Guilty verdicts over Lincolnshire groundworker killed on site


Two individuals and a company have been found guilty of health and safety breaches following the death of a teenage construction worker.


Josh Disdel, 18, was in a manhole at a site in Boston, Lincolnshire, when he was hit by a works van on 13 July 2018.


The groundworker was just a few weeks into his new job when he died, Lincoln Crown Court was told. The prosecution was brought by the HSE.


The court was told Mr Disdel, from Holbeach, had been picked up by a colleague and taken to the White Bridges site to lift up manhole covers on the new estate and clean the drains. Work on three manholes had been completed and Mr Disdel was lying with his body halfway into a fourth when their van was moved so another vehicle could use the road, jurors heard.

Craig Hassall QC, prosecuting for the HSE, said Mr Disdel, who was still working in the manhole, was trapped in the collision.


No training

The court heard no induction had been carried out for the work he was doing and there was no written checklist completed.


Procedures put in place by the companies had been abandoned by the time of the job “which cost Josh Disdel his life”, prosecutors told the trial.


Brent Woods, who was a construction manager for P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Ltd, was convicted by a majority verdict of a single charge of failing to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of Mr Disdel.


D. Brown (Building Contractors) Ltd, who were the main contractors on the housing estate project, had denied failing to ensure the health and safety of a person other than an employee. The firm was found guilty of the offence by a unanimous verdict.


Darrell Tripp, who was site manager for D. Brown on the White Bridges project, had denied failing to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of others. He was also found guilty of the offence by a unanimous verdict.


P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Ltd, who employed Mr Disdel and were groundworking sub-contractors on the housing estate project, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to ensure the health and safety at work of one its employees.


Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight adjourned sentencing to a further date yet to fixed [at time of writing].


BBC News May 2022



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