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    FIRMS FINED £2M OVER FALLING PIPE FATALITY

    Incorrect stacking of pipes triggered fall and crushing of workman

    A civil engineering firm and a district heating firm have been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered fatal crush injuries in December 2015.

    Sheffield Crown Court heard how 36-year-old David Beresford was working at a Renewable Energy Plant in Sheffield. He was one of two workers unloading large heating pipes (12m long and weighing approx. 840kg) from a trailer into stillage containers.

    The pipes were unloaded and moved using an excavator and were “incorrectly stacked” above the top edge of the stillages.

    Failed to follow safe system of work

    During the positioning of the pipes, two of the pipes rolled and fell into a gap between two stillages. Mr Beresford was standing within this gap and the second pipe fell onto him.

    • R K Civil Engineers Ltd – of The Chancery, Spring Gardens, Manchester was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000
    • R K District Heating Ltd – of The Manor House, Eccleshall Road South, Sheffield was found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000.

    The Judge also ordered that costs of £17,271 are to be repaid.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Welsh commented:

    “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of both companies to follow safe systems of work, and a failure to identify the risks.

    This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. There was a lack of planning for the work carried out and, as a result, inadequate controls put in place.”

     

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