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£150,000 fine over metalworker death

European Metal Recycling (EMR) has been fined £150,000 after a worker was killed when part of a metal barge he was dismantling collapsed on top of him.

EMR was sentenced at Warwickshire Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it had identified serious flaws with the method of work being used to dismantle the barges.

As well as the £150,000 fine, EMR was ordered to pay £88,000 in costs.

William Ward EMR death

William Ward, (pictured) 56, from Handsworth, Sheffield, was crushed in the incident at the Kingsbury depot in Warwickshire on 12 October 2011 and died at the scene.

He was working with others to dismantle two large steel barges using oxy-acetylene torches.

Ward had finished cutting through the outer skin of the barge’s hull and had moved inside to cut some supporting braces when the side collapsed in on him.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Austin said: “Our investigation found [EMR] neglected [its] responsibility and Mr Ward has paid the ultimate price with his life – a terrible and senseless loss that was completely preventable had the work been better planned and managed.”

An EMR spokesman said: “We wish to express our condolences to the family and friends of William Ward”.

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