A health and safety prosecution in which Charles Bagot, a specialist Personal Injury Barrister, acted for Bradway Construction, a firm of building contractors, has been featured on BBC regional TV and in the local media in South Yorkshire.
The prosecution arose from a fatal accident when a painting cradle suspended on the outside of a tower block collapsed causing four painters employed by Bradway Construction to fall to a flat roof below. One of the painters died and the other three sustained serious injuries. Apollo Cradles which supplied the cradle certified that it had carried out statutory ‘thorough examinations’, but had failed to strip down and examine an old bracket which subsequently snapped due to corrosion and metal fatigue from the use of threaded bolts, causing the collapse. Damage to the bracket could have been detected with a ‘visual or tactile examination.’ The Judge said that the examinations were ‘cursory and superficial’ and that stripping down the bracket would have ‘taken minutes, been cost-neutral and involved nothing more than a couple of spanners.’ Bradway failed to ensure a safe working environment by not ensuring that the painters were adequately trained in how to use the cradle and to report any malfunctioning. It transpired later that a safety brake had been tripping on a regular basis but the painters did not report this as they did not realise that it was anything more than an annoyance.
Bradway pleaded guilty to a breach of s.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Apollo Cradles pleaded not guilty to two health and safety offences but was convicted by a jury after a 4 week trial. At Sheffield Crown Court on 29 July 2008, Judge Robertshaw sentenced Apollo Cradles to pay a fine of £115,000 and costs of £45,000 and sentenced Bradway to pay a fine of £25,000 and costs of £18,000.
In representing Bradway in the health and safety prosecution, Charles Bagot was led by William Lowe QC and instructed by Berrymans Lace Mawer Solicitors, Leeds office.
Charles Bagot was also instructed for Bradway (and its insurers Allianz) in the long-running civil litigation arising out the employees’ claims for personal injury damages and Bradway’s claim against Apollo Cradles to recover the damages paid to its employees.’
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