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BAE Systems Fined £250,000 After Worker Dies In East Yorkshire

Hull Man Killed In Incident In November 2008


By Rob Dixon

Defence manufacturer BAE Systems has been fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs after a 51-year-old worker was killed in an accident at work at the company’s plant in Brough, East Yorkshire.

Gary Whiting died in November 2008 at the site while carrying out routine servicing work on a large metal press with three other colleagues. The team split into pairs to work at either end of the machine but could not see each other properly.

The worker from Hull was crushed by the 145-tonne weight of the press when he entered the machine to remove a piece of equipment and one of his colleagues at the opposite end of the system started the full cycle test on the press frame.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the incident was “entirely preventable” and its investigations highlighted a lack of a suitable risk assessment, as well as a lack of engineering control measures to prevent access to dangerous parts or stop the machine when such areas were accessed.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist workplace injury lawyers represent people who have suffered serious injuries in work accidents across the UK, as well as the families of those killed in such incidents.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injury at the law firm, said it was hugely important that lessons were learned from the tragedy. He outlined: “Working with heavy machinery can be fraught with risk if the necessary safety steps are not taken to tackle risks and keep workers safe from harm.

“This terrible incident is similar to a huge number of cases we have been involved in and puts in the spotlight not just the consequences that such failings have on victims, but also on the families of those injured or killed at work.

“It is very welcome that the loved ones of the victim in this case got the answers they deserved and it is now vital that all employers involved in heavy industry take note of this terrible tragedy to ensure the circumstances are never repeated in the future.

“Health and safety must always be the top priority in the workplace.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Accident at Work claims