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  3. St Albans site manager handed jail sentence following death of worker

A site manager who had failed to comply with health and safety regulations has recently been given a suspended prison sentence.

Robert Shore, from Potters Bar, had been working in Smallford, Hertfordshire, at the former British Telecom Research site, when the incident occurred.


In 2011, work was taking place at the Smallford site that involved knocking down a couple of the buildings. Christopher Langton, 49, had been the site manager at that time, and was operating an excavator on top of a pile of debris. As he 'slewed' the excavator arm, with the bucket containing rubble, Langton observed that Shore was working close by. He immediately stopped the excavator arm from moving, but a large piece of concrete fell from the bucket and hit Shore on the head, resulting in his death.

Although the prosecutor stated that Langton had not meant to kill Shore, evidence suggested that the accident had been preventable, and that action that could have prevented Shore's death had not been taken. Despite Langton having a good site safety record, he had not fenced off the area while working on the excavator. Judge Warner was informed that the accident had changed Langton from a cheerful person to someone who was withdrawn and negative.

Langton was sentenced to five months in prison and suspended for 18 months, while also being ordered to pay costs of £3,500. In all cases, it is crucial to observe safety rules, which may include the use of PPE, in order to prevent illness, harm, or even death.

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