Company pleads guilty to health and safety offences after dad-to-be crushed to death

TRAGEDY: Richard Calsen died at welding firm John Fowler in Abbey Village, Chorley
TRAGEDY: Richard Calsen died at welding firm John Fowler in Abbey Village, Chorley
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The employers of a 25-year-old man who was crushed to death in a work accident have pleaded guilty to health and safety offences.

Father-to-be Richard Calsen, known as Chard, went into cardiac arrest at welding firm John Fowler and Son at Abbey Mill in Garden Street, Abbey Village, Chorley, on May 17 last year.

Members of his family attended a hearing before Preston Magistrates’ Court in which John Fowler and Sons admitted failing to ensure his health and safety whilst working in, or in close proximity to, refuse wagons.

The company will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on January 26.

However a second firm, Sheffield based Veolia Environmental Services, which owned the wagon he was working on, is expected to face a trial at Preston Crown Court on January 26, over an allegation a safety switch mechanism that would have stopped the tailgate closing fully, leaving a gap, was not maintained.

It also faces a charge of failing to ensure the health and safety of Mr Calsen whilst working in, or in close proximity to, refuse wagons.

Today HSE inspector Rohan Lye said as the victim and his colleague finished repairs on the wagon, his colleague pressed a lever to close the tailgate, as the tragic worker was at the back of the truck.

His partner Jade Halpin, 29, has since given birth to their daughter.