Company Fined Over Fatal Falling Object Incident

Expert Calls For Companies To Make Safety A Priority


Engineering firm Melloy has been fined £100,000 over an incident which saw a worker crushed to death by a falling crate of car parts.

Paul Thorngate, 44, was fatally injured in 2006 while working alone in an area of the firm’s Treforest Industrial Estate near Pontypridd, when a rope hoist used to support the object failed and dropped the item on to him.

An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that following relocation to the site in May 2005, Melloy had reassembled the hoist but failed to get it fully examined by a qualified specialist or conduct a risk assessment.

It also revealed that safety devices on the hoist were incorrectly adjusted, while the wire rope snapped following rubbing against the frame.

David Urpeth, a specialist at Irwin Mitchell who acts for people who have suffered injuries in workplace accidents including those involving falling objects, has called for companies to learn lessons from the incident.

He said: “This horrific fatal accident is a terrible example of how dangerous falling objects can be in the workplace and how devastating such incidents can be. Sadly, in our experiences, incidents of this kind are all too common.

“Employers must always take steps to ensure that the safety of their workers is a priority and this includes the provision of protective equipment, training and any necessary guidance on regulations.

“It is vital that businesses embrace this attitude if lessons are to be learnt and similar problems in the future are to be avoided.”

If you have lost a loved one due to an workplace accident, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. For more information visit our fatal accident claims or fall from height claims page.