McLaren fined £650,000 after engineer’s death

McLaren have been ordered to pay the fine and legal fees following the death of a senior engineer.

Following the death of senior engineer David Oldham, a division of McLaren has been fined £650,000 after being found guilty of two health and safety charges related to Mr Oldham’s tragic death.

Mr Oldham fell to his death in Maidenhead, Berkshire, in October 2016, whilst inspecting a temporary building in a warehouse.

The senior engineer was 55 years old at the time of his death and had been hailed as a “very experienced inspector”, who’d looked at the temporary building five times in total.

Mr Oldham was inspecting one of McLaren’s mobile buildings which travel around the world with the Woking-based team to each race, with the building in particular having been a brand centre.

READ: Christian Horner furious with FIA’s ‘absolutely ludicrous’ decision

It was informed to Reading Crown Court that the building which Mr Oldham was inspecting had been set-up and dismantled 183 times in total, prior to his fall.

His employer, Zurich Management Services, was found not guilty of a health and safety offence.

Mr Oldham fell on the second day of inspecting the building and was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, before sadly passing the next day.

The court were told that people had been advised to stay two metres away from the edge of the facility, but that nothing was actually in writing.

Article continues below

Since Mr Oldham’s fall, McLaren have updated their health and safety policy.

Mr Oldham’s wife revealed whilst speaking to the court the “pain” she has to deal with every day.

“I am especially lonely and I feel like a burden to all my family,” Mr Oldham’s wife told the court by videolink.

“I miss my husband so much. The pain breaks my heart. Every night I say goodnight to David and every morning I expect to have him still beside me.

“My darling husband’s life was taken away from him. On the same day my life ended too.”

Health and Safety Executive inspector Saffron Turnell added: “Patricia’s powerful words make clear the impact David’s loss has had on her life.

READ: ‘That’s game over’: Jenson Button criticises Sergio Perez after costly error

“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.”

As well as being charged £650,000, McLaren have also been asked to pay £110,132 in legal costs.