Firm fined after worker crushed

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MAGISTRATES have fined a Rotherham manufacturing firm £10,000 after a worker was crushed by a 1.5 tonne weight.

The maintenance engineer at Yorkshire Spin Galvanizing Ltd, on Cornish Way, was left with a broken shoulder, two cracked ribs and had the top of three vertebrae snapped off when he was trapped between a machine’s counterweight and a junction box.

Rotherham magistrates heard the worker was investigating a fault and climbed on a gantry to get inside the zinc galvanizing machine.

The court heard that when the fault cleared he went to the back of the gantry, out of sight of the operator, to check another repair.

The machine was still running and, as he leaned over a guardrail to get a good view, the counterweight descended, pinning him against the junction box.

He managed to shout ‘stop’ to alert his colleagues before losing consciousness and a co-worker lifted the weight to free him.

The incident, on September 27, 2010 sparked an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive. Yorkshire Spin Galvanizing pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 at their Rotherham plant.

The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Denise Fotheringham said: “This could have been fatal.”