A dad crushed to death while cutting steel at a Sheffield factory was filmed on CCTV allowing metal to fall to the ground before his accident, his inquest heard.
Michael Dwyer, aged 48, from Gleadless, was killed while cutting up a large metal casting at RS Bruce Metals and Machinery, on March Street, Attercliffe.
Mr Dwyer was left trapped against a shipping container when a piece of the casting – part of an old chimney which the firm was asked to salvage precious metals from – collapsed on to him.
The dad-of-three’s son, Jordan, also worked for the firm and watched in horror as the tragedy unfolded in March last year.
Alan Hides, an independent health and safety advisor hired by RS Bruce, told the inquest he watched CCTV footage of Mr Dwyer and son cutting up sections of the chimney into panels two feet wide.
Mr Hides said: “I saw examples of a forklift truck being used to support the steel and lower it, and I saw examples of Mick and Jordan physically pushing over and crowbarring off the steel.
But he added: “In the CCTV footage I’ve seen, it’s more often allowed to fall.”
Mr Hides said: “It’s not always that a falling piece of steel is dangerous, providing you’re well clear of it.”
Jurors heard the chimney had been brought to RS Bruce from an industrial site in Chester.
Mr Hides said a ‘method statement’ had been prepared, setting out how the work would proceed in Chester, but that he ‘wasn’t aware’ of there being a risk assessment covering the cutting job in Sheffield.
He also told the court that moving the shipping container – one of two stacked on top of each other – would have offered ‘better access to the site’.
But Mr Hides said: “They were one on top of the other. If you wanted to move them deliberately you would have brought a crane in.”
The whole chimney section would have weighed up to 15 tonnes, the jury heard.
The inquest continues.