Food manufacturing firm fined £60,000 after worker was crushed

An Atherstone food production firm – The Sandwich Factory Holdings Ltd – has been fined £60,000 and must cover costs of £57,790 after an agency worker was crushed between a forklift truck and a lorry at its factory.

Mr Jamie Barsby, a 26-year-old from the town, was thrown from a forklift truck and crushed between the vehicle and the rear of an articulated lorry, while he was attempting to reorganise a pallets of sandwiches.

He broke a number of vertebrae, fractured his pelvis and suffered blood blisters over his body as a result of the incident.

The court heard that if safety management systems had been properly in place at the factory then the incident would not have occurred.

Director of the company – Paul Nicholson – pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, after failing to ensure worker safety at the company’s premises.

Mr Nicholson was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £50,513.

The Sandwich Factory Holdings Ltd, meanwhile, was fined a total of £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £57,790 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The Judge for the case said it was “a true mercy” that the victim was not killed and added that: “The system being operated by the Sandwich Factory Limited at the time was a disaster waiting to happen.

“It all arose as a result for pushed growth and a desire for profitability that was given priority over the safety of employees.”

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London