Did you know you could personally be held accountable for an onsite accident? This actually happened in England a couple of years ago.

The Story

A company had an onsite death, and the employer ended up getting put in jail for it. The employee was a 17 year old who climbed a 22 foot ladder without any safety equipment. He fell and passed away from his injuries. The employer should have been using scaffolding for the type of job he was doing but instead regularly used teenagers to help with dangerous jobs.

Since the employer had shown a record of disregard for workers’ safety, the court decided to punish him. During the trial, a number of teens and young adults testified about dangers they faced while on the job working for him. Even when there were incidents, he did not make changes and yelled at his employees instead.

The judge said in his decision, “You exposed Beau to the very obvious risk of death by requiring him to carry out that work from a ladder. Your attitude throughout was arrogant, cavalier and utterly reckless.”

The employer will serve five years in prison for negligent homicide.

This story is especially sad because the young man lost his life because his employer chose to take dangerous risks rather than invest in quality equipment and training. The employer wanted to get the job done as quickly and cheaply as possible rather than as safely as possible. Use this story as a reminder of the importance of quality on the job site!