£1m fine for concrete firm after ‘one in a million’ son died at work

Stewart Ramsay, from Mansfield, was working for Creagh Concrete Products Ltd (CCP) at its Thurgarton Lane site in Hoveringham when he suffered fatal head injuries on 15th March 2017.

Mr Ramsay, known as ‘Stew’, was trying to fix a problem that happened as he and colleagues were using a metal grab to unload Spantherm, a concrete building product, from some trailers. The metal grab shouldn’t have been in use. Mr Ramsay’s head became trapped in the jaws of the grab after a rope connected to the locking lever snapped. Even though the rope was tied in a double-knot, the locking mechanism released the jaws of the grab as Mr Ramsay pulled on it, causing fatal injuries.

Stew’s mother Carol Hansford described him as a ‘one in a million son’, “I know a lot of people say that, but he really was out of this world, he was an amazing brother, grandson, uncle and nephew. The hundreds of friends that came to the crematorium showed how well liked and appreciated he was – it was unbelievable. He was just loving, caring, thoughtful and very funny.”

CCP were sentenced after they admitted failing to ensure its employees carried out lifting operations safely and without training and information being in place.

Carol added, “He was such a hardworking person, not only did he work at Creagh, he also working as a doorman on weekends. I’ll never forgot that day as long as I live. I got a knock at the door as his friends had come to tell me – I collapsed. It still doesn’t seem real – it’s like you’re watching a film and not at the end. All he did was go to work. Things like this shouldn’t happen – it destroys families forever, nobody should have to go through what we have done these past six years.”

An investigation by the HSE showed that CCP did not have a safe system of work for the use of the grab and had not carried out a risk assessment to identify risks for its use. Both the grab and a fork lift truck being used at the time were in poor condition. Neither should have been in service at the time of the incident. CCP had failed to ensure that these pieces of work equipment had been maintained in an efficient state, efficient working order or in good repair.

Creagh Concrete Products Limited of Hoveringham Nottinghamshire pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in that it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees. The company was fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay costs of £47,521.08.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Mr Amandip Dhanda said, ”This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. Stewart’s death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place. The work equipment being used at the time of the incident should not have been in use, and the employer would have known this had they effectively followed their own health and safety systems.”

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