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Sat September 18 2021

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Firms fined £1m each after crush fatality

20 Apr 18 A civil engineering contractor and a district heating firm have each been fined £1 million after a worker suffered fatal crush injuries.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how on 10 December 2015 36-year-old David Beresford was employed by RK Civil Engineers Ltd working at the EON Renewable Energy Plant in Alsing Road, Sheffield. He was one of two workers unloading large heating pipes from a trailer to place them into stillage containers at the site.

The pipes, 12 metres long and weighing 840kg each, were being lifted with an excavator and were badly stacked above the top edge of the stillages. During the positioning of the pipes, two of the pipes rolled off and fell into a gap between two stillages. Mr Beresford was standing in this gap and the second pipe fell onto him.

RK Civil Engineers Ltd of The Chancery, Spring Gardens, Manchester was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000

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RK District Heating Ltd of The Manor House, Eccleshall Road South, Sheffield was found guilty of breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000.

However, RK Civil Engineers has been in administration since June 2016 and RK District Heating was liquidated last year. Both companies were run by civil engineer Richard King.

HSE inspector Mark Welsh said after the hearing: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of both companies to follow safe systems of work, and a failure to identify the risks. This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. There was a lack of planning for the work carried out and, as a result, inadequate controls put in place.”

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