Page last updated at 08:47 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 09:47 UK

Leeds firm fined after worker crushed to death

Alan Fletcher
Alan Fletcher from Leeds was crushed by a case of glass at work in April 2006

A Leeds freight company has been fined after a 59-year-old worker was crushed to death by a case of glass.

Alan Fletcher, from Leeds, tried to stop the two-tonne case from falling as it was unloaded at Roadways Container Logistics, Leeds Crown Court heard.

The firm, of Valley Farm Way, Stourton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

It was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay £100,000 costs in court on Friday.

'Tragic and unnecessary'

The court heard how Mr Fletcher, an admin manager, was with two cargo handlers and a supervisor as several containers of glass were unloaded from an open top freight container on 6 April 2006.

He was crushed as he tried to stop the final case from falling as it was lifted out of the container.

The case had not been properly secured and none of the colleagues had been given the correct training in lifting operations, the court heard. No formal planning or risk assessment had been carried out.

Morag Irwin, of the Health and Safety Executive, called Mr Fletcher's death "tragic and unnecessary".

She said the case highlighted "the importance of having an effective system in place for managing health and safety generally and specifically when lifting heavy goods".

"I hope it serves as a warning to other companies," she said.



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