A mining company has been fined £200,000 after admitting safety failings following a work accident that led to a miner’s death.
Gerry Gibson, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, Yorkshire, died when 15 tonnes of rock from a roof collapsed.
The incident, which took place on September 27 2011 at Kellingley colliery, occurred only six days after a comparable roof fall in the mine with the same support in operation.
UK Coal, now in administration, was also fined £50,000 in relation to a underground pit blast that took place in November 2010 that resulted in 200 miners being evacuated.
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Tribute paid to work accident victim
Father-of-two Mr Gibson leaves a widow Brenda following the tragic accident at work.
Mrs Gibson, speaking after the hearing at Leeds Crown Court, said: “For 25 years, he was my best friend, my soulmate and the father of my two wonderful boys.”
She said he leaves behind “treasured memories” with so many people he has touched in his life, and left herself with an “enormous, irreplaceable hole” in her life and her heart.”
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that UK Coal managers were fully aware of the earlier roof fall but no investigation into it was undertaken.
Another miner, Philip Sheldon, was released after being trapped near the edge of the collapse and allowed home after hospital attention.
HSE mines inspector John Whyatt called the accident a “tragic and preventable incident”.
He added: “Strong safety leadership is of paramount importance in incident prevention.”
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