Inquest finds safety failures led to worker's death

Heysham Wind Farm
Heysham Wind Farm
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Jurors at the inquest of a worker crushed when a trench collapsed have found the failure to carry out a risk assessment and take preventative measures contributed to his death.

James Sim, 32, affectionately known as Ginger, was working as a contractor for LD Oliver on a construction site linked to a windfarm project off Lancashire's coast.

He had been working on pipelines close to the Heysham windfarm, near Lancaster, during a scheme to connect wiring to the farm to extract the electricity.

But on April 14, 2010, the trench he was working in collapsed on top of him, knocking him unconscious.

His colleagues frantically tried to free him and he was trapped beneath the rubble for around 40 minutes.

Mr Sim, from Barry, South Wales, was flown by air ambulance to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary where he was placed in intensive care on life support.

On April 23, he died after contracting pneumonia, and remaining unresponsive, with the cause of his death being lack of oxygen to the brain.

Jurors reached a narrative verdict - where the circumstances of a death are recorded without attributing the cause to a named individual.

In a written conclusion they said: "There was no evidence of any risk assessment being carried out in regards to trench safety on the morning of April 14, which was a major contributing factor to the injuries sustained by James leading to his death.