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Firms fined £250,000 after miner's North Yorkshire pit death
TWO firms have today been fined a total of £250,000 after admitting breaches in health and safety rules following the death of a miner at a North Yorkshire pit.
Ian Cameron, 46, died at the Kellingley Pit, near Selby, in October 2009 when equipment fell on him, leading to UK Coal Ltd and machinery supplier Joy Mining Machinery Ltd being prosecuted.
Both companies were today sentenced at Leeds Crown Court, with UK Coal being fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £218,000 in costs after admitting failing to take steps to ensure the safety of workers using powered roof supports.
Joy Mining Machinery admitted failing to send out a bulletin warning of a dangerous defect in its roof supports and received a £50,000 fine, as well as being told to pay £100,000 in costs.
Following the hearing, Paul Bradley, the Health and Safety Executive's principal inspector of mines, said: "We beought this case because of the serious safety failings uncovered during investigations.
"This is the fifth prosecution HSE has had to take against UK Coal in the past five years involving the deaths of five miners under very tragic circumstances."
He said Joy Mining's failure to warn workers about the defect in the roof supports was "an error of quite staggering proportion and a serious failing in its duty of care".
Mr Cameron's widow Carol said: "I would like to thank the Health and Safety Executive for bringing both UK Coal and Joy Mining Machinery to court to answer for their part in the death of my loving husband, Ian.
"I also want to thank the National Union of Mineworkers for their support and guidance during what has been a very harrowing time for me and my family.
"Words cannot describe how life has dramatically changed for our family. Ian was not just a husband and father, he was my soul mate and a fantastic father to Kailum and Charlotte.
"Every day I feel empty and every day I wish he was still with us, where he should have been. All of our family have been devastated by the tragic death of my lovely husband, Ian.
"I am glad that justice has been seen to be done in bringing both UK Coal and Joy Mining to account for their obvious shortcomings in health and safety and the proper maintenance of machinery, which resulted in Ian's death back in 2009.
"I and my family continue to suffer greatly as a result of Ian's death. We are relieved that the court proceedings have come to an end and that both companies have admitted responsibility."