Published at:

The death of a construction worker on the Isle of Wight in 2016 has led to 3 local firms being fined a total of £256,667.

Ryde Demolition, Stoneham Construction and HJ Bennett Ltd have each been fined tens of thousands of pounds and ordered to pay £12,000 costs following the death of 53-year-old David Shayler.

Portsmouth Crown Court has this week heard how Mr Shayler, an employee of Ryde Demolition Limited, was removing roof timbers by hand with a colleague when a gable wall partially collapsed, causing him to fall backwards striking his head against a stack of roof tiles.

Article continues below this advertisement

Mr Shayler, a father-of-2 from Ryde, died in Southampton General Hospital just days after the fatal incident at Atkinson House in Newport on 13th October 2016.

Police, the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service all attended the scene early on the Thursday morning. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance then airlifted Mr Shayler to Southampton General Hospital, where he was placed on life support. He died just 6 days later as a result of head and neck injuries.

Now, almost 4 years after the fatal incident, Judge Timothy Mousley QC has handed out massive fines.

Photo: Supplied by HSE

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work was inadequately planned and managed by all the duty holders involved in the project, the technique used to remove the roof timbers was done out of sequence, and the brick gable had been left unstable. In addition, inadequate provision was made to prevent falls from height, despite concerns raised by workers in the days leading up to the incident.

Ryde Demolition Ltd of St Johns Hill, Ryde pleaded guilty to breaching 2 counts of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,132.02.

Article continues below this advertisement

HJ Bennett Ltd, which is to cease trading, pleaded guilty to breaching 2 counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,057.62.

Stoneham Construction Limited of St Johns Place, Newport have pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 and have been fined £56,667 and ordered to pay costs of £12,004.42.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said:

“This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the companies’ failure to implement safe systems of work.

“Demolition is a high-risk activity whose safe execution is complex and technical and where expertise is vital. The risk of unintended structural collapse is well known within the industry. Demolition requires careful planning and execution by contractors who are competent in the full range of demolition techniques.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country, and the risks associated with working at height are well known. In this case the risks of structural collapse and falling from height were not controlled, which led to the preventable death of a father-of-two.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sarah Sierra

That poor family, my heart goes out to them

Old bean

Disgusting a family lost there husband/dad / son and that’s all was handed out is fines hope people in charge of that site rot in hell


Does Health and Safety exist on the Island!

John Smith

The problem is its the sort of thing that people and companies always think it won’t happen to them, but then this shows that it can happen at any time and to anyone. Let hopes the companies have taken notice and have raised their standards going forward to prevent something like this happening to someone else, and to prevent another sad loss of life, and the lasting affect it will be having on this persons family and friends.

Big Mac

 Health and safety in all trades should be a priority for all companies. most of the large companies do their best to comply. The problem exists because of lack of policing by the authorities, all the time you have the guy who works out of the boot of his car and gives clients a excessively lower price that they are quite happy to accept, the bigger firms will be compromised every body should be singing from the same song sheet. I agree these firms should have known better as they are long established and would I,m sure been much more… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Big Mac
Football Betting Site Betway

Join our daily newsletter

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets