Company Facing Plunge Death Fine

Painter Death

26.06.2008

A firm could be forced to pay more than half a million pounds after it was found guilty of failing to maintain a platform which collapsed killing a tower block painter.

Painter Tony Bottomley, 60, died when a crucial bracket holding up the platform he was working on snapped in July 2003. His colleague, Peter Wilson, suffered fractures and internal injuries in the fall.

A jury at Sheffield Crown Court found that Apollo Cradles of Barnsley failed to ensure the safety of the painters due to inadequate inspections.

Apollo is now facing a fine of more than £100,000 and could be ordered to pay the entire £500,000 cost of an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

Bradway Construction, the firm which employed the painters, is also facing a fine after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to ensure the safety of its workers. Both firms will be sentenced on July 10.

David Redman, principal inspector with the HSE, told the Sheffield Star: "We're pleased with the outcome. This was a serious case which cost the life of one man and injured three others.

"Companies have a duty under the law to protect those who work for them and the court has found Apollo has failed in that duty."

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