Manufacturer fined £360k after fatal factory incident

  • Accidents
factory safety
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Hull manufacturing company Niche Fused Magnesia has been fined, after an incident at its factory where a worker was crushed to death by a crane.

The business was a manufacturer of magnesium oxide. Martyn Green, 55, was carrying out maintenance testing on the overhead gantry crane at the time of the incident. This crane had recently undergone repairs following mechanical problems. Martyn, a Hull resident, was testing to ensure the repairs had been effective.

He was stood on the crane access platform, which he operated with a hand-held remote control. Whilst he was testing, the crane passed a series of horizontal roof trusses, coming close enough proximity to trap Martyn between a truss and the crane. He later died from crush injuries.

Investigating the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Niche Fused Magnesia Limited had failed to adequately assess the risks roof trusses posed to workers who were standing on the crane access platform during its operation. The company failed to ensure the work was carried in a manner that was safe.

George Green, Martyn’s son, said in his victim personal statement:

“My dad was my best friend, someone to guide me through life. If I had any issues, I would go to him for advice. I have lost that.

“Some days I lay there at night and think about my dad, my heart will drop when I think about how he died. Was he screaming for help when it happened? My heart drops and I worry that he was alone at the time of the incident, and I do lose sleep over it.”

Niche Fused Magnesia Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £366,500 and ordered to pay £7,325.82 in costs at Hull Magistrates’ Court on 8 March 2024.

HSE Inspector John Boyle said: “This tragic incident could have been avoided had the company assessed the risks and implemented reasonably practicable safeguards.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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