Imprisonment of health and safety consultant

Independent health and safety consultant Richard Golding was sentenced to prison this week following a fatal incident.

Mr Golding was convicted under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (a failure to take reasonable care). He was sentenced alongside Commercial Director Conrad Sidebottom, who was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter.

The deceased was working in an unsupported excavation trench for Siday Construction Limited when the side wall collapsed and he was fatally crushed. Both defendants were found to be aware of the dangers posed by the condition of the excavations.

Mr Sidebottom, as Commercial Director of the deceased’s employer, failed to take any remedial steps to ensure the safety of employees.
The relevant method statement, drafted by Mr Golding, was found to be inadequate. Mr Golding was also responsible for conducting regular health and safety inspections on site.

The inspections should have taken about four hours, but the Court was told that visits were limited to two hours because of parking restrictions in the area. Despite having the power to do so, Mr Golding did not stop the works and claimed not to have seen the dangerous trenches as they were hidden under boards.

Mr Sidebottom was jailed for 3 years and Mr Golding for 9 months.