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Cavendish Masonry fined for corporate manslaughter

Well Barn Estate - Generic Image copyright Andrew smith
Image caption The wall was being erected on the Well Barn Estate in Moulsford

A stonemasonry company whose employee was crushed to death by a two-tonne limestone block has been ordered to pay more than £237,000 in fines and costs.

David Evans, 23, was erecting a wall at the Well Barn Estate in Moulsford, Oxfordshire in 2010 when the block fell off a concrete lintel and crushed him.

Cavendish Masonry Ltd had been found guilty of corporate manslaughter and admitted a health and safety offence.

The Health and Safety Executive said the death was "completely avoidable".

HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said Cavendish Masonry, based in Maesteg, south Wales, had not properly planned the moving of the heavy limestone with a crane.

"The stone toppled because its shape was such that it was potentially unstable when freestanding, yet nothing was used to fix it in place.

"It needed to be sufficiently restrained before the lifting slings attaching it to the crane were removed."

Cavendish Masonry admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was found guilty of corporate manslaughter following a trial at Oxford Crown Court in May.

'Devastation and uncertainty'

The company was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £87,000 in costs.

Speaking after the conviction, the family of Mr Evans said there had been a "void in their lives" since his death.

"We miss his smile, his infectious laugh and his profoundly honest nature.

"We hope that these lessons are learned and communicated throughout the stonemason and construction industry.

We do not want another family to go through the devastation and uncertainty that we have experienced over the last four years and the pain of loss which will always be with us."

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