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Company sentenced for storage failings after worker is killed by stone slabs

The Stone Company UK Ltds warehouse where the incident occurredAn Essex granite manufacturer has been sentenced for safety failings after a worker was crushed to death by stone slabs weighing three tonnes.

Martin Rice, 57, was unloading a delivery of manufactured stone and placing it on storage A-frames in a warehouse when the incident occurred at The Stone Company UK Ltd., on Sandford Mill Lane, Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, on 28 April 2009.

As he lowered a bundle of 11 slabs, weighing approximately three tonnes; the bundle fell over and crushed him against the wall of the building. The father-of-four died of his injuries at the scene.

On 3 July, Chelmsford Crown Court heard that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the death and found that The Stone Company had operated an unsafe system of work for handling and storing stone slabs.

The A-frames in use were poorly sited and as such were inappropriate within the confines of the warehouse.

The Stone Company UK Ltd., of Manor Farm, Sanford Mill Lane, Great Baddow, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £40,000.


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