Contractors fined over sewer death

Liverpool Crown Court yesterday ordered two contractors to pay a total of £300,000 following the death of labourer Joseph Alan Reynolds in October 2003.Future Environmental Services of Preston and Manchester firm Bethell Construction were found guilty of health and safety breeches.

Each was fined £50,000. Future Environmental Services was ordered to pay full costs of £14,079 and Bethell was ordered to pay full costs of £49,110.

Liverpool labourer Joseph Alan Reynolds, normally referred to as Alan, fell five metres to his death over an unprotected edge in an Oldham sewer overflow on 17 October 2003.

Bethell had been hired by United Utilities to carry out maintenance work in the overflow. They, in turn, had hired Future Environmental Services to carry out the work. Bethell was in control of the site.

Alan Reynolds worked for Daniels Contractors, but was hired out to Grisedale 2000. Grisedale hired Alan, together with his colleague Thomas Cullen, to Future Environmental Services to work in the sewer overflow for two days, clearing debris from the main sewer that lies 12 metres underground, and is reached via a landing.

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