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Brickworks fined over schoolgirl fatality

CARLTON Main Brickworks Ltd have been fined £25,000 after being convicted of failing to provide and maintain a suitable barrier around the boundary of a quarry where a 13-year old schoolgirl died.

On 26 April 2007, Amber Worth from Brierley, in Barnsley, and five of her friends gained access to the quarry at Clayburn Road, Grimethorpe, Barnsley, which had no security fence or barrier. She was killed almost instantly when a boulder weighing around half a tonne became dislodged and fell on top of her.

Carlton Main Brickworks Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc, Act 1974 for their failure to provide and maintain a suitable barrier around the boundary of the quarry, which is situated behind the brickworks.

At the sentencing hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday 27 November 2009, the company was also ordered to pay full costs of £22,833.

HSE Inspector Richard Noble said: ‘This is a tragic case where a young girl died as a result of the company not securing its premises. I hope today’s prosecution will act as a stark warning to other owners of quarries and construction sites that they have a responsibility to provide a secure, adequate barrier to prevent people getting in.

‘In this case, the company was next to a housing estate, where children could easily gain access. A metal palisade fence has now been installed, but had the proper measures been put in place, this terrible incident could have been avoided.’

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