Manufacturing company Hanson Packed Products Ltd has been prosecuted after a 26 year old worker was fatally crushed when his arm was caught in a powered roller.
The young man was clearing sand around the base of an in-feed conveyor at the company’s bagging site in Dagenham, moments before his right arm was drawn into the roller.
Southwark Crown Court heard that there should have been fixed guards surrounding the powered roller to prevent access to the dangerous moving parts. However, a critical guard was not in place. It’s a fact that the removal of critical guarding will often occur when workers don’t properly understand the risk. Any business needs to ensure that dangerous parts are safely guarded to comply with PUWER but must also ensure staff are properly trained and that management supervises that guarding routinely.
In this case the HSE investigation found that a guard had not been in place on the machine for a few days. It also found there had been issues with the machinery on the previous day, which the man was trying to rectify at the time of the incident.
Hanson Packed Products Ltd of Maidenhead, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and were fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £29,511.
After the hearing the HSE Principal Inspector commented that this death of a young worker could and should have been prevented. Where safety depends on guards, employers need to regularly inspect them and be confident they are properly in place and that they are effective.
In a statement Mr Ridge’s family said; “The loss of William, our son and brother in September 2013 in an accident in his work place was a devastating loss for all the family. We have spent the past two years searching for answers and hoping for justice for William. We are glad we are finally at a point where this will happen. Once this is over we will finally be able to try to rebuild our lives as best as we can without William. We are still coming to terms with our loss, and we are finally getting the closure we need to do so”