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Metal firm fined after worker was killed by a crane

Date:
23 November 2015

A company who specialise in metal and alloy products has been fined after a worker was killed when he was struck by a load on a moving crane.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how an employee of ATI Speciality Materials Limited, Sheffield, was assisting in the moving of a crucible from a re-melt furnace.

The crucible had been lifted using an overhead crane and moved approximately ten yards to where Mr Nigel Hall (47) loosened the bolts around the crucible. The crane operator waited for Mr Hall’s acknowledgment to proceed and lifted the crucible a couple of feet higher before pressing the southbound button.

The crane operator saw Mr Hall in the path of the crucible and shouted a warning while stopping the movement of the crane. The crane stopped but the load swung forward hitting Mr Hall on the right side of the head. He was taken to Northern General hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 17 August 2011, at Atlas Works, Carlisle Street East, Sheffield, found that the company had not reviewed risk assessments and safe systems of work for nine years. Many employees who operated cranes had received no refresher training for between 6-10 years and the training programme for new starters was inadequate.

Andrea, Nigel’s partner said: “The aftermath of Nigel dying was a terrible terrible time and I try to put it out of my mind but I can’t always, my biggest regret of it all is that the lovely extended family unit that we had has been shattered, Nigel was the glue that held everything together, and it proves that he was because it has all fallen apart now that he has gone. But I’m not going to give up, I am going to live my life because that is what he would have wanted me to do, when we were together we were a match we just fitted together and he would be really angry if I didn’t carry on.”

Wendy Hall, Nigel’s Mother said: “There is a big hole in our family now, Nigel was always the life and heart of our family gatherings and parties, we don’t have parties in the same way anymore because that heart is missing.”

HSE Inspector Carol Downes said: “This loss of life could have been entirely prevented. Employers have a duty to ensure safe systems of work are continually reviewed when there are significant changes in the way work is carried out. Working practices should be clear, safe and properly communicated to employees.”

ATI Speciality Materials Limited, of Cyclops Works President Way, Sheffield, was fined a total of £160,000, with costs of £72,321 after pleading guilty to offences under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2005.

For further information on go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

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