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Metal firm fined over crushing death

A precious metals recovery company must pay fines and costs totalling £75,000 after the death of an employee.

RS Bruce (Metals & Machinery) of March Street, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1074 and was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that on 4 March 2013, the employee was working with his son to dismantle a three-core reactor vessel, when an unsupported metal section weighing approximately 1.3 tonnes fell and fatally crushed him between the fallen cylinder and a shipping container.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found adequate risk control measures were not in place.

HSE inspector Tim Johnson said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to put in place adequate risk control measures to prevent sections of the steel ring falling on to employees.

“A suitable and sufficient risk assessment would have clearly identified the risk of serious injury from falling sections, and should have prompted the company to put in place adequate, properly designed support and devise a safe system of work for the employees to carry out the dismantling operation.”

RS Bruce has been contacted for comment

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