01 October 2012
Family to seek damages against recycling firm?
Compensation could be sought by the family of a man who died while carrying out duties at his place of employment.
Steven Bennett, 31, was killed at the Warwickshire factory of JFC Plastics - previously known as Delieve Plastics - at the company's former premises at the Neills Road Industrial Estate in Bold.
Legal proceedings at Liverpool Crown Court heard the member of staff was last seen alive by colleagues during the early hours of the morning on November 24th 2005.
The Health and Safety Executive, which carried out an investigation into Mr Bennett's death, revealed he may have fallen into a machine - used to break apart bales of plastic bottles - while checking to see if it was running smoothly.
It was claimed JFC Plastics had not taken measures to ensure members of staff could not access the equipment when it was operating, while the firm did not make sure power supply was cut before maintenance was carried out.
The company was also found to have an unsuitable risk assessment in place and its training, supervision and monitoring of the tasks did not meet acceptable standards.
JFC Plastics pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety Work Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety of employees who were operating the machine.
As a result, the firm was prosecuted and fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £100,000 in legal costs.
Tanya Stewart, HSE principal inspector, said after the legal proceedings: "This was a tragic death that could have been prevented if JFC Plastics had put more thought into the safety of its employees and the adequacy of its working practices.
"I hope this case will act as a warning to companies to think more carefully about the safety of workers who clean, maintain or repair machines or who clear blockages."
Posted by Chris Stevenson
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