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North Yorkshire steel firm fined after worker crushed to death under forklift truck

Severfield, Dalton, North Yorkshire

The UK's largest structural steel firm has been fined £135,000 after one of it's employees was fatally crushed under a forklift truck.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Severfield, which employs 300 staff at its plant at Dalton Airfield Industrial Estate, near Thirsk, admitted failing to ensure the safety of its workforce.

Kelvin McGibbon, 27, was driving the forklift when it overturned and he was thrown from the vehicle, before being crushed face-down.

His family and staff were left devastated when he died soon after in March 2013.

The court heard that there was an endemic culture of "not being bothered to wear a seatbelt", despite the high risks, had existed over numerous years at the plant.

Lisa Roberts QC, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive said, Mr McGibbon, who was not wearing a seatbelt had been warned over driving forklifts too fast.

She said, Mr McGibbon had received several rounds of training in which he was instructed to wear a seatbelt, but the rule was never enforced by Severfield.

The firm which said they had learnt lessons, warned staff that failure to wear a seatbelt would result in instant dismissal.

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First meeting of the Steel Council

The first Steel Council will meet today with government ministers, UK Steel and other representatives and trade unions, to stand up for the future of the industry.

The meeting will look at how to address long-term issues for the steel sector and propose steps to protect producers.

The GMB union says steel industry is vital to the UK, directly employing almost 18,000 people in production and contributing around £9.5bn to the economy.

Last year the SSI plant in Redcar shut with the loss of almost 2,000 jobs.

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