Steelworker crushed under heavy girder

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A STEELWORKER died after he was crushed below a three-tonne girder that fell on him in a South Yorkshire factory, an inquest heard.

John Mott, aged 47, suffered broken ribs, a lacerated heart and severe crush injuries when the incident happened at Bespoke Precast Limited, in Barugh Green, Barnsley.

Sheffield Coroner’s Court heard fellow workers at the firm – which is now trading as Charcon Precast Solutions – tried to resuscitate their colleague until paramedics arrived.

The huge steel beam was levered off his body using a forklift truck and a police officer continued CPR in the back of an ambulance.

Despite his colleagues’ efforts Mr Mott was pronounced dead on arrival at Barnsley District General Hospital, just before 3pm on March 30, 2009.

A nine-member jury heard Mr Mott, of Green Road, Penistone, had worked as a welder and steelworker since he left school.

On the day he died he was working on parts for prefabricated landings and staircases in Bespoke Precast’s new purpose-built factory on Whaley Road.

While he worked his colleague Terence Cullen was working on a much larger project in the same warehouse.

Mr Cullen told the inquest the firm had recently taken on a new contract to produce reinforced beams to be used in the foundations of large buildings. On the afternoon of the tragedy he was preparing a three-and-a-half-tonne girder, attaching a steel mesh to the beam before concrete was added to the structure.

The girder was attached to an overhead crane and was resting on an open-topped table.

Mr Mott was at his own work station on the other side of a screen.

Mr Cullen said he stopped working for a few moments to talk to a colleague.

He said: “As we left the bay John appeared and walked into the welding bay.”

As he turned away he heard a bang behind him.

“There was a thud, quite a hefty thud,” he said. “Then people started to appear.”

He said Mr Mott may have tried to climb on to the work bench to detach the crane from the girder so he could use it himself.

But he agreed with Mr Mott’s family barrister Brian Cummins, that Mr Mott had always asked before borrowing the crane on previous occasions.

The inquest continues.