The family of a man who was crushed to death after a workplace accident has welcomed a crown court sentence but has said the punishment can never make up for the loss of life.

Lorraine Sanderson from Rishton in Blackburn said the fines levied on Brookhouse Tooling Ltd, based in Holme Mill, and parent company Brookhouse Composites Ltd by Preston Crown Court meant justice had been done and added that she hoped the firm had learnt its lesson and would take health and safety seriously in the future.

She said: “Allan was cheated out of the life he wanted to live because his employers failed to make sure he and his workmates were safe. It is difficult coming to terms with the fact that one day he went to work as normal but he never came home.”

Mr Sanderson, 50, a Unite the Union member, died after he was crushed by machinery while moving heavy metal in the factory in December 2008. He left behind his wife, Lorraine, two children and two grandchildren.

Died from injuries the following day

He was trapped underneath more than two tonnes of machinery and fire fighters fought to free him. He died the next day in the Royal Blackburn Hospital from his injuries.

A colleague was also injured in the accident but survived.

Following his death an inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) charged the firm parent company Brookhouse Composites Ltd with breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company, now trading as Kaman Composites UK Ltd was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £35,000 in costs.

Brookhouse Tooling Ltd, now trading as Kaman Tooling Ltd, was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £35,000 in costs after admitting breaching Section2(1) of the Act.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following Mr Sanderson’s death Unite instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a civil claim for compensation. The firm admitted liability and settled the case out of court.

Paul Finegan, regional secretary of Unite in the North West said: “Mr Sanderson’s family were devastated by this tragic accident and their loss is immeasurable. The fine in no way reflects this.

“Harsh lessons need to be taken from this accident. Too many people die each year from accidents at work. Employers need to take their health and safety obligations seriously otherwise more innocent workers will face an untimely end.”

Samantha Hemsley, who dealt with the family’s civil claim at Thompsons Solicitors said: “Brookhouse Tooling’s lack of proper interest in even basic health and safety led to the death of a much loved family man. Sadly, however much this sentence and compensation already received give the family some sense of justice, they can never make up for their huge personal loss.”