Son lost interest in career after father died at work28 August 2012
A worker was killed when he drove a specialist machine into an unprotected hole in a factory floor, during a construction project four years ago.
Martin McMenemy, 52, was working for Grimsby-based firm O. Turner Insulation Ltd on the construction of a food-processing plant in Leicester when the incident happened, on 12 April 2008.
He was using a scissor lift to install wall and ceiling panels when, unknowingly, he steered the vehicle towards a shallow uncovered cavity. As it drove over the recess, the vehicle overturned and Mr McMenemy was ejected out of it. He died later in hospital from severe head injuries.
An HSE investigation found that O. Turner Insulation Ltd and principal contractor Clegg Food Projects Ltd, of Nottingham, had failed to take simple precautions to cover the hole.
At a hearing on 24 August, the regulator told Leicester Crown Court that the incident could have been prevented had the pit been covered with a metal plate, or cordoned off entirely.
O. Turner Insulation Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching regs.13(2) and 37(6) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 – respectively, for failing to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase of the project without risks to health and safety, and for failing to undertake suitable and sufficient measures to prevent the vehicle falling into the pit. It was fined £22,500 plus £12,806 in costs.
Clegg Food Projects Ltd admitted breaching regs.22(1)(a) and 37(6) of the same legislation – the former charge specific to the role of the principal contractor to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase safely – and was fined £22,500, with £12,806 in costs.
The victim’s eldest son, Ashley, 33, who had worked alongside his father as a thermal-insulation engineer for several years, 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 hadn’t yet done. I miss getting to know him better.”
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.”
In a statement issued to SHP, Clegg Food Projects expressed its “deepest sympathy” to Mr McMenemy’s family and friends, and described him as “an extremely experienced and respected individual”.
It highlighted the judge’s sentencing remarks, which referred to the breach by Clegg Food Projects as “a blip in an otherwise impeccable safety record”. The company added: “Four years after this tragic event Clegg continues to ensure that those who attend its sites are safe.”
SHP is awaiting a statement from O. Turner Insulation.
Join SHP Online
- ✔ Download free reports and research
- ✔ Access free Digital magazine
- ✔ Email newsletter briefings