A construction company boss has been convicted of the manslaughter of a worker who fell two storeys to his death on a building site.
Graham Tester, 60, died when he fell from height at a building site in Hove, East Sussex, in July 2018 after a ladder was not secured properly.
Steven Wenham, 48, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter and his company Total Contractor’s Ltd was convicted of breaking two health and safety laws over the accident.
Another building firm boss, John Spiller, 52, who runs roofing company, Southern Asphalt Ltd, was found not guilty of manslaughter, but convicted of a health and safety charge for failing to properly safeguard against serious injury of death from a fall from height.
The roofing firm also pleaded guilty to the same offence at Lewes Crown Court last Thursday.
Mr Tester was working as a roofer sub-contracted by Southern Asphalt when he fell two storeys from a ladder to his death.
An inspection from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found multiple safety failings including no scaffolding or barriers to protect those working at a height.
The ladder Mr Tester was using was found to have only been secured with two nails hammered into a timber frame on either side.
Detective Inspector James Meanwell of Sussex Police said on Saturday after the conviction: “Employers owe a duty of care to their employees.
“Steven Wenham and John Spiller failed in that duty – the consequences of which were Graham’s tragic death and an irreparable loss to his children and grandchildren.
“It is my hope that Sussex Police’s investigation and the subsequent trial were able to answer his family’s questions and offer them some measure of comfort that justice has been done.”
Wenham, of Brighton, East Sussex, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence, while both he and his company that was also responsible for running the site were also found guilty of two offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act regarding failure to properly safeguard against serious injury or death from a fall from height.
Spiller, of Portslade, East Sussex, was found not guilty of manslaughter, but convicted of an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act regarding a failure to properly safeguard against serious injury of death from a fall from height.
Both men have been released on bail ahead of their sentencing hearing at the same court in June.