• Robert Spicer

Yorkshire Mining Museum death: £590,000 fines and costs

Health and Safety Executive v Amalgamated Construction Ltd, Metal Innovations Ltd and National Coal Mining Trust (2014) Sheffield Crown Court, December 16.

Three organisations have been prosecuted and fined following the death of a worker at the Yorkshire Mining Museum.

Significant points of the case

  • In January 2011 Michael Buckingham was killed when he was crushed between a tunnel construction machine and a dumper loader, 138 metres below ground level at the museum’s site in Wakefield.

  • The deceased was working on an improvement project which included constructing new tunnels. The museum trust had engaged Amalgamated Construction to build the tunnels, using machines supplied by Metal Innovations. The deceased was an employee of Amalgamated Construction.

  • The HSE’s specialist mining division served a prohibition notice on Metal Innovations on the basis that the dumper loader did not meet essential safety requirements. It was patently dangerous in several ways.

  • Amalgamated Construction had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment of the machine or the work activities, including the interactions of workers and equipment, and had exposed workers to substantial risk by putting an unsafe machine to work.

  • The museum trust had failed to ensure that the mine was run in accordance with all relevant safety regulations.

Amalgamated Construction was fined £110,000 plus £245,000 costs for a breach of section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees and under regulation 3, Management of Health and Safety Regulations, for failing to make a suitable risk assessment.

Metal Innovations Ltd was fined £80,000 plus £110,000 costs under section 6, HSW Act, for supplying an article for use at work without ensuring that it was safe and without risks to health.

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