250 deaths at work every year
How safety cuts killed Simon Jones
THE FAMILY of a 24 year old student, Simon Jones, who was killed at work, won an important battle in the high court last week. A judges’ ruling opens the door for Simon’s employer, Euromin, to be tried for manslaughter. Simon’s case highlights the way that bosses across Britain flout health and safety, resulting in horrific deaths. Over 250 people a year are killed in this way.
Simon was killed in April 1998 after his head was crushed and partially severed by a crane within two hours of starting a job as a casual worker in Shoreham, West Sussex. The chains used for hauling cargo were wrongly welded to the inside of the crane’s grab jaws to save time and money. The grab was brought down too low and closed round Simon’s head. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) twice refused to bring a manslaughter prosecution, claiming there was not enough evidence that Euromin’s general manager, James Martell, was guilty of negligence.
One of the high court judges said the CPS ruling was “baffling” and “beggared belief”. The judges ordered the CPS to rethink its decision. “It’s taken nearly two years to get to this point,” said Colin Chambers, spokesperson for the Simon Jones Memorial campaign. “This government is concerned with having a casual, cheap labour economy, and they don’t care about the costs.”
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