24 October 2012
Family to seek damages after fatal accident?
The family of a man who passed away during a fatal accident at work could decide to seek compensation on his behalf.
Richard Zebedee died at the age of 45 in April 2009 during an incident at premises owned by international paper manufacturer Arjo Wiggins at Stowford Mill.
At the time of this accident, the professional was attempting to clear away waste material from two large rollers at the plant, which were running at full production speed.
He subsequently got drawn into the machinery and was crushed to death between the rollers and an investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established his employer had committed several safety failings in the run-up to the incident.
For instance, during a case heard at Plymouth Crown Court, the HSE indicated there had been significant production issues on the day Mr Zebedee died prior to him starting his shift.
However, despite these problems, Mr Zebedee was able to gain access to the large rollers - running at 131 metres per minute - by opening a gate that was fitted with an unlocked padlock, which led to him being fatally injured.
Furthermore, it was also established that the professional had not been given sufficient training to ensure he could use the dangerous equipment safely.
Indeed, even though he had been working at the plant for around 18 months, Mr Zebedee had only been operating in his position using these rollers for two weeks prior to the accident and several points in his training log for this new role had not been completed.
Manchester-based firm Arjo Wiggins admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £200,000 for its negligence.
Following the hearing, Mr Zebedee's widow Sarah commented: "Words cannot describe the gap left in our lives by Richard's death ... he was much-loved by family, friends and his colleagues. His untimely death has left us all devastated."
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Posted by Trusha Vyas