Fine given to Warrington construction firm is ‘a warning’

Michael Hunt

The Government is warning construction firms to make sure health and safety is kept under review, following a hefty fine given out to the Warrington-based company Sellafield last night.

The construction firm was fined after it pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court to its involvement in an incident which tragically led to the death of 36-year-old Neil Cannon, an employee of Middlesbrough-based sub-contractor P C Richardson & Co, on 9 January 2003.

The incident happened whilst work was taking place to decommission one of the pile chimneys on the Sellafield site in Cumbria.

Cannon was removing steelwork inside the chimney when he fell approximately 95 metres and suffered fatal injuries.

Sellafield, operating – at the time – under the name of British Nuclear Fuels, was fined £150,000 for its failure to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure that persons not in its employment, but who were affected by it, were not exposed to risks to their safety. The firm was also ordered to pay £50,500 costs.

PC Richardson & Co was fined £100,000 for its failure to conduct its undertaking in such a way as to ensure that its employees were not exposed to risks to their safety. The company was also ordered to pay £25,000 costs.

Sellafield was the client and principal contractor, while P C Richardson & Co was the decommissioning and demolition sub-contractor.

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