The telecommunications firm, British Telecomms PLC (BT) have been order to pay £196,150 in costs for an incident which led to the death of one of their engineers.

David Askew, 52 was reportedly working as an engineer for BT, installing distribution boards and running cabling work at north London’s Canonbury Telephone Exchange. While carrying out this work, Mr Askew had used a seven foot wooden step ladder kept at the site. Mr Askew, who was working alone, was at the top rung of the nine step ladder when he fell from the ladder and sustained grave injuries. He reportedly died 18 days after the tragic incident.

Following an investigation by the HSE it was reported that the company had not provided suitable ladders hence Mr Askew used a wooden ladder kept at the site, which was not subjected to the company’s annual inspection as per their policy.

The magistrate at the court also heard that staff working at the company, had to follow inaccurate advice written in BT’s manuals which did not include the latest guidelines followed in the current legislation.

Mr Askew’s work for working at height was also not properly calculated and planned. Moreover, the experienced engineer was also given access to the required equipment needed for working at heights.
Following a trial in October this year were BT was convicted, the telecommunications firm was recently fined £300,00 for significant failings on their part and breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

BT however was not satisfied with the verdict and said that they were planning to appeal against the sentence.