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Manchester metal firm sentenced over worker's death

The overturned machine which caused Mr Dempseys deathA metal manufacturer in Manchester has been sentenced after an employee was killed when a machine weighing half-a-tonne fell from a forklift truck.

Bruce Dempsey, 25, from Eccles, was walking alongside the forklift as it moved the machine at Applied Fusion Ltd. in Patricroft when it fell and struck him on the head. He died at the scene.

The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into the incident, on 2 December 2009, found it had not planned the work in advance so that the machine could be moved safely.

Manchester Crown Court heard today (6 February) that Applied Fusion Ltd. had been moving four of its machines into a bigger workshop at the factory. It was during the move of the fourth machine that it became unstable and fell, resulting in Mr Dempsey's death.

The court was told the company had taken over the Fielding Street factory six weeks before the incident, but a health and safety audit had not been carried out at the company's new premises.

The firm also failed to inform its own trained engineer responsible for overseeing lifting operations that it was planning to move the machines at the plant.

The forklift operator who lifted the machine had attended a one-day driver training course in October 2006, but was not trained and competent to lift any complicated loads that were not on pallets.

Applied Fusion Ltd., which went into administration in March last year, was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees. The company received a nominal fine of £1.


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