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Employer's jail term follows death of employee

06 September 2016

Manchester Crown Court has handed a jail term to a company director and fined the business over £160,000 following the death of a worker.

It heard that a 51-year-old employee died when an 18m spider lift used to load a lorry overturned and fell onto him.

The incident occurred on 29 January 2014 in a street in Stockport and occurred as the man walked alongside the spider lift with the remote controller, according to SHP magazine.

He had not been adequately trained in the loading procedure, including the use of ramps, lorry and the mobile elevated working platform (MEWP).

No risk assessment procedure or safe working system had been put in place for the or the equipment, which had only been operated for eight days.

Following the incident, the subsequent investigation found that the gradient of the ramps were higher than the manufacturer's specification and they were not secured to the lorry, SHP reported.

Company director Kenneth Thelwall, of Burleigh Road, Enfield, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after being charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act and ordered to pay costs of £3,000.

The court also heard that another of Mr Thelwall's employees had been crused to death by a metal gate in 2010. He was also banned from becoming a company director for seven years.

A fine of £166,000 and £10,400 costs were handed to Thorn Warehousing under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, although the company is currently in administration.

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