Kirby factory death still under investigation

Posted on 31 Aug 2011 by The Manufacturer

The investigation into 62-year old James Dennis Kay's death at Sonae Industria's site in Kirby continues, amid protests about the company's corporate social responsibility.

Mr Kay was working for a company which was demolishing part of the site damaged by a fire at the beginning of June. An investigation into his death is still being conducted by the Health and Safety Executive.

Mr Kay died at the factory just after police and ambulance services were called. He had been working for the sub-contractor Andrew Connolly Demolition.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said: “The post-mortem examination has concluded and the cause of death has been withheld pending further tests.”

In December last year two workers died after falling into a machine at the plant – Labour MP for Knowsley George Howarth called for the site to be permanently closed after the fire in June. In an Early Day Motion tabled in the House of Commons, Mr Howarth said that the facility posed “a considerable risk” to the public, workforce and fire service.

In June a hopper burnt for several days, sending smoke across Kirkby. Residents walked across the town on August 19 to Sonae Industria’s site to voice their concerns about smoke coming from the factory. Organiser of the march Jess Culley said: “The fire in June smouldered for weeks and the community is sick of the dust coming from the factory. We think it is making people ill.”

In his company’s defence, chief operating officer of Sonae Industria Nigel Graham said: “There is no evidence to support the claim that the process at our Knowsley plant is having a detrimental impact on the health of residents.”

George Archer