Company directors warned of their duty to protect staff following the death of a

Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA) on 2009-03-05 10:45:55

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned company directors of their personal duty to protect their employees following the death of a 17-year-old apprentice. Christopher John Pridmore, of Scholars Way, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500 at Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. On 6 November 2006, Simon Murphy was working as an apprentice at Chris Pridmore Joinery Ltd's workshop on the Maun Valley Trading Estate in Sutton-in-Ashfield, when a stack of MDF boards fell on him. He later died in Kings Mill Hospital from serious head injuries. HSE inspector Maureen Kingman said: "The boards were stored on top of a bench in the workshop and fell because a bracket that was intended to restrain them was not strong enough to support their weight.  The bracket failed after only a week in use. "This was a tragic loss of a young life which could have been easily avoided. Mr Pridmore neglected to provide safe arrangements for the storage of sheets of MDF boards.  The bracket, which had been produced to Mr Pridmore's design, posed inherent risk and its use as part of the storage system was ill-conceived. "I hope other company directors can learn from this incident." In a statement released via the HSE, Simon's family said: "Simon is thought of and greatly missed every day by all his family. Whilst the loss of Simon is not lessened we are all pleased that the court case has been concluded and that we can "draw a line" and continue our lives."

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