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A director of a company has been disqualified from being a director for seven years and sentenced to jail after a 51-year-old man died at work.

Paul Williamson, a father of three, was loading a remote controlled Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) onto a truck, when it toppled over and fell on him. The incident occurred in January 2014.

Manchester Crown Court was informed that Williamson had not received adequate training in the use of the MEWP, the ramps or the lorry. In addition, the company had failed to conduct a risk assessment and a safe system of work had not been in place for the MEWP, which had been used for the previous eight days. The ramps were not secured to the lorry and the ramp gradient exceeded the manufacturer's specification. The MEWP, which was a Spider 1800, fell off the ramps, crushing the employee.

The director of Thorn Warehousing Ltd, Kenneth Thelwall, was sentenced to 112 months in prison, and also forbidden from holding any director role within a company until 2023. He was ordered to pay costs of £4,000. The company was fined £166,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,400, and is now in administration.

Helen Jones, HSE inspector, said that the director failed to protect his workers from harm, adding that as he was involved in the daily running of the company, he should have made sure that Williamson had the correct equipment and training. Equipment for manual jobs like this usually includes PPE.

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