Hanson Packed Products Ltd – a manufacturing firm based in Maidenhead – has been served with a fine for over £750,000 after one of its workers died from crush injuries.
26-year-old William Ridge was working at the company’s bagging site two years ago, near an in-feed conveyor belt.
However, while carrying out his duties at the Dagenham unit, his right arm was drawn into a roller, and no fixed guarding was in place to prevent access to the machine’s moving components.
Southwark Crown Court heard that an investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) flagged up that a crucial machine guard had not been in place for a few days, meaning that no workers should have been working on the machine or anywhere near it.
The machinery had also demonstrated flaws that Mr Ridge had highlighted internally and tried to resolve the previous day, and it is understood that he was aiming to ensure the machine was working correctly at the time of the incident.
Hanson Packed Products Ltd was served with a fine of £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £29,511 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE’s principal inspector – Stephen Hartley – said: “This death of a young worker could and should have been prevented.
“Where safety depends on guards, employers need to regularly inspect them and be confident they are properly in place and that they are effective.”