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We’re not responsible for death – drinks firm
3:10pm Friday 15th June 2012 in News
A LEDBURY drinks firm has denied responsibility for an accident that led to the death of a 51-year-old man in a 30ft fall from scaffolding.
An eight-day trial is due to be held next year after Universal Beverages Ltd (UBL) pleaded not guilty at Worcester Crown Court to two charges brought by the Health and Safety Executive relating to the incident in which welder Gordon Docherty died.
The firm, which employs 160 people, denies charges of failing in its duty to ensure the safety of non-employees, including Mr Docherty, and of failing to ensure the scaffolding had been properly inspected.
Mr Docherty, a father-offour from Bristol, was working as a welder on the site for I.C. Electrical when he fell to his death on October 1, 2009.
He landed on his head from a height of 10 metres and was declared dead as soon as paramedics arrived.
Scaffolding firm Central Roofing and Building Services, trading as Erecta-scaffold admitted two charges.
UBL, whose site is Europe’s largest cider mill, pleaded guilty to failing to discharge its duty to ensure nonemployees, including Mr Docherty, were not at risk and of causing its employee, Jonathan Boden, to carry out an inspection he was not competent to conduct.
Sentence will be passed after the trial of UBL which is scheduled to start on January 29, 2013.
An inquest jury recorded a verdict of accidental death last year.