September 4, 2017

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Firm gets £285k fine for ‘wholly avoidable’ death

Worcester Crown CourtA manufacturer of steel building components in Leominster has been fined after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a piece of equipment was missing the necessary safeguards to prevent crushing injuries. As a result, a worker was fatally crushed.

Worcester Crown Court heard how a Thomas Panels & Profiles Limited employee, Mr Jeffery Warner, 65, was fatally crushed when a steel beam emerging from a machine pushed another beam and crushed him against a closed door.

The investigation into the incident, which occurred on the 27 April 2015, found the machine had been in operation since 2013 and it did not have suitable safeguards to prevent the risk of crushing injuries. It also found that the company failed to undertake an adequate risk assessment and its system of work was generally unsafe.

Thomas Panels & Profiles Limited of Southern Avenue, Leominster pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £285,000 with costs of £29,961.48.

Tragic and wholly avoidable

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary safeguards, information, instruction and training to their workers.

This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and provide the necessary safeguards.”

Mr Warner’s family said: “On 27 April 2015, society lost an amazing person. Jeffery Warner was a loving father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and a friend. Not a day goes by when he is not in our thoughts and we find it very difficult on a daily basis not to pick up the phone to talk to him or ask him a question.

“He was so skilful and his knowledge was exceptional. The past two years have been very emotional and we all miss him dearly.”

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Graham Taylor
Graham Taylor
4 years ago

The fine imposed appears significantly less than the sentencing guidelines would require to be set.