Boss jailed for workman’s death fall

Scott Harrower 42, the workman who died in Manchester following a fall on building site, Tuesday January 21 2014.
Scott Harrower 42, the workman who died in Manchester following a fall on building site, Tuesday January 21 2014.

Two building firm directors have been jailed – after a Maddiston workman plunged from a roof and died.

The death of Scott Harrower (42) was the second serious workplace accident to occur on January 22, 2014 at a building site in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Hours before Mr Harrower suffered fatal injuries in the 25ft fall, another workmen, also from the Falkirk area, tumbled from the roof and suffered life-changing injuries, including fractures to the spine, pelvis, leg and arm.

Alan Thomson (52), the Falkirk-based boss of Building and Dismantling Contractors Ltd, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter after a Manchester Crown Court trial.

Today he was sentenced to six years in prison and his company was fined £400,000.

He was also banned from holding the position of company director for two years and must pay £55,000 costs.

Passing sentence, Honourable Justice Mark Turner slammed Thomson for a “callous and disgraceful” attempt to wrongly shift the blame on to the dead man by attempting to draw up bogus health and safety documents after the accident.

Michael Smith (52), boss of Rochdale’s C.Smith and Sons, was found guilty of failing to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment, failing to ensure work is planned, regulated and monitored in a way which ensure it is carried out without risks to safety and failing to ensure work at height is properly planned, adequately supervised and safely carried out.

He was jailed for eight months and fined £90,000.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Harrower’s partner Jane Watt said their two children were struggling to come to terms with the knowledge their father wouldn’t get to see them grow up.

She said: “Watching them suffering is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. There is nothing I can do or say to give them what they want – their father back.”

C.Smith and Sons won the contract to demolish the building, and as the ‘principal contractor’ drew up health and safety documents.

But just days before the work was due to commence, Mr Thomson’s firm was sub-contracted to dismantle the building and sell on the parts.