Inter Law – Accident at work provokes outrage in steeplejacks mother

Accident at work provokes outrage in steeplejack”s mother – 06/04/2017

A mother has said a new law regarding corporate manslaughter needs to be harsher after her son was killed at work.

Craig Whelan, 23, a steeplejack, was killed when an explosion sent a fireball hurtling upwards towards him and a colleague as they worked in a metal chimney in a horrific accident at work. The incident occurred at the Carnauld Metal Box plant in 2002 and his colleague, Paul Wakefield, was also killed.

Two Metal Box employees were charged with manslaughter after the incident, however the charges were dropped. Three employees eventually admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and were fined a total of £17,000.

A new corporate manslaughter law comes into practice this year but Craig’s mother, Linda, says it is not enough: “I’m very disappointed with the new law. Fining companies isn’t enough. Company directors should be held to account when someone is killed at work. At the end of the day instructions in a company come from the top.”

“They should be given prison sentences but under the new law no-one will go to prison,” she added.

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