The prosecution followed an incident in December 2010 when Anghel Milosavlevici was fatally crushed after a basement excavation he was working in collapsed. Investigations found that the excavations were not properly supported which led to the collapse.
A Method Statement, which had been produced by health and safety adviser, Richard Golding, was considered to be inadequate and did not properly address the risks associated with the works. It was alleged that the document included information which had been copied from another site and was not properly adapted to the site in question. It was also alleged that Mr Golding, who was contracted to undertake monthly inspections, failed to take any steps despite it being clear that those on site were not following the Method Statement and the temporary works which were taking place on site were unsafe.
The prosecution focussed in particular on the fact that the Method Statement made no reference to the temporary works engineer drawings which would address the propping and shoring that such works required, as it was anticipated that the site manager, Conrad Sidebottom, would add this information at a later date. However, this did not happen. In any event, once works began on site, Mr Sidebottom decided to use a completely different method than that outlined in the Method Statement, with excavations carried out via hand digging rather than with the machines specified in the Method Statement, which created more significant risks. Despite these omissions and changes, it was alleged that Mr Golding, who last visited the site 9 days before the incident, did not see any excavations at all, save for a small trial pit at the front of the property. After consideration of photographs produced by the main contractors, this account was not accepted and the trial judge ultimately described Mr Golding’s stance as “ludicrous”.
Mr Golding, who was considered to be an employee of AllDay Safety Services Limited, was found guilty of a breach of s.7 of the HSWA (duty of an employee to take reasonable steps to take care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by his acts or omissions) and was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment.
In addition the site manager, Conrad Sidebottom of Siday Construction Ltd, was found guilty of manslaughter for his involvement in the project, and his failure to ensure that adequate safety measures were in place and was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in jail.