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Out-of-business Brentwood firm, Foxtel Ltd, fined £1 after man’s death

PUBLISHED: 10:38 19 August 2011 | UPDATED: 11:34 19 August 2011

A Brentwood firm which has gone out of business admitted breaching the Health and Safety Act resulting in a man’s death – and was fined £1.

Foxtel Ltd, which was based in Wates Way, was fined just £1 at the Old Bailey because it no longer trades and has no assets.

The company pleaded guilty in June to breaches of the law which resulted in the death of engineer Noel Corbin, 29, from New Addington, south London.

Mr Corbin was working for the company in Belsize Park, north London, on February 3 2008, and suffered fatal head injuries after he fell 13.5 metres from the side of a four-storey house onto a patio.

The Old Bailey heard last week safety equipment found in Mr Corbin’s van was unsuitable for the type of work he was undertaking.

Failings

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation exposed a number of failings at Foxtel Ltd, including failure to ensure work at height was properly planned, organised and monitored.

The Old Bailey heard Mr Corbin was working on a satellite TV dish on the property’s roof apex having gone through a dormer window.

Before his fall he was also seen working on another satellite dish located on a flat roof. Evidence suggests Mr Corbin fell from the flat roof or while walking across the sloping roof.

The court was told when Mr Corbin was first employed by Foxtel Ltd, references were not sourced from his previous employer, nor were any training certificates provided.

Mr Corbin was also not accompanied on any initial visits so therefore no assessment could be made of his competence.

Most of the work on satellite dishes Mr Corbin did involved work at height on large properties with more than two storeys.

Charles Linfoot, an HSE inspector, said: “Mr Corbin’s death has had a devastating effect on his family, made all the more tragic by the incident being easily preventable.

“Owing to the foreseeable risk of falling and the lack of suitable access equipment, the work should have been cancelled.

“I hope the conviction of Foxtel Ltd sends a clear message to other installation companies that where access to residential properties from height is required, companies are ultimately responsible for carrying out a full site-specific risk assessment.”


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