Company's guilt over school tragedy

A CONSTRUCTION company who built Eastbury School have admitted fault after a man was crushed to death by a forklift truck on their site. Bouygues UK Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges under sections two and three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

A CONSTRUCTION company who built Eastbury School have admitted fault after a man was crushed to death by a forklift truck on their site.

Bouygues UK Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges under sections two and three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

At Barking Court on April 1 the company admitted failing to ensure employee safety and the safety of others on the building site.

Robert Caston, then 52, was crushed to death on June 6 2005 as he worked at Eastbury School in Rosslyn Road, Barking.


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He had been carrying shelving across the building site when he went under the wheels of a reversing forklift truck.

Site rules stated that all vehicles should be reversed with the help of a "banksman" to direct the driver - but in this case that was not done.

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At an inquest into the death of Mr Caston, who lived in Lombard Avenue, Seven Kings, a jury decided that he died because the forklift truck driver had a restricted view and there was no banksman present.

Mr Caston was not working on the building site but within the existing school building on the day he died.

He was married with children and grandchildren and was described by his wife Christine as a "dedicated family man".

The driver of the forklift truck, Virgillo Almieda Silva, claimed he had requested a banksman from his bosses but was not answered.

However this was challenged by Bouygues UK Ltd who denied the conversation took place.

Police decided not to press criminal charges against anyone involved in the tragic accident.

But HM government Health and Safety inspectors investigated Mr Caston's death and the matter was brought to court.

Last week Barking Magistrates declined jurisdiction of the case and it was committed to Crown Court for sentencing.

Bouygues UK Ltd will appear at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Thursday April 23.

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