Father crushed by three-ton anchor 'should not have been there', inquest heard

First published in Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Stockton/Hartlepool)

A MAN crushed to death by a three-ton anchor should not have been working in the area, an inquest was told today (Tuesday, November 6).

Safety manager Joseph Atkinson conducted his own investigation into the death of Kevin Watson at Middlesbrough dry dock in February, 2009.

He told the Middlesbrough inquest that the  47-year-old father-of-two was an experienced crane driver but should not have taken charge of dealing with anchors and chains from the ship.

He added that Mr Watson, originally of Hemlington, Middlesbrough,  should have had a Safety in Slinging (mechanical lifting) certificate.

“Mr Watson made some errors, in particular leaving the anchor standing up...He wasn’t as competent as I would like him to have been.”

Mr Atkinson said anchors should always be laid flat and a procedure using a crane should have been carried out so any fall of the three metre high anchor was controlled.

Deputy coroner Samuel Faulks also heard the written testimony of Glyn Middleton, the only person who actually saw the anchor fall on Mr Watson.

In his statement he said: “I was just about to stand next to Kevin and he said we only needed one hook (to complete the job). I stood back slightly and the anchor started to fall. I had no time to shout. He was underneath the anchor.”

Later Mr Atkinson, who interviewed Glyn Middleton as part of his investigations said the anchor only missed the younger man by inches. 

The inquest continues.

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