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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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PM needs to do more to stop Chinese 'steel dumping'

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community, has said the Prime Minister needs to do more to stop Chinese steel dumping.

His comments came as Chinese Premier Xi Jinping flies into the UK as the news that steel company Caparo has gone into administration threatening 1700 jobs.

135 jobs at the Hartlepool site are under threat - even though staff have been told to go into work 'as normal' while the company reviews 'its options'.

It comes after SSI UK went into administration at the beginning of this month with the loss of 2, 200 jobs at their Redcar plant on Teesside.

Roy Rickhuss, eneral Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community Credit: Dave Higgins/PA Wire/Press Association Images

“The Prime Minister needs to do more than ‘raise’ the issue. He needs to tell the Chinese Premier what action he’s going to take to stop Chinese steel damaging the future of a vital foundation industry in the UK.

He needs to tell them that infrastructure projects will not be at the expense of UK industry and communities.

And he needs to tell UK steelworkers today when his government is going to bring forward the compensation package for energy intensive industry.”

– Roy Rickhuss, eneral Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community
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