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Safety failings by steel firm led to worker's death

15-10-2012

One of the steel girders with the overhead crane with hook in the backgroundA South Yorkshire firm has been ordered to pay £142,000 in fines and costs for serious safety breaches after a worker died when he was crushed by a one and a half tonne steel girder.

Steelworker John Mott, 47, who had worked in the steel industry since leaving school, received fatal injuries in the incident at the Bespoke Precast plant in Whaley Road, Barnsley, on 30 March 2009.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Mr Mott was moving an overhead travelling crane from an area of the factory where it had been supporting the eight and a half metre long girder.

The court was told that as he did this, a clamp attached to the crane hook snagged on the girder causing it to topple and fall, crushing Mr Mott against the floor.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed the overhead travelling crane used to support steel girders during fabrication work was frequently needed elsewhere in the factory to carry out heavy lifting operations. It was common practice, therefore, for workers to move the crane to other areas.

Bespoke Precast Ltd., registered at Bardon Hall, Copt Oak Road, Markfield, Leicestershire, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £42,471 costs after pleading guilty breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The firm no longer operates from the Whaley Road site in Barnsley.

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