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Company Fined £1 Million for Fatal Crush Accident at Work

A manufacturing company has been fined £1 million for a fatal crush accident at work after multiple failings in the system of work were identified.

On April 30, 2015, Colin Reddish (48) was part of a team involved in moving a large milling machine at the Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd factory in Grantham, Lincolnshire. The machine had been lifted using jacks, and placed onto skates so that Colin could access securing bolts and cut through them with an angle grinder.

As Colin started cutting through the securing bolts, the milling machine overturned and crushed him. Despite attempts to rescue him by his work colleagues and an ambulance crew, Colin died at the scene of the accident.

An investigation into the fatal crush accident at work was launched by Lincolnshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive. It was found that the manufacturing company had not ensured workers involved in lifting and moving the machine were sufficiently trained or had the right experience for carrying out such a potentially dangerous task. It was also discovered that the task had not been adequately planned and that the machine´s centre of gravity had not been assessed.

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was prosecuted for breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and Health and Safety of Work Act 1974. The company pleaded guilty to the charges at Lincoln Magistrates´ Court and were fined £1 million for the fatal crush accident at work, plus ordered to pay £6,311 costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

Speaking after the Magistrates´ hearing, HSE Inspector Martin Giles said: “Colin Reddish’s death was entirely preventable. Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Ltd had already tried unsuccessfully to lift the machine using a fork lift truck but instead of learning from this failure they carried on. Their ad hoc approach to managing dangerous tasks resulted in one of their workers losing his life”.