A friend of four men who died on a building site would never have got them involved if he thought the project was ‘unsafe’, an inquest heard.

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David Groucott is a director of Encompass Project Management, which was overseeing the construction of high pressure test bays at Claxton Engineering in Great Yarmouth.

He employed groundworks company Hazegood Construction to build the concrete base units.

West Suffolk men Daniel Hazleton, 30, Thomas Hazelton, 26, Adam Taylor, 28 and Peter Johnson, 42, died on January 21, 2011 after a reinforcement cage they were building collapsed.

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Mr Groucott told the jury he socialised with the men and they were competent workers who were “good at what they did”.

He said he would never have enlisted their services if he thought the job was unsafe.

The inquest, sitting for a fourth day today at Sprowston Manor near Norwich, heard Mr Groucott is experienced in construction and has managed projects from £400,000 to £65m.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake warned him ahead of questions where his answers may incriminate him.

In law, Mr Groucott could decline to answer, and if he chose to answer he must answer truthfully.

Mr Groucott declined to answer a series of questions relating to construction industry CDM regulations, and said a site handover letter did not relate to the appointment of a CDM co-ordinator.

The inquest continues.

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