May 10, 2022 1.00 pm

Teen killed by works van wasn’t given induction for job on Boston housing estate

A prosecution has been brought by the Health and Safety Executive

A teenage groundworker who died following an accident on a new housing estate had not received an induction for the job he was doing that day, a jury has been told.

Josh Disdel 18, from Holbeach, was working in a manhole at the White Bridges site off St Thomas Drive, in Boston, when he was hit by a van being driven by a work colleague on the morning of Friday, July 13, 2018.

The teenager, who was just a few weeks into his job, was driven to Boston Pilgrim Hospital but died later the same day after being transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

The Health and Safety Executive has since brought a prosecution.

A jury at Lincoln Crown Court heard Lincolnshire Police initially began investigating the accident as a road traffic collision on the day of the accident.

A joint investigation was launched but it was later handed over to the Health and Safety Executive after the matter was reported to them.

Lead health and safety investigator, Mark Welsh, carried out the investigation for the Health and Safety Investigation after the incident was reported to them.

Giving evidence at Lincoln Crown Court, Mr Welsh confirmed no induction was carried out for the work Mr Disdel carried out on the day of his accident, and there was no written checklist completed.

The jury heard Mr Disdel did receive an induction on a different site run by the principal contractor at White Bridges, D.Brown (Building Contractors) Ltd) six weeks earlier on June 5, 2018.

Two individuals and one company are standing trial at Lincoln Crown Court accused of health and safety at work breaches.

A second company has admitted breaching health and safety.

P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Ltd, who employed Mr Disdel and were groundworking sub-contractors on the housing estate project, have pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to ensure the health and safety at work of one its employees.

Brent Woods, who was a construction manager for P&R Plant Hire (Lincolnshire) Ltd, denies a single charge of failing to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of Josh Disdel.

D. Brown (Building Contractors) Ltd, who were the main contractors on the housing estate project, deny failing to ensure the health and safety of a person other than an employee.

Darrell Tripp, who was site manager for D. Brown on the White Bridges project, also denies failing to take reasonable care to ensure the health and safety of others.

Craig Hassall QC, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive, told the jury Mr Disdel had been picked up by a colleague and taken to White Bridges where they were tasked to lift up manhole covers on the new estate to clean the drains.

The jury heard work on three manholes was completed and Mr Disdel was lying with his body half way into a fourth manhole when their van was moved so another vehicle could use the road.

Mr Disdel, who was still working in the manhole, was trapped in the collision, Mr Hasall told the jury.

The prosecution alleged that procedures put in place by all of the companies had been abandoned by the time Mr Disdel carried out the job.

“The abandonment of those procedures cost Josh Disdel his life,” Mr Hassall alleged.

The trial continues.