McLaren guilty of breach in death of senior engineer; Instructed to pay whopping settlement to wife

McLaren has been fined a whopping £650,000 after being held accountable for two health and safety breaches that led to the death of senior engineer David Oldham.

The case had been ongoing since October 2016, when Oldham died in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The senior engineer had been asked to inspect a temporary building in a warehouse when the mishap occurred.

Lando Norris. Credit:
McLaren F1. Credit:

Oldham, who was even at the time termed a ‘very experienced inspector’, was 55 when the tragedy took place. He made five inspections of the temporary structure.

The building in question was one used by McLaren that was mobile and would travel around the globe along with the Woking-based outfit to every race venue on the F1 calendar.

Prior to Oldham’s fall on the second day of his inspection, the building had been set up and dismantled 183 times.

While Oldham was promptly rushed to the nearby James Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, he passed away the next day.

While people were told to stay two metres away from the edge of the facility, no formal communication of the same had been made by the McLaren outfit.

However, since Oldham’s unfortunate incident, the Papaya-Orange outfit has updated its health and safety policy.

It will still be of little reconciliation to Oldham’s wife, who detailed her day-to-day pain to the court.

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

“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.

The Oldham family. Credit:
The Oldham family. Credit:

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

The Health and Safety Executive inspector who was overseeing the case re-emphasised how McLaren made a grave mistake.

“Patricia’s powerful words make clear the impact David’s loss has had on her life,” he said.

“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.”

McLaren has been charged with a £650,000 fine and an additional £110,132 will also be needed to be paid for in legal costs.

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