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    BUILDING PRODUCTS MANUFACTURER FINED

    Workman died crushed between concrete blocks and metal platform

    Hanson Building Products Ltd has been ordered to pay over £300k in fines and prosecution costs after the death of Peter Clarke, aged 57, at the company distribution plant in Coleshill on 26 April 2008.

    Mr Clarke had been on site for two weeks when his head was crushed between concrete blocks and a metal platform. He was working next to a conveyor removing samples of blocks for quality checking.

    He was standing adjacent to a low bridge over the conveyor and leant forward to remove some blocks from the machine.

    At this point a co-worker changed the direction of the conveyor and Mr Clarke’s head was trapped between concrete blocks on the conveyor and the metal platform.

    The operator of the 30-metre conveyor could not see Mr Clarke because his view was obscured.

    Activity lacked of a safe system of work

    An HSE investigation into the incident found that the company had “only identified the risk of workers trapping their fingers between the blocks and the stairway”.

    HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove said:

    “This tragic incident could have been prevented if Hanson Building Products had carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify all the hazards for workers operating in this area. There were no safe systems of work for removing the blocks and the company failed to supervise Mr Clarke adequately.

    The area where he was working was well known as a danger zone by other workers, but he had been on site for less than two weeks and nobody had told him about the risks.”

    Comment

    This is another substantail fine reflecting the latest sentencing guidelines for health and safety cases.

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