Wortley had shown any regard for basic safety measures on the site.”

“No sentence imposed will ever turn back time for Shane or his family, however I do hope this sentence sends out a clear message to others that adequate safeguards must be put in place to prevent people from harm.”

A deadly profession

According to the International Labour Organisation, around 60,000 people are killed in construction sites globally every year. This death toll is the same as the number of soldiers and civilians killed through state-based armed conflict every year over the past decade .

In the UK, 137 construction workers never came home from work between April 2016 and March 2017. Although this represents a drop of more than a third, every one of those lives lost is a tragedy that most likely could have been avoided.

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive, the most common causes of fatal injuries to construction workers were:

  • being struck by a moving vehicle
  • falls from a height  A man on a construction site is falling which makes the subject quite blurred
  • struck by a moving object
  • impact from something that has overturned or collapsed
  • contact with moving machinery
  • contact with electricity

A slow road to improvement

The construction industry has made vast inroads, dramatically increasing health and safety over the past 30 years. The introduction of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), puts greater responsibility on individual stakeholders of a construction project. Virtually everyone involved in a construction project has legal duties under CDM 2015, including the client.

For example, the person appointed as principle contractor to a project has a duty under CDM 2015 to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase of a project. However, construction workers also have a duty under the Act, to look after the own health and safety and report situations or practices they deem risky to themselves, other workers and the public.

Claiming compensation

If you have been injured in an accident on a construction site, you may be entitled to claim compensation if your mishap was a result of negligence.

After you have received medical attention, make sure the accident is reported in accordance Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR). It is also crucial to get in touch with an experienced personal injury solicitor who can establish whether you have grounds to make a claim for compensation.

Injuries caused by negligence on a construction site can be life-changing. Compensation can relieve some of the financial pressure on your family if you are unable to work and help fund rehabilitation so you can move forward to a positive recovery.

At Russell Worth Solicitors we specialise in personal injury claims. If you have suffered an injury because of an accident that was not your fault and would like a free claim assessment, please call us now on 0800 028 2060 or complete our Online Claim Assessment.

Excellent. The service was efficient from start to finish and I would not hesitate to recommend Russell Worth Solicitors to anybody who is unfortunate enough to meet with a personal injury that is not their fault.
Hilary Ann

People Love Us - Click Here To See Our Reviews On TrustPilot!

Other Blog Sections