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Scissor lift driven into recess - results in workers death

Scissor lift driven into recess - results in workers death

26 August 2012 Email this article

A worker has been killed after driving a specialist machine into an unprotected pit in a factory floor and two companies have been fined as a result.


On 12 April 2008, the contractor Martin McMenemy, aged 52 and from Grimsby, had been working for O. Turner Insulation Ltd, on the construction if a food processing plant in Ratby Lane, Leicester.


He died of head injuries in hospital, after being thrown out of a scissor lift when it overturned. He had been installing wall and ceiling panels, when he mistakenly drove the scissor lift into a shallow uncovered recess.

The investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), showed that O. Turner Insulation Ltd and the principal contractor Clegg Food Projects Ltd of Nottingham, had not taken simple precautions to cover the hole. It was found that the incident could have been avoided, if the hole had been covered with a metal plate or cordoned off.

O. Turner Insulation Ltd, of Estate Road No 4, South Humberside Industrial Estate, Grimsby, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 13(2) and 37(6) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £22,500 with £12,806 costs.

Clegg Food Projects Ltd, of High Pavement, Nottingham, admitted breaching Regulations 22(1)(a) and 37(6) of the same Regulations and was fined £22,500 with £12,674 costs.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Stephen Farthing said:

"This was an entirely preventable tragedy. A family has been left without a father because simple precautions were not taken to eliminate what was an obvious hazard.

"Both companies had a duty to plan, manage and monitor the work being carried out under their control, but failed in that duty."

Mr McMenemy had two sons, Ashley and Simon. His oldest son, Ashley, 33, worked with him as a thermal insulation engineer for a number of years, including at Mr McMenemy's own company and later O. Turner Insulation Ltd, but changed career after the incident.

He said:

"I lost interest in working as a thermal insulation engineer following the incident. The work wasn't the same and I simply didn't enjoy it any more.

"I miss Dad and I am upset that if I ever have any children he will not get to see them. I often think of him, and all the things we haven't yet done. I miss getting to know him better."