Crane Worker’s Death ‘destroyed his family’ – firm fined £232k

 A company who specialises in metal and alloy products has been fined £160,000 after a worker died when he was struck on the side of the head by a load on a moving crane.
Nigel Hall, 47, an employee of ATI Speciality Materials Limited, Sheffield, was assisting in the moving of a crucible from a re-melt furnace, when the incident occurred on 17 August 2011.  The case has now reached Court and Sheffield Magistrates’ heard how the crucible had been lifted using an overhead crane and moved approximately ten yards to where Mr Hall loosened the bolts around the crucible. The crane operator waited for Mr Hall’s acknowledgment to proceed and lifted the crucible a couple of feet higher before pressing the southbound button.

The crane operator saw Mr Hall in the path of the crucible and shouted a warning while stopping the movement of the crane. The crane stopped but the load swung forward hitting Mr Hall on the right side of the head. He was taken to Northern General hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident at Atlas Works, Carlisle Street East, Sheffield, found that:

  • the company had not reviewed risk assessments and safe systems of work for nine years;
  • many employees who operated cranes had received no refresher training for between 6-10 years; and
  • the training programme for new starters was inadequate.

ATI Speciality Materials Limited, of Cyclops Works President Way, Sheffield, was fined a total of £160,000, with costs of £72,321 after pleading guilty to offences under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Andrea, Nigel’s partner said: “The aftermath of Nigel dying was a terrible terrible time and I try to put it out of my mind but I can’t always, my biggest regret of it all is that the lovely extended family unit that we had has been shattered, Nigel was the glue that held everything together, and it proves that he was because it has all fallen apart now that he has gone. But I’m not going to give up, I am going to live my life because that is what he would have wanted me to do, when we were together we were a match we just fitted together and he would be really angry if I didn’t carry on.”

HSE Inspector Carol Downes said: “This loss of life could have been entirely prevented. Employers have a duty to ensure safe systems of work are continually reviewed when there are significant changes in the way work is carried out. Working practices should be clear, safe and properly communicated to employees.”

WOLF LAW are experienced in acting in fatal accidents matters, and accidents at work.

They act for Clients and bereaved families throughout England Wales.  Available 24/7 0151 375 9944.

About Jan

Jan has a particular interest in litigation and has been involved in dispute management for over 25 years. Although mediation has its place, it is sometimes necessary to take strong and decisive action to protect Clients, which may involve Court action and enforcement. Jan's other interests and areas of practice are; Fleet and Transportation Law, Motoring Offences and Personal Injury. Having been in the law for over 25 years, there is not much that hasn't crossed her path from minor to complex cases. Jan says 'there is still the thrill of getting a great result for a Client.' She still finds law as interesting today as she did when she started, over 25 years ago.

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