A company which produces precast concrete products has been fined for safety failings that led to the death of a worker and to another being injured in separate incidents just 20 minutes apart.
Carlisle Crown Court heard that both incidents involved concrete staircases/landings toppling over onto employees of ACP (Concrete) Limited of Maryport, Cumbria, on 2 September 2011.
The first incident occurred in the staircase department of the factory in Lakes Road, Workington. A 17-year-old employee was attempting to push the landing over to allow it to lean against the raised forks of a fork-lift truck. The landing failed to topple onto the forks and instead came backwards and toppled onto him. The landing struck a bar which prevented it from completely falling and crushing the employee, but left him with severe bruising.
In the second incident a straight concrete staircase weighing almost three tonnes was stood on its narrow edge while employee Martin McGlasson, 37, was carrying out remedial work. The staircase toppled over and crushed Mr McGlasson. He died of multiple internal injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incidents found that there should have been support or restraint for the staircases and landings, when they were stored on their narrow edge. There should also have been a safe system of work for turning the staircases/landings over on to their back and the risk assessment for this task should have been made or reviewed in relation to the risks to health and safety of young persons.
ACP (Concrete) Limited, of Workington Road, Flimby, Maryport, Cumbria, was fined a total of £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,636 after pleading guilty to two offences under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.