Oldham manufacturing firm R Tindall (Fabricators) Ltd has been prosecuted after a worker died after he was crushed under metal pipework.
Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard that 53-year-old Frank Dunne was operating a side-loader fork lift truck which was carrying a vacuum packed pipe bundle. While he was attempting to load a second bundle weighing 1.5 tonnes, it fell, crushing him underneath.
There were no eye witnesses to the incident and Mr Dunne was found over an hour later when work colleagues moved the side-loader which was still running, discovering his body under the pile.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found there was no risk assessment or documented system for moving and stacking pipework or any items around the site. Also the method of packing bundles had changed without being documented anywhere. The previous method using a wooden framework was actually more stable and would have meant that Mr Dunne would not have been in a danger area if this system had continued.
R Tindall (Fabricators) Ltd of West Point Industrial Estate, Hargreaves Street, Oldham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £70,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.
HSE Inspector Mike Lisle said: “There was no risk assessment carried out on this new method of working and no system put in place for the operators to follow. If the company had provided a safe system of work for their employees to follow this tragic incident to Mr Dunne could have been avoided.”