Manslaughter verdict for plane firm
An aerospace company based within Cambridge Airport has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter and fined hundreds of thousand of pounds.
CAV Aerospace Ltd is located at warehouses in Cambridge Airport. Contractor Paul Bowers was crushed to death by falling aircraft-grade aluminium in 2013. Despite the efforts of emergency services at the time, Bowers died at the scene. During the trial at the Old Bailey, the jury were told how the warehouse premises had been overcrowded with the storage of 'stringers' made with aircraft grade aluminium. The issue had been raised on several occasions over the years to senior managers, who had done nothing to rectify the situation.
Bowers was in a hallway, which although it should have been kept clear for health and safety purposes, it had been used to store surplus stock. The court heard that evidence suggested that Bowers may not have died if the area had been clear, as it should have been. The eight week trial ended with the company being found guilty of corporate manslaughter, and also guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. Prosecution costs of £125,000 are to be paid by the company, along with a fine of £600,000.
The Health and Safety at Work Act provides guidance for all employers to ensure that workers are able to work in a safe environment. This also includes the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) and wearing safety workwear. A health and safety representative said that it was hoped that the senior management at the company would learn from the tragedy.