Tragedy as young dad, 28, crushed to death cleaning 13ft magnet at recycling plant

Martin Kane, 28, died following the accident at a recycling plant in Scotland

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A young dad was crushed to death by a huge magnet in an accident at a recycling plant in Scotland.

Martin Kane, 28, died on March 28, 2018, as a result of negligence by recycling firm Enva Scotland Limited, which has been handed a six-figure fine for its failings.

His son will grow up without his "popular, conscientious and capable" father as a result of the tragedy, a court heard.

Mr Kane was cleaning a shredding machine that had been hired by the firm at its recycling plant in Linwood, Renfrewshire.

His "entirely preventable" death was caused when he was struck by a magnet which weighed over a tonne, reports the Daily Record.

While cleaning the 13ft tall machine, Mr Kane and his colleague tried to dislodge waste that had become trapped in the machine.

They also started trying to take the magnet off, and managed to remove one of the two pins holding it in place by hand.

Martin Kane leaves behind a young son

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After he struck the second pin with a hammer, the magnet fell, trapping Mr Kane underneath, and his cause of death was recorded as "head injury due to industrial accident."

Staff had received training on how to use the machine, but not how to use the magnet, and the employee delivering the training was unaware the magnet may have to be cleaned.

On Tuesday, the case against the firm, which was formerly known as William Tracey Limited, was called at Paisley Sheriff Court.

Martin was cruched to death in a "preventable" accident

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The firm had earlier pleaded guilty to a single charge of failing "to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work" of its employees, in breach of Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The charge stated the firm "did fail to ensure that all persons engaged in the tasks of cleaning and using a Terex TDS 820 tracked mobile shredder had received adequate training, information and instruction on the deployment of an overhead magnet fitted to" the machine, leading to Mr Kane's death.

As he fined the firm £264,000, reduced from £320,000 due to a guilty plea preventing the need for a trial, Sheriff Colin Pettigrew said: "This is a serious case.

The accident happened at this recycling plant in Scotland

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"It involves the death of a young man aged 28, a father of a young son, someone who tragically is accepted to have had a proactive approach to health and safety.

"The failure on the part of the management of the Company was not, I stress, with a view to profit. The failure was to ensure the provision of adequate training, information and instruction on the shredder and in particular on the deployment of the over band magnet.

"Context is a relevant consideration and something I have taken into account. The failure related to the particular machine and the task being undertaken.

The firm has apologised for Mr Kane's death

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"It lasted for a relatively short period of time.  More than the deceased were however exposed to the risk of harm."

He noted the company, which employs 1,500 workers across the UK, has a good health and safety record, no previous convictions, and cooperated fully with the Health and Safety Executive's investigation.

He also said the firm "has a mature health and safety management in place", is accredited by the British Standards Institution on health and safety, and had taken "extensive robust steps… to address the deficiencies identified by the incident."

The case against the firm was heard at Paisley Sheriff Court

He added: "I am satisfied that the tragic loss of a popular conscientious employee has had a major impact.

"There is genuine remorse on the part of all the deceased's former colleagues at every level, up to Board level.

"I note the Company is endeavouring as best it can to support its workforce and the deceased's family."

An Enva spokesperson said: "Martin was a well-liked and highly regarded colleague and we deeply regret that this accident resulted in such tragic consequences."

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