Travis Perkins fined £2m after death of customer

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A builders’ retailer which has its HQ in Northampton has been fined £2 million following the death of a customer in an “accident waiting to happen”.

Mark John Pointer, 44, died after being crushed by a company vehicle at the premises of Travis Perkins Trading Company Limited in Old Wolverton in Milton Keynes.

The tragedy happened in November 2012. when Mr Pointer was loading planks of wood onto the roof rack of his Land Rover and fell backwards onto the yard surface.

He was then run over by the wheels of a company vehicle operating in the yard.

Mr Pointer died from crushing injuries.

Travis Perkins appeared before Amersham Crown Court yesterday for sentence, after previously pleading guilty to two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The company initially denied the causal link between the offences and the death but subsequently conceded that point.

As well as the fine, the company was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £114, 812.76.

Following the hearing, the investigating officer Martin Brown, Environmental Health Team Leader with Milton Keynes Council, said: “We are pleased with the result and fine imposed as it reiterates the importance of treating health and safety seriously.”

He added; “While the term ‘health and safety’ is often incorrectly associated with trivial matters, true health and safety breaches can have devastating consequences as they did on this occasion.

“Individuals falling whilst loading and unloading vehicles is a common risk. The company had failed to ensure loading and unloading activities were undertaken in a safe manner in a safe area.”

In sentencing the company, Judge Justin Cole said he took the view that this “was an accident waiting to happen”.