Health and Safety News

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Sheffield crane driver's death exposes safety flaws

A Sheffield crane driver died from massive crush injuries just weeks before he was due to become a father, a court was told yesterday.

Alan Winters, 28, was killed when he and colleagues attempted to unload a four-ton crate from a shipping container at the DavyMarkham Ltd factory in Darnall, Sheffield, on 15 July 2008, reports the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Sheffield Crown Court was told Mr Winters was one of a group of workers who had already tried several ways to move the crate from the container. In a final attempt, Mr Winters climbed on the back of a forklift truck to unhook a chain from a corner of the container but the forklift reversed too far and tilted up over the lip of the container, trapping him against the roof.

The incident prompted a full investigation by the HSE and led to the prosecution of DavyMarkham Ltd for a major breach of safety legislation. The company has a 180-year history in South Yorkshire and is a major engineering business.

DavyMarkham Ltd of Prince of Wales Road, Sheffield, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to an offence under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They and was fined a total of £33,333 with £49,247 in costs.

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