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Firms fined £100k over forklift death at Macclesfield factory

Two companies have been fined a total of £100,000 following the death of a maintenance worker who fell from the forks of a forklift truck at a Macclesfield factory.

Martin Denton, 60, was being lifted in a metal container, known as a stillage, on 10 June 2006 when it slipped off and he fell approximately four metres to the concrete floor below. The father-of-three from Rotherham died in hospital later that day from head injuries.

Millennium Rubber International Ltd and United Crane Services Ltd were both prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at Millennium Rubber's factory at Nab Works, Long Lane, Pott Shrigley.

Chester Crown Court was told United Crane Services had been hired to repair an overhead crane at the factory but had allowed Mr Denton to be lifted in a container designed for materials rather than people.

The HSE investigation found that it had been standard practice for Millennium Rubber to use containers and pallets on forklift.

Millennium Rubber, which produces rubber surfaces for running tracks and children's playgrounds, admitted two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by putting workers' safety at risk. It was fined £90,000 and ordered to pay £21,411 in prosecution costs in a sentencing hearing a Warrington Crown Court on 9 December 2011.

United Crane Services, of Claywheels Lane in Sheffield, also pleaded guilty to one breach of the same act for failing to ensure the safety of its employee, Mr Denton. It was fined £10,000 with costs of £5,000.

Read the HSE Press Release for comments from Mr Denton's widow and HSE Principal Inspector Tanya Stewart.

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