The family of a 19 year old man from South Shields who was crushed to death at work have heard today (23 May 2014) that a jury at an inquest at Sunderland Coroners Court followed the Coroner’s direction and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Jason was killed in 2011 while working as an apprentice at Tyne Slipway and Engineering Co Ltd at South Dock. A ship’s engine, known as a bow thruster, fell from a bench and crushed him. He was taken immediately to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle via air ambulance but died before reaching the hospital.

An investigation into Jason’s death by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which concluded in January 2014 found that Tyne Slipway and Engineering Co Ltd had failed to take sufficient steps to ensure that the piece of machinery in question was safe to work on or near. The HSE further went on record to say that Jason’s death could have been avoided had his employers taken simple steps to safely secure the machinery to the workbench.

Tyne Slipway and Engineering Co Ltd were fined £75,000 at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this year and were ordered to pay in excess of £47,000 in costs for defaulting on their health and safety obligations to Jason.

However, a Coroner at today’s inquest instructed the jury to render a verdict of accidental death.

His father Trevor Burden said: "We are heartbroken that we have lost our beautiful son in an accident that could and should have been prevented.”

“We acknowledge and accept the conclusion of accidental death from this trial, but hopefully lessons have been learned and no family has to suffer the unbearable pain we feel. We are pleased that Tyne Slipway and Engineering company have taken steps to ensure this never happens again.”