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Generous spirit

Letters

In your report of the outcome of the sentencing of the principal contractor and steel sub-contractor in the Speke Airport case brought by the Health & Safety Executive (NCE 15 July), HSE inspector Robert Hodkinson is quoted as saying 'those on site did not have a clear idea of how the hangar doors were to be safely erected'.

As Mr Hodkinson was present throughout the trial, he cannot have failed to note that those on site clearly did understand the door erection sequence and the attendant hazards to be managed.

The accident was the result of an unwise attempt to fix an unforeseen problem before the installation had been completed, and had little to do with the intended erection sequence.

He would have been a hard man indeed if he had not been moved, as I was, by the warm double handshake given to me by the foreman steel erector at the heart of the case following my acquittal earlier this year.

There was no trace of bitterness, and yet his dreadful trauma made my difficulties pale into insignificance. He had suffered terribly after the accident and had come to give evidence, but wasn't needed.

His generosity of spirit would be a model for others.

Andrew Allan, Allan Consulting Engineers, Studio 36, Heyford Park, Oxon OX25 5HD

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