A firm has pleaded guilty to a string of health and safety offences, more than two years after a “bubbly” worker was killed when a tyre exploded.
Dad-of-one Gary Jackson, 46, described as a “happy-go-lucky lad” by colleagues, was working at Red Scar Tyres, on the Red Scar Industrial Estate, Longridge Road, Ribbleton, Preston, in February 2012.
The 46-year-old, of Victoria Street, Lostock Hall, was working alone at around 10.30am on February 21, 2012, repairing a tyre for a lorry driver when it exploded, causing a large tear.
When the air hit Mr Jackson, who had worked for the company for around five years, it flung him across the building.
The wagon driver and a sales rep tried to help the tyre fitter and paramedics were called.
But he died in hospital, where a pathologist gave his cause of death as blood in his chest caused by a cut aorta.
Mr Jackson is survived by a young daughter.
The firm was at the centre of controversy after detectives told Mr Jackson’s inquest a piece of equipment, deemed evidence, was “moved” as they investigated the incident, though no criminal case has arisen from this.
In a hearing at Preston Magistrates’ Court, Red Scar Tyres pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees by exposing them to injury from the blasts of burst tyres; failing to ensure persons not in its employment were not exposed to a risk to their health and safety, and failing to make a suitable risk assessment regarding the health and safety of employees.
Stuart Denney QC prosecuted the case on behalf of Preston City Council.
Michael Hayton QC, defending, said no other incidents had happened at the family firm and asked magistrates to deal with the sentencing. But the bench deemed the matters too serious to deal with and committed the case to Preston Crown Court, where the firm’s managing director, Michael McEwan, will appear on November 25.
The firm did not comment to the LEP.