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Worker killed by gantry crane

10 June 2019

A SUPERCONDUCTING electromagnet company, Tesla Engineering Ltd, has been sentenced after a worker was fatally hit and crushed by an overhead gantry crane.

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard how on 23 March 2018 Dr Craig McEwan, 34, a unit manager of Tesla Engineering Ltd, died while undertaking the making of a super conducting magnet coil at the Water Lane Industrial Estate, Storrington, Sussex. Dr McEwan was working on top of a tank when he became caught between a moving gantry crane and a metal chimney on the top of the tank.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Tesla Engineering Ltd had failed to implement measures to prevent a person from being hit by the overhead gantry crane. A chimney extension had recently been fitted to a tank and increased the height workers had to access , thereby puttingworkers at a height where they could come into contact with the overhead gantry crane. However, no measures had been put in place to ensure that the gantry crane could not be operated while workers were in an area where they could come into contact with the crane.

Tesla Engineering Limited, of Water Lane Industrial Park, Storrington pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £400,000 and ordered to pay £7546.72 in costs.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Russell Beckett commented: “Tesla Engineering adapted the work process it carried out but failed to review its planning or to take measures to ensure that workers could not be hit by the moving overhead gantry crane. Simple measures to either lock out the crane or to prevent workers accessing dangerous areas could have been implemented but were not, which ultimately led to Dr McEwan losing his life.”