THE WIFE of Hemsworth miner Ian Cameron has spoken of her relief at getting justice for her husband.
The Kellingley Colliery miner, 46, of Holly Street, Hemsworth, was killed in October 2009 when a roof support spontaneously lowered onto him.
The father-of-two - a face worker with 30 years’ experience - died in hospital shortly after the incident.
On Wednesday, UK Coal, which runs the pit, was fined £200,000 and made to pay £218,000 in costs after pleading guilty to failing to ensure safety of its workers when using powered roof supports.
UK Coal also admitted health and safety breaches as the machine had not been properly maintained and suffered a technical fault.
Prosecuting Rex Tedd, speaking at Leeds Crown Court, said: “Mr Cameron died as a result of his injuries when a powered roof support lowered spontaneously, crushing him against large amounts of debris that had accumulated within the walkway of the machine.
“A solenoid valve within the powered roof support had become worn and defective. The result was that hydraulic fluid was able to pass under pressure through a valve and cause the powered roof support canopy to descend without the control button being pressed.”
Joy Mining Machinery, the company which made the powered roof support which crushed Mr Cameron, was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £100,000 costs.
An administrative error meant that news of a similar fault that occurred on an identical machine in Australia a year earlier was not communicated to its customers – which included UK Coal.
After the sentencing, Mr Cameron’s widow Carol said: “I would like to thank the Health and Safety Executive for bringing both UK Coal and Joy Mining Machinery to court to answer for their part in the death of my loving husband Ian.
“I also want to thank the National Union of Mineworkers for their support and guidance during what has been a very harrowing time for me and my family.
“Words cannot describe how life has dramatically changed for our family. Ian was not just a husband and father, he was my soul mate and a fantastic father to Kailum and Charlotte.
“Every day I feel empty and every day I wish he was still with us, where he should have been all along. All of our family have been devastated by the tragic death of my lovely husband.
“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.
“I and my family continue to suffer greatly as a result of Ian’s death. We are relieved that the court proceedings have come to an end and that both companies have admitted responsibility.”