Inquest into Worlingworth wall collapse deaths returns accidental verdict

VILLAGE SIGN - WORLINGWORTH ENGANL00120121029161514
VILLAGE SIGN - WORLINGWORTH ENGANL00120121029161514

An accidental death verdict has been returned for two men who died after a wall collapsed at a building site in Worlingworth.

Kevin Ruffles, 57, of Hollesley, and Matthew Skeet, 19, of Woodbridge, died at a building site at The Old Maltings, off Shop Street on Thursday, October 21, 2010.

The incident was investigated by the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, working closely with the Health and Safety Executive, and resulted in a criminal prosecution that concluded in February 2014 with one man being fined £15,000 and being ordered to pay £5,000 costs and a company being fined £45,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs, after they admitted health and safety breaches.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Smith, who led the enquiry, said: “The coroners’ court has heard the full circumstances of what happened and has concluded that both men died accidentally.

“This was a complex case to investigate. After the wall collapse the Malting’s building needed to be made safe before structural engineering experts and investigators could properly examine the site.

“This serves as a reminder to others in the construction industry of the ever present dangers in their work and the fatal consequences of failing to implement appropriate health and safety measures.”