Gething £200k donor firm fined for worker's death

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Jason and Anthony BiltonImage source, Family photo

Image caption,

Jason Bilton says his life has been "torn to shreds" since his dad's death

A subsidiary firm of a group that donated £200,000 to Vaughan Gething's leadership campaign has been fined for the death of one of its workers.

Atlantic Recycling Limited pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety at work and was fined £300,000.

Mr Gething said his thoughts "remain with the family after this profound personal tragedy".

Mr Bilton, from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, was about to carry out routine maintenance tasks when he was run over from behind by a Volvo shovel loader in September 2019.

The father-of-two was walking across the wood processing yard at the time at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the risk assessment was not suitable nor sufficient and did not include work taking place in the area.

Atlantic Recycling Limited, of Newton Road, Rumney, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £29,917.47 in costs at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates' Court.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Vaughan Gething is one of the two candidates in the Welsh Labour leadership race

Last week, it was revealed that Labour leadership candidate Mr Gething accepted £200,000 for his campaign from Dauson Environmental Group, the parent company of Atlantic Recycling.

David Neal, a director with significant control in Dauson Environmental Group, holds the same position at Atlantic Recycling.

All donations were declared to the Electoral Commission, whose records show the economy minister accepted two donations of £100,000 each.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, who Mr Gething hopes to succeed, decided he did not break the ministerial code as it did not govern donations to Members of the Senedd.

Anthony's son, Jason, said his life was "torn to shreds" after his dad was killed.

On the day of the incident, Jason was travelling from Telford and thought about visiting his dad while he was at work, but decided against it as he was exhausted from travelling.

"Had I gone to see him, I would've arrived at Atlantic Recycling between 3:30-4pm, he was killed around 4:10pm.

"Every day I deal with thoughts that 'if only I'd stopped to see him, he could still be alive today.'

"There will never be real closure for my dad's death as it should never have happened, not the way it did."

Mr Gething gave his condolences to Mr Bilton's family, friends and colleagues, adding: "This fatal incident demonstrates the importance of having the highest standards of health and safety for everyone in their place of work. This matter has rightly been dealt with by the courts.

"This is, of course, of particularly deep concern to me given my lifelong support and advocacy for workers' rights."

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