• Robert Spicer

New Health And Safety Case: Death of Apprentice

Death of apprentice: £75,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Tyne Slipway & Engineering Co Ltd (2014) Newcastle Crown Court, January 21.

Tyne Slipway & Engineering Co Ltd (TSECL) has been fined following the death of an apprentice.

Significant points of the case

• In December 2011 Jason Burden, a 19 year old apprentice engineer at TSECL, was reassembling a tunnel thruster from a ship at the company’s site in Sunderland. The tunnel thruster was a gearbox and propeller used to manoeuvre a ship.

• The piece of machinery, which weighed almost one tonne, toppled onto him. He suffered fatal crushing injuries. The machinery was notionally stable but the company had not taken sufficient steps to ensure that it was safe to work on.

• The company had no documented risk assessment for working on the machine while it was positioned on a workbench. There was no documented safety management system for undertaking work on behalf of the thruster manufacturer.

TSECL was fined £75,000 plus £47,900 costs under section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.

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