Tyne & Wear

Jason Burden crush inquest: Accidental death verdict

A teenager crushed at work when machinery weighing almost a tonne fell on him was killed accidently, an inquest has ruled.

Jason Burden, from South Shields, died in 2011 when working as an apprentice at Tyne Slipway and Engineering Co Ltd at South Dock in Sunderland.

The 970kg (152 stone) tunnel thruster fell from a bench.

In January, the firm was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay almost £48,000 in costs for health and safety failings.

A jury at the inquest held at Sunderland Coroner's Court was instructed to return the verdict of accidental death.

Mr Burden's father, Trevor, said: "We are heartbroken that we have lost our beautiful son in an accident that could and should have been prevented.

"We acknowledge and accept the conclusion of accidental death, but hopefully lessons have been learned and no family has to suffer the unbearable pain we feel."

In January, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive concluded the company failed to take sufficient steps to ensure the machinery in question was safe to work on or near.

It added Mr Burden's death could have been avoided had his employers taken simple steps to safely secure the machinery to the workbench.

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