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29th September 2016
STOP PRESS: HSE to prosecute
manufacturing company following Red Arrow pilot death
The Health and
Safety Executive (HSE) has informed an ejection seat manufacturer that it will
be prosecuted following the death of Flt Lt Sean Cunningham on 8 November 2011.
David Butter said:
“HSE has today
informed Martin Baker Aircraft Ltd that it will be prosecuted for an alleged
breach of health and safety law. The charges relate to the death of Flt Lt Sean
Cunningham in November 2011 at RAF Scampton. We have conducted
a thorough investigation and consider there is sufficient evidence and it is in
the public interest to bring a prosecution.”
HSE was handed
primacy of the investigation following a MOD Service Inquiry, investigations by
the civilian and military police, and technical investigations involving the
Military Aviation Authority and the Military Air Accident Investigation Branch.
Flt Lt Cunningham
was a Red Arrows pilot. He died after his ejector seat initiated during the
pre-flight checks of his Hawk XX177 jet while on the ground and stationary at
the Lincolnshire airbase.
Aircraft Company Ltd, Lower Road, Higher Denham, bear Uxbridge will appear at
Lincoln Magistrates Court, date to be confirmed, to face a Section 3 Charge
under the Health and Safety of Work Act.
The alleged breach
is Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which states:
“It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a
way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his
employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to
their health or safety.”
Now that criminal
proceedings have commenced your attention is drawn to the fact that the
provisions of the Contempt of Court Act apply to this matter. HSE, therefore, will not give media interviews until court
proceedings are concluded.
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