UK Coal fined over miner Ian Cameron's death

Kellingley Colliery
Image caption Three miners have died in accidents at Kellingley since 2008

UK Coal has been fined £200,000 after it pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches over the death of a miner at a North Yorkshire pit.

Ian Cameron, 46, died at the Kellingley Pit when equipment fell on him in 2009.

The company admitted failing to ensure powered roof supports were properly maintained and it also admitted health and safety breaches at the coal face in March.

UK Coal was ordered to pay a further £218,000 in costs.

Leeds Crown Court had heard that Mr Cameron died as a result of his injuries when a powered roof support (PRS) lowered spontaneously, crushing him against large amounts of debris that had accumulated within the walkway of the support.

It emerged a valve within the PRS had become worn and defective.

'Deep regret'

The Health and Safety Executive's Mining Inspectorate found powered roof supports installed where Mr Cameron worked had been salvaged from another coal face at the mine, and assessed by UK Coal as fit for transfer with limited maintenance.

The PRS was one of several hundred supplied by Joy Mining Machinery Ltd. The company had failed to notify UK Coal of a similar malfunction in Australia in 2008.

Joy Mining was fined £50,000 after admitting breaches of health and safety rules at an earlier hearing.

Mr Cameron's death was one of three at the Kellingley colliery since 2008.

Don Cook, 50, died in a rock fall in September 2008 and Gerry Gibson, 49, died in September 2011 after a roof collapsed.

In a statement, UK Coal said: "We deeply regret any injury, or loss of life, which is felt deeply throughout our company; and our thoughts today are with the family and friends of Ian Cameron at this difficult time.

"The historic level of fatal accidents is totally unacceptable to the new management team and a full review of health and safety has been carried out across the business. Significant progress has been made and safety remains our number one priority."

Mr Cameron's widow, Carol, said: "Every day I feel empty and every day I wish he was still with us, where he should have been. All of our family have been devastated by the tragic death of my lovely husband Ian.

"I am glad that justice has been seen to be done in bringing both UK Coal and Joy Mining to account for their obvious shortcomings in health and safety and the proper maintenance of machinery, which resulted in Ian's death back in 2009."

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