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March 19, 2014

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Court hears that forklift was ‘unsuitable’ after death on Costain development


A forklift truck that crushed its driver to death was unsuitable for the job it was doing and should not have been used, Reading Crown Court has heard. Telehandler trainer Michael Dixon told the court that a “mobile crane or smaller machine” should have been used.

This follows the death of 41-year-old father-of-two, Mark Williams from Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire, who died while working on the Parkway shopping centre development in Newbury, Berkshire in July 2011. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Dixon said the space was too small for the Telehandler and the risks should have been identified while the work was being planned.

At the time of his death, his mother, Mrs Williams-Long, 63, said: “I know every mum says this, but, honest to God, he was the best son ever. 

“He was just the most fantastic person. When he went away, he would phone me every single day.” 

Developer Costain, based in Maidenhead, and contractor Attleys Roofing in Banbury – are on trial after pleading not guilty to breaching health and safety laws.

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