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Company Director Jailed after Death of Worker

The director of a warehousing firm has been jailed for 12 months following the death of one of his employees.


On 29 January 2014, 51 year old Paul Williamson was loading a controlled Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) on to a truck when it toppled off a set of ramps, crushing him. The father of three died from his injuries.

HSE Investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was no risk assessment in place. The equipment had only been in operation for eight days and inspectors found that there was no safe system of work in place. Furthermore, Manchester Crown Court heard that the gradient of the ramps were above the manufacturer’s specification and they were not secured to the lorry.


Keneth Thelwall, company director of Thorn Warehousing Ltd, was charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison and ordered to pay costs of £4,000. Mr Thelwell was also banned from being company director for seven years.

Thorn Warehousing Ltd was charged under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined a total of £166,000. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £10,400. Thorn Warehousing Ltd is currently in administration.

Helen Jones, HSE Inspector, said:

“Kenneth Thewall failed in his duty as a director to protect his workers. He was involved in the day-to-day running of Thorn Warehousing Ltd 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.

“This case should act as a stark warning to all company directors of their personal responsibility to protect their workers’ health and safety and the tragic consequences when they fail.”

Accident at work claim – speak to the experts

Accident at work compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that was not your fault. Your accident at work compensation claim could also include any instance of illness linked to your past or present working conditions.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation.
Call 0800 888 6 888 or email

Source: Health & Safety Executive

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