The owner of a transport company has been fined £12,000 for safety failings after a Broughton Astley mechanic was killed at work.
Mark Wintersgill (25) died while attempting to jack up the axle of a double-decker HGV trailer at PPR Transport Services, in Lutterworth.
The jack separated from the axle and struck him, causing fatal head injuries.
Business owner Paul Anthony Roberts was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the operation was poorly planned and managed.
Leicester Crown Court heard on Tuesday last week that Mr Wintersgill was attempting to jack the trailer on a set of concrete ramps.
The mechanic was using an air jack powered by a compressor and is thought to have put two wooden blocks on top of the jack to achieve a greater lifting height. It is believed the jack jumped under the pressure of the load. The court was told that Mr Wintersgill should not have been under a vehicle being lifted until it was fully supported by appropriate chassis or axle stands.
The HSE said Roberts was responsible for ensuring that work at the site was properly assessed and controlled, with suitable safety measures, training and equipment in place and available.
Roberts (51) of Lilac Drive, Lutterworth, was fined £12,000 with costs of £43,000 after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws by failing to protect his employee.
The court heard he was unaware the practice was dangerous. The firm has since implemented new safety procedures.
After the hearing HSE inspector David Lefever said: “This was a tragic incident that could have been prevented had a few basic precautions been taken. Mr Roberts should have ensured his employees were supplied with the correct equipment and that they were trained in how to use that equipment safely.
“He should also have ensured his employees followed a safe system of work.
“He failed to do any of that and as a result a young man paid with his life.”
Speaking after last week’s sentencing hearing, Mr Wintersgill’s mum Jeanine Erasmus said: “I still have one amazing son, Craig, whom I love with all my heart, but there is emptiness inside me due to Mark’s death that will haunt me every day for the rest of my life.
“Mark was one in a million. He was kind, loving, happy, sincere, loyal, genuine, caring, hardworking and would help anyone out. He could light up a room. He had a cheeky smile and such a deep chuckle, and a twinkle in his blue eyes.
“Nobody should have to bury their 25-year-old son. No-one should feel needless pain and suffering. Mark was an extraordinary son and human being who did not deserve this fate.”