Colin Reddish, 48, was working alone on 30 April 2015 at Parker Hannifin Manufacturing’s factory in Grantham, Lincolnshire, moving a large computer numerically controlled (CNC) milling machine.
The machine had been placed on skates so that Reddish could use an angle grinder to cut and remove the bolts that had fixed it to the floor. As he was doing this, the machine toppled and killed him.
The company had not properly planned the work, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found, having failed to check the machine’s centre of gravity beforehand. This resulted in an unsafe system of work.
The employees responsible for moving the plant had not been sufficiently trained, Lincoln Magistrates’ Court was told.
Parker Hannifin Manufacturing pleaded guilty to breaching reg 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which covers suitable and sufficient risk assessments, and s 2(1) of the Health and Safety of Work (HSW) Act. The £1m fine applies to the HSW Act breach. It must also pay full costs of £6,311.
HSE inspector Martin Giles said: “Parker Hannifin Manufacturing had already tried unsuccessfully to lift the machine using a forklift truck but instead of learning from this failure they carried on. Their ad hoc approach to managing dangerous tasks resulted in one of their workers losing his life.”