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Firm Fined One Million Pounds For Death of Employee

Posted By Kerry Budworth on 2016-06-02 21:40

Tyre explosion led to the death of 21-year-old man

Watling Tyre Service, a Kent tyre company with fifteen outlets around the South East of England, has been sentenced for safety failings that led to the death of 21-year-old Matthew Hoare, from Canterbury. Matthew was killed when a tyre he was repairing exploded.

Untrained and unsupervised

Matthew was repairing a puncture to the tyre of a dresser loading shovel when it exploded. An investigation undertaken by the HSE found that Matthew was working on his own, that the equipment he was using was inadequate and not properly maintained. They also found that he had not been trained or competent to undertake the work he was told to complete. The incident occurred in 2006, however, it took ten years for the case to be resolved.

Director found not guilty of failing in his duty

Last month, a director of the company was acquitted of breaching safety rules which led to the death of the tyre fitter. Andrew Wright,58, one of four directors of Watling Tyres, had denied two charges of failing in his duty under Health and Safety legislation and the jury found him not guilty. 

Canterbury Crown Court handed down a fine of £1,000,000

Watling Tyre Service Limited pleaded guilty, at a previous hearing on 29 January 2016, to breaches of Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Canterbury Crown Court today fined them £1 million and ordered them to pay costs of £99,485.

Unfortunate and needless death

This was an unfortunate and needless death of a young man with his whole life ahead of him. Because of a series of issues it took ten years for the case to be resolved and for his family to get some closure. The fine handed down is representative of the failures, the consequences of those failures and the financial circumstances of the company. 

New sentencing laws

With the new sentencing guidelines now in place, we can expect to see many more fines of this magnitude being levied. It is imperative that every business owner or person responsible for employees realises the importance of proper health and safety measures and risk management. Everyone involve with health and safety believes that the new sentencing guidelines will focus many people's minds in relation to their responsibilities. 

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