• Robert Spicer

Mine Death

Mine death: £568,000 fines and costs

Health and Safety Executive v UK Coal Ltd and Joy Mining Machinery Ltd (2012) Leeds Crown Court, July 18. UK Coal Ltd and Joy Mining Machinery Ltd, a global machinery supplier, have been fined after the death of a pit worker. Significant points of the case • In October 2009 Ian Cameron, an employee of UK Coal, was killed at Kellingley Colliery, West Yorkshire. • He died when a powered roof support (PRS) lowered spontaneously and crushed him against a large amount of debris. The PRS had been supplied by Joy. • The PRS had been salvaged from another coal face at the mine and assessed by UK Coal as fit for transfer. A solenoid valve within the PRS had become worn and defective. This allowed it to descend without the control button being activated. • There were a significant number of safety critical defects on other PRSs. Commissioning checks on them had not been properly carried out. UK Coal Ltd was fined £200,000 plus £218,000 costs for a breach of section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the safety of employees. Joy Mining Machinery was fined £50,000 plus £100,000 costs under section 6, HSW Act, which provides, in summary, that suppliers of articles for use at work must take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that persons supplied are provided with all necessary revisions of information by reason of its becoming known that anything gives rise to a serious risk to health or safety.

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