Concrete products manufacturer prosecuted for safety failings following death of a 24-year-old worker
CREAGH Concrete Products Ltd (CCP) have been fined £1 million after a 24-year-old man died at a site in Nottinghamshire. Stewart Ramsay was working for CCP at their Thurgarton Lane site, in Hoveringham, when he suffered fatal head injuries on 15 March 2017.
Mr Ramsay was trying to fix a problem that happened as he and colleagues were using a metal grab to unload concrete building products from a trailer.
Mr Ramsay’s head became trapped in the jaws of the grab after a rope connected to the locking lever snapped. Even though the rope was tied in a double knot, the locking mechanism released the jaws of the grab as Mr Ramsay pulled on it, causing fatal injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed that CCP did not have a safe system of work for the use of the grab and had not carried out a risk assessment to identify risks for its use.
Also, both the grab and a fork-lift truck being used at the time were in poor condition. Neither should have been in service at the time of the incident, as CCP had failed to ensure that these items of work equipment had been maintained in an efficient state, efficient working order or in good repair.
The company was sentenced at Nottinghamshire Crown Court on 5 April 2023, after it admitted failing to ensure its employees carried out lifting operations safely and without training and information being in place.
CCP, who pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in that they failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees, were fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay costs of £47,521.08.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Amandip Dhanda said: ‘This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. Mr Ramsey’s death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.
‘The work equipment being used at the time of the incident should not have been in use, and the employer would have known this had they effectively followed their own health and safety systems.’