A FIRM has been fined £100,000 after one of its employee was crushed to death by a three-tonne girder.

John Mott, 47, of Green Road, Penistone, died while working at Barugh Green-based Bespoke Precast Limited, now called Charcon Precast Solutions, in 2009.

The Whaley Road company, which manufactures concrete platforms and stairways, admitted breaching health and safety regulations at Sheffield Crown Court.

His widow Janet said her husband's death could and should have been prevented.

"John was a kind and loveable man who enjoyed his work and was a massive football fan.

"We still feel distraught about losing him in this way and hope valuable lessons about the importance of health and safety at work have been learnt.

"We don't want another family to lose a loved one because of a preventable accident at work."

Mr Mott worked for the company, which turned over £3.3million in the last financial year, and its predecessors for about 20 years.

He was one of 27 employees at the time of his death on March 30 2009.

Samuel Green prosecuting said Bespoke failed to provide a safe system of work and the incident was the result of systematic failure by the company.

"At 2pm on March 30, an 8.6-metre girder fell off a metal bench.

"The girder was attached to a five-tonne beam clamp. The beam clamp was removed from the girder but snagged causing it to fall from the bench crushing Mr Mott."

Bernard Thorogood defending apologised on behalf of Bespoke.

"This was a company with a genuine and sincere record of health and safety.

"It's not in any way a company in dereliction of its duty.

"It was a significant oversight but not accurate to call the failure systematic."

Imposing a fine of £100,000, judge Graham Robinson said Bespoke had failed to protect the safety of Mr Mott and fallen woefully short of what it ought to have done.

"The real tragedy in this case is it is not a fly-by-night, penny-pinching company but quite the reverse.

"In the context the company had a very good health and safety record and co-operated fully.

"It is not a case where the defending business failed to heed previous warnings or traded safety for a financial motive."

Bespoke also agreed to pay prosecution costs of more than £42,000.