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Major construction firm fined more than £100k after death

31-01-2012

A 23-year-old Keighley man died from massive crush injuries when his head became trapped in the jaws of a grab machine being wrongly used to move a pallet of cement bags.

Steven Allen was part of a team working for Skipton-based construction company JN Bentley Ltd. on a building project for Bradford Council in Manningham in March 2007. Moving the 30 or so cement bags was to be the last job before the weekend when the incident happened.

Bradford Crown Court heard last week (25-27 January) that workers used a block grab attached to an excavator to move the load. As they did, the bags fell two metres to the ground, but the pallet remained in the jaws of the block grab. The pallet pivoted and Steven Allen took hold of it to pull it free. As the pallet came away, the jaws dropped and clamped on Steven’s head, causing severe injuries. He died the following day.

J N  Bentley Ltd. of Keighley Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £106,250 and ordered to pay costs of £90,000.

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