£200,000 fine for corporate manslaughter.

The building and joining firm, Peter Mawson Ltd, and its owner were sentenced on 3 February 2015 at Preston Crown Court, following an incident in 2011 where a man died after falling through a fragile roof.

The emergency services attended West Cumberland Farmers LTD, Lindal, Ulverston, following a report that a man had fallen through a roof. The 42 year old employee had been working on the roof and had fallen through the skylight from a height of approximately 7.6 meters onto a concrete floor. He was taken to Furness General Hospital where he died a short time later.

The firm pleaded guilty in December 2014 to a charge of corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 and a charge of failing to ensure the safety of its employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The firm was fined £200,000 and £20,000 respectively for the offences.

Peter Mawson, owner of the company, pleaded guilty to the same breach under the 1974 Act and was sentenced to: eight months imprisonment; 2 year suspension; 200 hours unpaid work; a publicity order to advertise what happened on the company website for a set period of time and on half page spread in the local newspaper; and, pay costs of £31,504.77.

Chris Hatton, the investigating inspector at HSE, added:

“Jason tragically lost his life because the company that employed him did nothing to make sure he was safe while he worked on a fragile roof. Peter Mawson knew the clear panels on the roof weren’t safe to walk on but neither he nor his company provided any equipment to prevent workers falling to their death. If scaffolding or netting had been fitted under the fragile panels, or covers had been fitted over them, then Jason would still be here today.”

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