Director jailed for worker's death

Chris Tindall
September 14, 2016


A Cheshire businessman has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after one of his workers died when he was crushed while loading his HGV.

Paul Williamson died in January 2014 when a remote-controlled mobile elevated working platform (MEWP) fell from a set of ramps and toppled onto him.

Manchester Crown Court was told how Williamson had not been adequately trained on the use of the ramps, the truck and the MEWP. There were no risk assessment procedures in place and no safe system of work had been created for the equipment. The gradient of the ramps was above the manufacturer’s specification and they were not secured to the lorry.

Thorn Warehousing director Kenneth Thelwall was charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act and ordered to pay £4,000 costs. He was also disqualified from being a director for seven years.

Thorn Warehousing was fined £166,000 and ordered to pay £10,400 costs. The company is due to be dissolved later this month.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Helen Jones said: “Kenneth Thelwall failed in his duty as a director to protect his workers.

He was involved in the day-to-day running of Thorn Warehousing and should have ensured the company provided Paul Williamson with the right equipment and training to carry out his job. Had he done so, Mr Williamson would still be alive today.”

Thelwall was cleared of manslaughter in 2012 after a gate at the entrance to a Crewe haulage company leasing his land crushed a worker to death. He had previously pleaded guilty to health and safety charges brought by the local council.

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and quickly realised there was enough going on to keep him busy for a very long time. He’s covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning, Brexit and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of safe and secure lorry parks and he helped secure the release of a lorry driver in a Polish jail due to misuse of the European Arrest Warrant.

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