• Robert Spicer

Wrexham crushing death:health and safety prosecution:£180,000 fine

Death from crushing injuries: £180,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Morgan Technical Ceramics Ltd (2015) Chester Crown Court, November 13

Morgan Technical Ceramics Ltd has been fined following the death of a worker in a crushing incident.

Significant points of the case

  • Christopher Williams, a maintenance supervisor employed by the company at its Wrexham premises, was moving a power press which was stored in a shipping container.

  • As he was moving the press, which weighed half a tonne, on a pallet truck, it toppled over and struck him, causing fatal injuries.

  • The lifting operation had been unsafe. The deceased had not been adequately trained in undertaking the lifting of non-standard loads.

The company was fined £180,000 plus £23,000 costs for a breach of section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.

An HSE inspector is reported to have commented after the case that thirty per cent of fatal accidents in manufacturing in Britain involve the fall of a heavy item. It was important that everyone involved in maintenance understood the risks, and that lifts were properly planned by a competent person.

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