Cumbria-based ACP Concrete was fined for safety failings that led to a worker being crushed by a staircase and another being injured, in separate incidents 20 minutes apart.
Carlisle Crown Court heard that both incidents involved concrete staircases and landings toppling over onto employees of ACP Concrete on 2 September 2011.
The first incident occurred in the staircase department of the company’s 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 was carrying out remedial work. The staircase toppled over and crushed McGlasson and he died of multiple internal injuries.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive 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 onto 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 & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
A representative of ACP declined to comment when contacted by Place North West.