Foreman says he thought stones ‘should have stayed in position’

The Oxford Times: Oxford Crown Court Oxford Crown Court

THE foreman of a building site where a man was killed by a falling two-tonne block of limestone has said he didn’t think it needed restraints.

Bristol and Bath-based firm Cavendish Masonry is on trial at Oxford Crown Court accused of corporate manslaughter following the death of their employee David Evans on February 9, 2010.

Oliver Glasgow, prosecu-ting, said the 23-year-old was working on a building project at the Well Barn Estate in Moulsford near Wallingford when a piece of limestone, which was being used to create a “rustic wall” resembling a rock face, toppled over.

The barrister said “almost non-existent planning had gone into this part of the project” and the company had committed a gross breach of the duty of care it owed its employee.

Yesterday the trial heard evidence from site foreman Lee Muxlowe, who said he had worked in the business for 23 years.

Mr Glasgow asked him why there were no restraints used to hold the block in place once it had been lowered into place by a crane.

He said: “They were so big they were supposed to support themselves. We would take a view as to whether we needed stainless steel fixers at a later stage.”

He added: “We didn’t work out the centre of gravity – they were big stones, they should have been lifted down and stayed in position. In my mind that was good enough.”

The trial continues.

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