How often does this happen, companies fined by the courts manage to avoid payment by entering liquidation. In this case Rutherglen based, PJL Construction were fined £36500 with £17500 costs, fines that will never be paid as the company were wound up by the Inland Revenue earlier this year.
Ionel Soci from Romania had returned for a second spell working in the United Kiingdom to provide security for his son and pregnant wife, he had been employed by PJL on a biomass construction project in Cornwall, he never returned to his homeland to see the birth of his second child.
In the BBC court report a company spokesperson said there had been “experienced staff on site and nobody could have anticipated Mr Sovi doing what a fellow worker described as an act of madness“.
This shockingly insensitive view is made even more so by the fact that one month after this tragedy, presumably as part of the investigation PJL Construction were issued with an improvement notice by the HSE for “failing to appoint one or more competent person to assist them in undertaking the measures they needed to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon them by or under the relevant statutory provisions”.
Employers have to ensure all workers have the necessary skills, training and understanding of our health and safety laws, this should be ascertained as part of the recruitment process. If these cannot be evidenced and companies are not willing to provide skills and development in this area then they should not be employed.