Mining museum fined following worker’s death

National Coal Mining Museum for England
National Coal Mining Museum for England

The National Coal Mining Museum Trust and two engineering companies have been ordered to pay a total of £590,000 in fines and costs after a worker was crushed and killed at the museum in 2011.

Dad-of-two Michael Buckingham, 58, of Barnsley, died after he became trapped between a tunnel construction machine and a dumper loader that he was operating.

Michael Buckingham

Michael Buckingham

Sheffield Crown Court heard that he was part of a team engaged in the second phase of a £2.7 million improvement project who were working overnight at Caphouse Colliery, Overton.

The museum trust was fined £10,000 with £35,000 costs after admitting breaching the Management and Administration of Safety and Health at Mines Regulations 1993.

But the court heard the museum’s acts and omissions were not a cause of Mr Buckingham’s death. The public were not put at risk and its culpability was considerably less than the other two defendants.

Co-defendants Amalgamated Construction Ltd (AMCO), of Barugh Green, Barnsley, who employed Mr Buckingham, were fined a total of £110,000 with £245,000 costs after admitting a breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act plus a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

Metal Innovations Ltd, of Unit 54 Business Park, Llandow, Cowbridge, Wales, was fined £80,000 with £110,000 in costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act in connection with the supply of machinery.

Afterwards, HSE principal inspector for mines Paul Bradley said: “The Trust’s failure did not play a direct role in the tragic loss of life, unlike the combination of failures of the other two defendants.”