Construction company fined £43,000

Salisbury construction company Castleway Developments has been ordered to pay £43,715 in fines and costs after one of its employees died in an accident on a building site in the city in 2003.

The company admitted at Salisbury Crown Court to failing to ensure the safety of its employees, after 62-year-old George Rogers was killed when he was thrown from a dumper truck, which then ran over his body. The delay in bringing the matter before the court was due to a lengthy investigation by police and the Health and Safety Executive.

Though he had not been authorised to drive a dumper truck, Mr Rogers had helped tidy up the site before it closed for the day by driving a dumper truck filled with spoil to get rid of the load. The truck went over a sunken trench and the jolt had thrown him out of his seat, over the front of the dumper truck's bucket and on to the ground. The truck had then driven over his body.

Ian Dixey, for the prosecution, said it was a well-known hazard with dumper trucks within the construction industry and precautions should have been taken. He said the company's failings included inadequate training for employees on using plant and machinery, no adequate system of checking plant and machinery - three of the truck's tyres were severely under-inflated - no training verification system, no site traffic plan or control of speed on site machinery and no adequate system for controlling use of plant or machinery on site.

But, he said, since the accident, Castleway had taken steps to correct all these issues, including proper training for employees using machinery.

Fining the company £30,000 and ordering them to pay £13,714 costs, Judge Keith Cutler said the company's failings had been "contributory to a degree" to Mr Rogers' death, but were not so important as Mr Rogers' own wrongful actions in driving machinery.

The case was brought by the HSE.