Published on 28 - June - 2010
Hanson fined £280,000 after worker's deathHanson Building Products has been fined £280,000 after a worker's head was crushed between concrete blocks and a metal platform.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) successfully prosecuted the brick manufacturing company at Warwick Crown Court after the death of Peter Clarke, 57, at the company's distribution plant in Coleshill on April 26, 2008.
The court heard that Mr Clarke, who had only been on site for two weeks, was working next to a conveyor that transferred groups of concrete blocks from a kiln to a packaging area. His job was to remove samples of blocks for quality checking.
He was standing next to a low bridge over the conveyor when he leaned forward to remove some blocks.
His head was crushed between the concrete blocks on the conveyor and the metal platform when another worker, who could not see Mr Clarke as his view was obscured, changed the direction of the conveyor.
An HSE investigation found the company had only identified the risk of workers trapping their fingers between the blocks and the stairway.
HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said: "There were no safe systems of work for removing the blocks and the company failed to supervise Mr Clarke adequately. The area where he was working was well known as a danger zone by other workers, but he had been on site for less than two weeks and nobody had told him about the risks.
Employers should understand that where failing standards in the workplace result in serious injury or death, HSE will prosecute."
Hanson Building Products pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay costs of £29,204.
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