An Inquest is currently on-going into the deaths of four men who died in an industrial accident in Norfolk. The four men from Suffolk, were crushed to death by a steel structure in 2011 at Claxton Engineering in Great Yarmouth.
The Jury has been told that the site's Health & Safety officer had issued warnings about working practices there.
The men were 4 feet below ground when a steel cage they were working in collapsed and crushed all four men. They had been working as sub contractors for the firm Encompass which had been asked to build a pressure test facility for the offshore industry.
The Jury heard that the then Health & Safety Manager for Claxton Engineering had voiced concerns about the men with regard to wearing personal protection equipment, and that there had been questions asked about how they got in and out of the structure they were building. In his own words it was described as a "tight squeeze".
The Health & Safety Manager suggested that, with hindsight, he ought to have done a full risk assessment on the site and asked Encompass to do their own. The Jury was also told there was no emergency response plan on site.
The Inquest is expected to last all week.
An Inquest is not a venue for finding fault. Generally, Inquests are only conducted when deaths are sudden or unexplained, and its role is to ascertain the facts of who died, when, where and how. The verdict can be, for example, natural death, accidental death, or death from industrial disease. Other verdicts might be suicide, murder or misadventure.
Although not attributing blame or fault, negligence, Inquests verdicts can be useful in personal injury cases, and often Solicitors will work with Coroners to share information that may assist the other. Jury Inquests are not usually the norm but can take place where fatal accidents occur in police or prison custody, after railway or air accidents and when fatal accidents occur at a workplace.
Tracey Graham is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Slater and Gordon have a nationwide team of specialist Inquest Solicitors. We fully understand that Inquests are often very difficult for families and loved ones. The Inquest is the only occasion when families can have questions about the death officially answered.
Our Inquest Solicitors will make sure you have the information and support you need, and ensure that the hearing is fair, and that you can find out as much information as the Inquest process allows.
For a free consultation call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.