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Simon Antrobus KC secures acquittal for waste management company

Simon Antrobus KC, instructed by Nina Dhillon at Keoghs LLP, has secured the acquittal of a company within the waste management sector after a trial at the Old Bailey that was into its 4th week. Simon was defending the owner and operator of the site in which a contractor’s operative was crushed to death during the course of an operation to remove and replace a 3.2 tonne component. The contractor and the crane company that assisted with the contract lift both pleaded guilty, but the HSE maintained its prosecution of the owner of the site on the basis that this was work to which the CDM Regulations 2015 should have applied, and therefore in default of appointing a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor, the client was responsible for carrying out those duties, which it had failed to do.

The trial spent weeks examining the CDM Regulations and the issue of whether they did apply to maintenance work such as this, involving simply a like-for-like replacement of components, rather than more obvious and traditional construction work. It also transpired during the course of the trial that HSE inspectors themselves had doubted the application of the CDM Regulations before the instruction of a CDM specialist. The jury acquitted the company unanimously after a day of deliberation.

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