19 February 2013
Family could seek compensation after fatal accident
Compensation may be sought by the family of a woman who passed away during a fatal accident at work.
Desanka Todorovic died at the age of 44 when several heavy boxes fell on top of her while she worked at premises owned by Merley Paper Converters in Corby, Northamptonshire, in March 2009.
Ms Todorovic was waiting to collect some flat pack boxes from the company's warehouse when some racking collapsed, resulting in a number of items dropping on to her.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that Merley Paper Converters failed to properly control the potential risks to employees operating at this site, as the racking in question was in poor condition and had a number of locking pins missing.
At the time of the incident that caused Ms Todorovic's death, she had been standing next to this storage unit as a forklift truck took pallets of boxes containing till rolls down from the shelves.
However, a number of these containers fell and partially buried the professional, who passed away shortly after due to multiple injuries.
During a case heard at Northampton Crown Court, the company admitted breaking the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was subsequently fined £70,000 - plus legal costs of £30,974 - for its negligence.
Roger Amery, an inspector at the HSE, said this "extremely tragic case" has had a massive impact on the woman's family, particularly her husband, who was also working at the factory at the time of her death and was nearby when the boxes fell on her.
"Had Merley Paper Converters properly erected and then properly maintained its racking, this incident would never have happened. Virtually all industries use racking in one form or another and I hope that this case will serve as a reminder that attention to detail is crucial when erecting, maintaining and inspecting racking to ensure its integrity," he added.
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Posted by Chris Stevenson