Site manager issued suspended sentence after death of young father

The site manager of a waste and recycling company has been given a suspended prison sentence following the death of a young father at a site in Dewsbury.

Wayne Griffiths, who was also a former director of Arthur Brook Limited, was given a ten-month custodial sentence, which was suspended for 18 months. It followed the death of 26-year-old Sebastian Luke Martin at the firm’s Low Mill Lane facility on 21 September 2018.

Father-of-two Mr Martin, known as Luke, was drawn into a conveyor and suffered multiple injuries that resulted in him being taken to hospital where he died two days later.

The aftermath of the incident at the company’s Low Mill Lane facility in Dewsbury

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that on the day of the incident, a large number of guards including both perimeter and conveyor guards on the machinery known as ‘The Frag’ had been removed to allow metal containing material to be reprocessed with the aid of a mini digger operated by Luke.

Griffiths was responsible for the Frag – from its initial conception and construction, to the development of  systems of work and employee training. He was directly involved in the day to day operation of the machine and this included the maintenance operations.  Guards had been removed and not replaced and yet he allowed Luke to work on the Frag with the machine in a dangerous condition for two days prior to the incident, putting him at risk of serious personal injury.  Luke left the digger cab and approached the unguarded machinery. He was drawn into the conveyor crushing his arm and upper body which ultimately lead to his death.

Arthur Brook Limited of Queens Mill, Low Mill Lane Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Wayne Griffiths also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Act as the breach of Section 2(1) by Arthur Brook Limited occurred with his consent, connivance, or neglect. The company has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £43,000 in costs.

Wayne Griffiths was sentenced to 10 months for pleading guilty at the first opportunity, suspended for 18 months during which time he must complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £10,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Louise Redgrove commented: “

“The incident could easily have been avoided if the company and Wayne Griffiths had taken effective measures to ensure all guards were maintained and in place prior to operating the Frag machine.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.