July 9, 2018

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In Court

Unidentified risk led to worker’s death

A textile company has been fined for safety breaches after a worker died from crush injuries.

On 28 February 2014, a 50-year-old employee of W E Rawson Limited leant into a packaging machine whilst attempting to free a stuck package. Whilst doing so, he became trapped between an upper and lower moving conveyor. The employee suffered severe crush injuries and later died in hospital.

Investigating, the HSE found the company had failed to take measures to prevent access to the danger zone between the moving conveyors. The investigation also found that no safe system of work had been provided for the removal of trapped packages from the machine.

W E Rawson Limited of Castlebank Mills, Portobello Road Wakefield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £600,000 with costs of £20,165.09.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector John Boyle commented: “This fatality could have been prevented had the risk been identified.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

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