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Contractors fined six figures after teenager’s death

Two companies have been fined a combined total of £324,000, after an 18-year-old worker was run over by a van.

P&R Plant Hire and D Brown have been fined for breaking health and safety laws, following the death of teenager Josh Disdel four years ago.

Construction managers employed by the two companies were also given suspended prison sentences, following a court hearing this week.

In July 2018, 18-year-old Disdel and another worker employed by contractor P&R Plant Hire were tasked with clearing debris from manholes at a home building site in Boston, Lincolnshire.

A colleague from Disdel was instructed to move a work van to allow another vehicle to pass. He didn’t know that Disdel was lying on the road, head and chest in a manhole, just in front of the van.

As the van moved forward, one of the wheels entered the top of the manhole, crushing Disdel. He was taken to hospital, but died of his injuries.

According to a statement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), its investigation revealed that neither D Brown, the main contractor on site, nor earthmoving subcontractor P&R Plant Hire had planned the work on site in such a way as to guarantee that the workers were not exposed to health. and security risks.

The regulator discovered that Brent Woods, a P&R Plant Hire manager, had sent employees to perform the task without a risk assessment or method statement in place. And this despite having already provided such information.

Employees were not trained to work on a road and had not been given any equipment to ensure work was carried out safely, the HSE added. They had also not received instructions on the security measures to be applied on site.

It was found that Darrell Tripp, site manager for D Brown, did not perform site induction for Disdel. Tripp also failed to carry out proper checks to ensure that workers had received relevant training.

He also failed to ensure that a safe working system and adequate control measures were in place.

The two companies and the two construction managers were sentenced in Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday.

Tripp, of Broadgate Lane, Deeping St James, was found guilty of breaching Section 7(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

His employer, D Brown (Building Contractors) Limited of Seas End Road, Spalding, was found guilty of breaching section 3(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety etc Act 1974. £15,765.92.

Contractor P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Limited of Station Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety etc Act 1974. before Lincoln Crown Court. He was also fined £24,000 and costs £2,264.87.

Brent Woods, of North Parade, Holbeach, Spalding, was found guilty of breaching Section 7(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay costs of £1,200.

After the sentencing, HSE Inspector Mark Welsh said: ‘This was a completely preventable incident, caused by a host of failures by both companies and the two individuals who appeared in court.

“All of the defendants failed to adequately plan the work to identify hazards, failed to ensure that those performing the work were trained and competent to do so, and failed to ensure that a system work is in place and monitored.”

D Brown (Building Contractors) Limited and P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Limited were approached for comment.