ACP Concrete fined £180k for fatal safety flaws

A Cumbrian precast company has been fined £180,000 for safety offences in its factory, one of which led to the death of an employee.

Martin McGlasson was killed when a newly-fabricated concrete staircase toppled onto him. Only 20 minutes earlier a young colleague had nearly suffered a similar fate, but escaped with just bruising.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that both incidents involved concrete staircases/landings toppling over onto employees of ACP (Concrete) Ltd of Maryport, Cumbria, on 2nd September 2011.

The first incident occurred in the staircase department of the factory in Lakes Road, Workington. A 17-year-old employee was attempting to push the landing over to allow it to lean against the raised forks of a fork-lift truck. The landing failed to roll onto the forks and instead came backwards and toppled onto him. The landing struck a bar which prevented it from completely falling and crushing the employee, but left him with severe bruising.

In the second incident a straight concrete staircase weighing almost three tonnes was stood on its narrow edge while employee Martin McGlasson, 37, was carrying out remedial work. The staircase toppled over and crushed Mr McGlasson. He died of multiple internal injuries.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) into the incidents found that there should have been support or restraint for the staircases and landings when they were stored on their narrow edge. There should also have been a safe system of work for turning the staircases/landings over on to their back.

ACP (Concrete) Ltd, of Workington Road, Flimby, Maryport, Cumbria, was fined a total of £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,636 after pleading guilty to two offences under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

ACP (Concrete) Ltd is a division of Thomas Armstrong Holdings.