Derbyshire manufacturer fined over worker’s death

Posted on 4 Jan 2011 by The Manufacturer

A Glossop packaging manufacturer has been fined £50,000 after a worker was killed when a machine was activated while he was still inside.

Maintenance worker Clive Hall, 50, suffered fatal head injuries at Glossop Carton and Print Ltd’s factory on Platt Street in Padfield on September 8, 2006. The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in December following an investigation into his death.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that Hall, a father of three, was carrying out maintenance work to the inside of a ‘cut and crease’ machine, used to manufacture packaging, when it was switched on by the operator.

Mr Hall, from Denton in Tameside, was struck on the head by bars that transfer cardboard through the machine and was killed instantly. He had been working at the company for less than two months.

At an earlier hearing at Chesterfield Magistrate’s Court on May 21, 2010, Glossop Carton and Print Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by putting workers at risk. The firm was fined £50,000 with £76,150 costs.

Hall’s ex-wife, Pam, said: “His children have been totally devastated by Clive’s death and continue to miss him terribly. The last few years have just been horrendous. His children now have to live without a father for the rest of their lives because of the company’s negligence.”

After sentencing, Eddy Tarn, the investigating HSE inspector, said: “Mr Hall tragically died because simple measures were not taken by the company to prevent the machine being switched on while he was inside.

“The maintenance of machinery often involves people working in dangerous situations not encountered during normal production work. People will continue to die in horrific circumstances if employers don’t plan, control and monitor maintenance work to machinery.

“Both machine operators and maintenance workers should be given adequate training. If a simple procedure for cutting the power supply to the machine had been followed then Mr Hall’s death could have been avoided.”

The HSE says that since 2004 its inspectors have visited more than 1,300 companies nationwide as part of a project to improve safety for workers who carry out maintenance work inside dangerous machines. HSE also helped promote safe machinery maintenance during the European Health and Safety at Work Week in October 2010.