Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 14:14 UK

Fine after man dies in lorry fall

A construction company has been fined 120,000 after a worker fell to his death at one of its yards.

Lorry driver Nigel Sargeant, 45, plunged 15ft (4.6m) to the ground as he was trying to reduce the height of his trailer-load of steel poles.

He suffered head injuries and died the day after the accident in Boston in August 2005, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Ltd was found guilty of two health and safety charges by a jury in May.

Timber poles

The firm was found guilty of failing to have a suitable risk assessment carried out in relation to loading steel poles and working at height at the Calders and Grandidge depot in Boston.

It was also convicted of failing to have effective planning and protective measures for the introduction of new products, but jurors were unable to reach a verdict on a charge that the firm failed to ensure a safe system of work in relation to the loading of steel poles.

The firm was also ordered to pay 51,000 in costs.

Saint-Gobain Building Distribution Ltd, which is part of a construction materials group, supplies poles from its depots.

The poles were traditionally made of timber, but in early 2005 the firm switched to steel - which Mr Sargeant had never before delivered in a full load.

Ninety-six poles, bound for Northern Ireland, were put on his trailer, but Mr Sargeant climbed on to the load to try to reduce the height.

A fellow driver, David Allen, found him unconscious on the ground after climbing on the trailer to help him with the task.


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