Tyne & Wear

CEMEX UK and Ward Bros fined for Gary Ward Divet Hill Quarry death

Aerial view of Divet Hill Quarry Image copyright Google
Image caption Gary Ward, from Crook in County Durham, died at Divet Hill Quarry near Great Bavington in Northumberland in 2009

Two companies have been fined a total of £145,000 after a man was killed in a quarry in Northumberland.

Gary Ward, 43, died at Divet Hill Quarry on 19 February, 2009, after being trapped by a large stone crushing machine.

Quarry owners CEMEX UK and Mr Ward's employer, Ward Bros Plant Hire, admitted breaching the Health and Safety Act at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Ward was the nephew of Ward Bros' chairman.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted both firms after investigating Mr Ward's death.

The mechanical fitter, from Crook in County Durham, had gone underneath a conveyor belt on the large crusher to fix a fault when the machine moved and trapped him, the court heard.

He died from asphyxiation.

'Needless death'

The HSE said a fault caused the machine to move and proper procedure was not followed before Mr Ward started the work.

Ward Bros, based in Langley Moor, County Durham, was fined £85,000 and ordered to pay £55,000 costs, while Surrey-based CEMEX UK was fined £60,000 with £37,500 costs to pay.

Speaking after the hearing, CEMEX UK said: "Our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of Gary Ward.

"We have worked closely with the authorities and all learning points have been identified and addressed."

Ward Bros declined to comment after being contacted by the BBC.

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