Company Fined £100,000 After Keighley Man Dies In Work Accident

Experts Call For Lessons To Be Learned


A Skipton-based company has been fined more than £100,000 in relation to the death of a 23-year-old who suffered crush injuries when his head was trapped in the jaws of a grab machine.

Steven Allen was working for JN Bentley Ltd on a Bradford Council project in March 2007 when workers used a block grab attached to an excavator to move a load of around 30 or more cement bags.

However, when two bags fell, the pallet pivoted and remained in the jaws of the grab. Mr Allen tried to pull it free and when he did the jaws of the grab dropped and clamped on his head. He suffered serious injuries and died the following day.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation into the incident revealed that the grab was being used against manufacturer’s instructions and was not suitable. In addition, the company had not implemented a safe system of work for lifting the bags of cement.

Irwin Mitchell’s workplace injury team, which represents the families of those killed in accidents at work, has called for lessons to be learned from the incident.

Sally Rissbrook, a legal expert who specialists in such cases, said:  “This terrible fatal accident highlights why we and many other organisations continue to campaign wholeheartedly to ensure that companies make health and safety their number one priority.

“Work needs to be planned comprehensively to ensure that all aspects are considered, but this is a shocking example of the consequences which can emerge when that is not the case.

“We would urge all employers to ensure they put systems of work in place to keep employees safe, as well as ensuring that teams always use equipment for the tasks they are designed to deal with.”