Published: 10:07, 20 January 2020
| Updated: 15:28, 20 January 2020
A man was killed after falling from a trailer and being crushed by a concrete beam that fell on him.
The 'avoidable' incident - which happened at Haguelands Farm, in Burmarsh Road, Burmarsh, on Romney Marsh - resulted in a £30,000 fine for the company he worked for following a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
On March 13, 2018, Trevor ‘Ted’ Elson, a general farm worker of A.A. Clifton Limited, was working with others to move six-metre-long concrete beams from the farmyard to the farmhouse, where an extension was under construction
Each beam weighed more than 300kg and needed to be lifted by a forklift.
Whilst on the trailer, attaching lifting chains to unload a beam, Mr Elson, from Aldington, near Ashford, tripped and fell from the edge, catching one of the beams which was unstable from the way previous beams had been removed.
This beam then fell from the trailer, landing on his upper body and crushing him to death.
An investigation was launched by the HSE, which found that the operation to move the beams was carried out at short notice and had not been properly planned.
"This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a long-term employee..."
The employees were left to decide how to do it themselves, leading to an unsafe system of work.
None of them had been trained in lifting and slinging operations.
At Folkestone Magistrates Court on Tuesday, January 7, A.A. Clifton Limited, of Haguelands Farm, Burmarsh, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £30,000, with full costs of £5446.50.
HSE inspector Stephen Green said: "This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a long-term employee.
"It could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.
"Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working."
Mr Elson had worked at A.A.Clifton Limited for 47 years from the age of 21 to 68, continuing in a part time role after retiring.
A statement from the directors of the business, said: "We are very sorry as a business and as a family that a loyal and well regarded colleague died due to a work related accident.
"As a business, we do our best to ensure a safe place of work, however, unfortunately a regrettable accident happened.
"We deeply regret its happening and have taken steps to ensure that nothing similar happens in the future.
"Our thought are with his family, friends and former work colleagues at this time."
More by this authorSam Williams