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October 22, 2015

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Safety precautions could have prevented death, court hears

A company which manufactures and supplies high-strength bar and cable systems has been fined £200,000 after an agency worker, who had only been at the company for three weeks, died when he was pulled into a machine.

Alan Gerrard, 47, from Rotherham, suffered fatal crush injuries when his clothing got caught in a machine which was used to apply adhesive tape to bars to stop corrosion.

The father-of-two was working for the McCalls Special Products Limited, in Sheffield, when the incident occurred in January 2013.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that McCalls Special Products Limited (trading as Macalloys), of Caxton Way, Dinnington, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaches of section 2 and section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974 and was fined a total of £200,000. It must also pay £16,804 in costs.

Alan Gerrard’s wife, Debra, said: “I am completely devastated at losing Alan. He was my soul mate and we had been together for 25 years. We shared everything and had a very happy life. I miss him in all kinds of ways. He was my world.”

HSE inspector Denise Fotheringham, who investigated and prosecuted this case for HSE, said: “The law requires that employers take all reasonable steps to guard against access to such dangerous parts of machinery. This risk associated with this machine should have been assessed by the company – and it was not. It should have been adequately guarded – and it was not. Simple safety precautions would have prevented this awful incident happening.”

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