Widow Of Father-Of-Three Killed In Accident At Work Reveals Family's Ongoing Heartache

Workplace Injury Lawyers Instructed In Battle For Justice


The wife of a HGV driver who died after being struck by falling metal tubes which were being unloaded from his lorry by a forklift truck driver has spoken of her loss in the hope it acts as a reminder to companies to follow health and safety guidelines.

It follows the conclusion last week of a 10-day inquest into father-of-three Robert Ismay’s death on 6 December 2012 aged 42, where a jury at Sheffield Coroner’s Court found a series of failings by Daver Steels in Sheffield - the company he was delivering the steel to.

Robert’s wife of just seven months, Michelle, from Sowerby in North Yorkshire, instructed workplace injury experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to represent her at the inquest and the firm will now continue to work on her behalf as she seeks further answers about the circumstances leading to the death of her husband.

The inquest heard that Robert, who worked for Thirsk-based firm Tomrods, was helping to unload 7.5 metre-long steel tubes at Daver Steels on Petre Street, Pitsmoor, when an unsupervised forklift truck driver who was helping with the delivery caused the tubes to fall on top of him. He was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple injuries.

The jury found:
• There was no planning of the delivery or any written procedures in place;
• No consideration was given as to whether it was safe to unload the vehicle using a forklift truck;
• The forklift truck driver did not know the weight and size of what he was lifting;
• The forks of the truck were too short to lift the delivery;
• No consideration was given as to whether it was safe to unload the trailer in the street.

Michelle, who had been in a relationship with Robert for 11 years and is mum to the couple’s three children aged between two and seven, said: “Robert’s death has devastated the entire family and we are still struggling to come to terms with what happened.

“It was very difficult to hear evidence at the inquest which suggested there were shortcomings which may have contributed to his death.

“Nothing can turn back the clock and bring my husband back, but I hope that by speaking out about the huge gap his death has left in all of our lives, it reminds companies about the importance of keeping workers safe and protecting them from potential hazards.

“I’m determined that Robert’s death will not be in vain and with help from my legal team at Irwin Mitchell, I hope one day to see justice for the fact our children have been left without their father.”

Claire Newstead, is an expert workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell. 

Expert Opinion
This is a tragic case that highlights the devastating consequences that can occur when companies do not follow health and safety guidelines.

“Robert was going about his daily job and could never have predicted the tragedy that would unfold that day.

“We would like to see confirmation from Daver Steels that improvements have been made in the planning and implementation of goods deliveries to protect the safety of their own and other company’s employees.

“We will continue to support the family as they come to terms with their loss and hope that we can now secure a quick admission of liability to bring a quick and successful end to the legal action.”
Claire Newstead, Partner


Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to accidents at work

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. Visit our fatal accident claims or accidents at work claims page for more information.