H&S NEWS | Textile firm failed to identify risk

A textile firm has been fined after safety breaches led to a worker being crushed to death.

In attempting to free a stuck package, the employee leant into machinery but became trapped between upper and lower moving conveyors.

Unsafe 

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found:

  • no measures were in place to prevent access to the danger zone between the moving conveyors
  • a safe system of work for removing stuck packages had not been provided

Sentence

W E Rawson Ltd pleaded guilty to breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

It was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,165.

The HSE commented ‘This fatality could have been prevented had the risk been identified’.

It stressed how employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective controls to minimise the risk from dangerous machinery.

Prior offence

WE Rawson Ltd was previously fined over £115,000 after a forklift operator was fatally struck by falling rag bales.

HSE investigators discovered the bales had not been safely stacked.

The textile firm had, similarly, failed to take the duty of care toward employees sufficiently seriously.

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