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McLaren motor firm division found guilty following fall death

A division of Formula One motor firm McLaren has been found guilty of two health and safety charges over the death of a senior engineer.

David Oldham fell while inspecting the company's Brand Centre - a mobile building taken to Grand Prix meetings - at a warehouse in Maidenhead in 2016.

Mr Oldham's employer Zurich Management Services was found not guilty of a safety offence.

McLaren Services will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on 31 March.

Mr Oldham, a “distinguished senior engineer”, was working on a level with exposed edges while inspecting the brand centre's ceiling, the jury was told.

He was found on the floor of the warehouse and taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital where he died on 19 October, the court heard.

Alex Stein, prosecuting, said McLaren Services updated its health and safety policy for working at height in December 2016. He said the changes “show the practical steps McLaren could and should have taken before the accident”.

The firm was found guilty of failing to ensure that both employees and other people were not exposed to the risk of falling from height.

In a statement, the HSE, which brought the case, said: “We note the jury's verdict and now await the sentencing of McLaren Services Limited. Our thoughts remain with David Oldham's family.”

BBC News February 2023

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