McLaren team has been fined by Health and Safety Executive after it holds them responsible for worker’s death at Woking.

The case goes back to 2016 when David Oldham died while working at one of McLaren’s warehouses on Vanwall Road. The McLaren Paddock Brand Centre which they use as hospitality unit at European F1 races was undergoing maintenance work.

Oldham, 55-years, worked for Zurich Management Services Limited, was onsite and fell from one of the upper floors as he later died of his injuries. The incident took place on October 18 of 2016, with a case registered by his wife Patricia.

Upon a long investigation by HSE, it was found that McLaren ‘had failed properly assess the risks and to put measures in place to prevent workers falling from height at its Paddock Brand Centre’, which one of the prime causes of any fatal incident.

After seven years, McLaren has been fined £650,000 as a result after Patricia said that she was robbed of her husband. “Davey was my husband for a short 14 years, although we had been together for 18 years,” she said. “We had a happy time together and loved each other very much. He took care of me and I in turn took care of him.

“Our relationship was the kind that we could silently communicate to each other from the other side of the room.  We used to work together and that is how we met and became good friends.  Our wonderful, blended family consists of five grown up children, Chris, Dale, Nikki, Andy, and Simon.  We have seven grandchildren and even a great-grandson!  Dave loved his family and spoilt all of the grandchildren.

“A few months before he was killed at McLaren’s Paddock Brand Centre, we had taken all the grandchildren on holiday to Spain. We had an amazing time, especially poignant now given these circumstances. Dave was the kind of man who would help anyone if he could. He had such a big heart. His passion was golf, of which he enjoyed playing a round with his boys as well as myself and even to the extent of taking his grandchildren to the driving range.

“He used to like to keep fit and liked running, he did runs for charity. He used to make me laugh so much. Together we planned our retirement, where we would travel and see what new experiences we could explore together. I have been robbed of my husband, but poor Dave lost his life,” her note said.

McLaren were found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. As noted above, the automobile company were fined £650,000 and ordered to pay £110,132 in costs at Reading Crown Court on March 31 of this year.

Meanwhile, HSE inspector Saffron Turnell added: ‘Patricia’s powerful words make clear the impact David’s loss has had on her life. This is a devastating tragedy and our thoughts remain with her and David’s family. Work at height is a high risk activity and falls can result in life changing injuries and death. It’s the number one reason why people like David didn’t get home from work. Those responsible to ensure his health and safety failed to do so.

“It is very important that those in control of the work identify the risk, plan to eliminate it if possible, or where it is not possible, take appropriate precautions to safeguard workers and others. Good management will also include regular monitoring that the controls in place are keeping people safe.”

The Paddock Brand Centre of 2016 was discontinued from 2021 onward after McLaren opted for more sustainable and cost-effective hospitality unit. The old version was a massive motorhome requiring huge costs for its transport and use.

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