Engineering company boss jailed after 16 year-old apprentice dies

Two men who ran an engineering company in Bury have been sentenced for health and safety offences that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old apprentice.

Cameron Minshull was working at Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd in December 2012 when a month in to the apprenticeship, organised by Lime People Training Solutions, Cameron was operating a Computerised Numeric Lathe unsupervised despite having been given no meaningful training.

He was instructed to perform a task which involved him putting his arm inside the machine whilst it was running, which was made possible due to the safety lock on the machine door being disabled.

This resulted in Cameron getting pulled into the machine and sustaining severe injuries to his head and face.

Cameron was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead a short time later.

Zaffar Hussain, 59, from Bury has been sentenced to eight months in prison and disqualified from working as a company director for 10 years.

Akbar Hussain, 36, and also from Bury was given a suspended sentence of four months in prison and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work. He was also given a £3,000 fine.

Both men were found guilty of failure of a director or senior supervisor in their duty to provide appropriate health and safety measures which resulted in the death of Cameron Minshull at Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd in Bury on 8 January 2013.

Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd was found guilty of Corporate Manslaughter and failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees and was fined £150,000.

Lime People Training Solutions, the recruitment firm who placed Cameron at Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd, was found guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety of a person other than an employee and was fined £75,000.

Inspector Ben Cottam from GMP’s Bury Division said the sentencing “marks the completion of a joint investigation between GMP and HSE spanning almost two and a half years.

“It has been a sad and difficult investigation for all involved but I’m pleased that the result has been that those responsible for Cameron’s death have been held to account.”

Health and Safety Executive inspector Sarah Taylor said: “What happened at Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd was simply inexcusable.

“What makes this incident worse is that Cameron lost his life undertaking a task that was unnecessary, as Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd’s customer was happy to amend its design. If Zaffar or Akbar Hussain had thought to check the specifications with their customer before the incident, Cameron would still be alive.

“Organisations that place apprentices with employers should make checks in proportion to the level of risk present in the workplace.  Lime People Training Solutions Ltd placed Cameron at Huntley Mount Engineering Ltd without conducting even basic checks to ensure that it was a safe and healthy environment for any worker, especially a 16 year old boy.”

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