• Robert Spicer

Four workers killed on excavation site: companies and director prosecuted

Multiple deaths on excavation site: two companies and director sentenced

Health and Safety Executive v Claxton Engineering Services Ltd, Encompass Project Management Ltd and David Groucott (2017) Central Criminal Court, May 25

Statutory reference: ss.3 and 37 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA) and regulation 9 of the Construction (Design and Management Regulations 2007 (CDM).

Two companies and a director have been sentence following the deaths of four workers at an excavation site.

The facts

· In January 2011 workers were constructing a large steel structure as part of the foundations of a Pressure Test Facility at Claxton’s site in Great Yarmouth.

· The structure weighed several tonnes. It collapsed on top of the workers, causing fatal crush injuries to Adam Taylor, Peter Johnson, Thomas Hazelton and Daniel Hazelton.

· The decease were working for Hazegood Construction. Daniel Hazelton was an employee and the others were self-employed contractors. Encompass was the principal contractor and Hazegood was acting as contractor.

· There were serious flaws in the planning, management and monitoring of the project.

The decision

· Claxton Engineering Services was fined £500,000 plus £100,000 costs under regulation 9, CDM.

· Encompass Project Management was fined £200,000 plus £50,000 costs for a breach of s.3, HSWA.

· David Groucott, a director of Encompass, was sentenced to seven and a half months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, 200 hours of unpaid community service and £7500 costs, under s.37, HSWA.

An HSE inspector commented that this had been a long term, large scale and complex engineering project which needed to be planned, designed and managed effectively.

Recent Posts

See All


England’s coronavirus ban on evictions came to an end on May 32, 2021. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has reported that 400,000 private renters have been served with eviction notices or told to expect


DAMAGES Lost years of earnings Case Head v Culver Heating Co Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 34 Facts H was the managing director of EMSL, his own heating and ventilation company. He was negligently exposed to as

More recent employment cases

RACE DISCRIMINATION Harassment Stale training Case Allay (UK) Ltd v Gehlen UKEAT/0031/20/AT Facts G, a man of Indian origin, was employed by A in October 2016. In August 2017 he told his line manager