Three firms sentenced after worker crushed to death

A crush injury death at a mining museum has cost three organisations a total of £200,000.

On Tuesday, December 16th, Sheffield Crown Court heard that 58-year-old Michael Buckingham tragically died while working on £2.7 million upgrades to the Wakefield-based National Coal Mining Museum in West Yorkshire.

Mr Buckingham, a father-of-two of Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire, was driving his dumper loader when the accident occurred 138 metres underground at the museum’s Caphouse colliery base.

The veteran electrician and miner, working on a project to increase the amount of tunnels, became trapped between his vehicle and tunnel-building machinery on January 25.

This prompted a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation.

Among the safety failings it unearthed were, an unsafe dumper with nothing to easily stop the machine in emergencies, no adequate risk assessment for the machine and putting employees in significant danger.

The museum itself had not, unlike the two other organisations being sentenced, played a part in Mr Buckingham’s death, the court ruled. But it was still punished for not running the mine in line with safety rules.

Fines handed out after mining accident

Mr Buckingham’s fatal mining accident resulted in three organisations being sentenced.

Yorkshire’s National Coal Mining Museum Trust was ordered to pay a total of £45,000 made up of £35,000 costs and a £10,000 fine. It had earlier pleaded guilty to breaking the Management and Administration of Safety and Health at Mines Regulations 1993.

Metal Innovations Ltd, of Unit 54 Business Park, Llandow, Cowbridge, Wales, received an £80,000 fine and £110,000 costs order after pleading guilty to breaking the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.

Amalgamated Construction Ltd, of Whaley Road, Barugh Green, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, a specialist contractor hired to construct the new tunnels, was given a £110,000 fine plus ordered to pay £245,000 costs. It had earlier pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act plus a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

Contact Accident Advice Helpline

If you’ve been hurt in a similar accident that wasn’t your fault, don’t hesitate to contact Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.

Our team of specialist lawyers work on a no win, no fee* basis and will be able to tell you if you are eligible to make a claim for personal injury compensation.

Source: Health and Safety Executive

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