Manufacturing company fined after worker fatally crushed

A manufacturing company has been fined £120,000 after a worker was killed after becoming trapped between two heavy steel beams.

In May 2019, Steve Rooke, 55, was working in the workshop at Mifflin Construction Ltd in Leominster, Herefordshire. The company manufacture and install steel components for the construction industry.

Steve, who had worked at the company for more than 27 years was using an overhead travelling crane to lift the middle of three beams to position it better on a trolley or ‘bogey’ which ran on rails in the workshop.  The beam he was lifting was 18m long and weighed 1,800kg.  As it was lifted, it rotated in a sling, toppling sideways and trapping him against another beam causing fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to ensure a suitable and sufficient risk assessment was conducted by a competent person to identify well known industry standard control measures. Suitable and sufficient information, instruction, and training was not provided to employees about lifting operations at the site.  The company did not properly plan lifts and did not have a system for ensuring that there were adequately qualified supervisors present during lifting operations.

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