Yorkshire Spin Galvanising Ltd. has been prosecuted for safety failings after a maintenance engineer was crushed by a 1.5 tonne weight landing on his back.
The worker suffered a broken shoulder, two cracked ribs and the tops of three vertebrae were snapped off when he was trapped between the counterweight of a large zinc galvanizing machine and a junction box.
Rotherham Magistrates' Court was told that the worker went to investigate a fault and climbed onto a gantry inside the machine. When the fault cleared he went to the rear of the gantry, out of sight of the operator, to check another repair he had recently made. The machine was still running and as he leaned over a guardrail to get a good view, the counterweight descended - pinning him against the junction box.
He managed to shout 'stop' to alert his colleagues before losing consciousness and a co-worker at the control panel was able to lift the weight up to free him.
The company, registered at East Parade, Leeds, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at their Rotherham plant. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.