Yarmouth building site crush deaths companies fined

(clockwise from top left) Daniel Hazelton, Adam Taylor, Thomas Hazelton, Peter Johnson Image copyright Contributed
Image caption Daniel Hazelton, Adam Taylor, Thomas Hazelton and Peter Johnson (clockwise from top left)

Two companies have been fined a total of £700,000 after four workers were crushed to death at a building site.

Daniel Hazelton, 30, his brother Thomas Hazelton, 26, Adam Taylor, 28, and Peter Johnson, 41, were killed when a steel cage collapsed.

It happened at Claxton Engineering Services in North River Road, Great Yarmouth, on 21 January 2011.

Encompass Project Management Ltd and Claxton pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to a health and safety breach.

Image copyright HSE
Image caption The steel reinforcement structure before its collapse

Claxton Engineering Services, of Ferry Road, Norwich, was fined £500,000 with £100,000 costs.

Encompass Project Management of Old Market Street, Thetford, was fined £200,000 with costs of £50,000.

David Groucott, of Diss, a director of Encompass, was given a seven and a half month prison sentence, suspended for two years, as well as community work and a fine.

A third company Hazegood Construction Ltd based in Stowmarket has gone into liquidation.

Image copyright HSE
Image caption The steel reinforcement structure on 22 January 2011, the day after the accident

The four men were crushed under 13 tonnes of steel when a structure collapsed.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found serious flaws in the planning, management and monitoring of a "long-term, large-scale and complex civil engineering project".

Annette Hall from the HSE said those sentenced "failed the four workers who died" and she described the accident as "entirely preventable".

The Hazelton brothers and Mr Johnson were from Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and Mr Taylor was from nearby Rickingham.

An inquest in February 2014 concluded their deaths were accidental.

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