Legal Expert Warns Case Highlights Dangers Of Not Acting Upon Safety Concerns
By Rob Dixon
UK Coal Mining Ltd has been ordered to pay £300,000 in fines and costs in relation to a work accident which led to the death of a 47-year-old locomotive driver.
John Habron of Wellow, was killed when 40 steel pipes he was attempting to upload from a rail-borne car at Thoresby Colliery, Nottinghamshire in July 2009 rolled sideways and landed on top of him.
The worker suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene following the accident at work and an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the pipe packs did not sit evenly on the car being used and could become unstable.
Nottingham Crown Court was also told that four written reports by locomotive drivers had been prepared in the 18 months before the incident, with each stating that pipes could become unstable while being made ready for manual loading. However, managers failed to read all of the reports or act on the concerns.
David Urpeth, Partner and national head of workplace injury at Irwin Mitchell, said it was vital lessons would be learned from the fatal accident.
He outlined: “This is a terrible example of an employer seemingly failing to act upon or address concerns raised by their staff – information which could and possibly should have prevented this awful work accident from occurring.
“The case is similar to a number we have been involved, in which workers have been seriously or fatally injured as a result of employers failing to take the necessary steps to keep them safe from any harm.
“Health and safety should always be a priority in any workplace and, while the design of the packaging of pipes has since been changed, it is a terrible shame that this did not happen earlier.
“We hope that the same problems simply will not be repeated again in the future.”
If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury compensation solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. For more information visit our fatal accident claims or workplace accident claims page.