The fine for Centriforce Products comes after the death of 52-year-old Paul Andrews, who was crushed by an over 500kg plastic stack bail
The Liverpool-based Centriforce Products Limited have been fined after one of its employees, Paul Andrews, was fatally crushed by falling plastic bales.
Liverpool’s Crown Court heard how the bales had been delivered to it’s Derby Road site, were they were stacked as free-standing columns in a yard.
On the morning of 24 May 2017, a fork lift truck driver noticed one of the columns of bales, stacked three high, had partially collapsed obstructing his path.
He used the fork lift truck to straighten and stabilise the stack before continuing on his way.
Some hours later Paul Andrews was working in the immediate vicinity of the stacks when the bales, weighing over 500kg’s, fell and crushed him.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Centriforce Products Limited had failed to store waste plastic bales securely in such a way as to prevent the risk of collapse.
The company had also failed to carry out a suitable assessment which would have identified risks to the safety of employees located within the danger zone of unstable stacks.
Speaking at the hearing, HSE investigator Rohan Lye said: “This appalling incident could easily have been prevented if Paul’s employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and put a safe system of work in place.
“Their failure to do so has left Claire without her husband and two daughters with their father.
“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous work activities and prevent future tragedies.”
Centriforce Products Limited of Errington Works, Derby Road, Bootle pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of the £10,540.95 legal costs.
Speaking to the Liverpool ECHO, Mr Andrew’s widow said: “Paul was a much loved husband and father and the entire family misses him so much.
“To lose him in such a manner has been unbearable and it has been a very difficult hearing the details once again regarding what he went through in his final hours.
“While nothing will change what has happened, we have always hoped that lessons can be learned so that no one else faces the risks that he did that day.
“With this in mind, it is welcome that new policies have been put in place at the site.
“Now the inquest has concluded, we are going to continue our fight for justice for Paul and truly hope that the problems seen in this case are simply never seen again.”
A statement issued by the directors of Centriforce says: “We are very sorry for this tragic accident to Paul Andrews.
“We offer our deepest sympathies and full support to Paul’s family and friends.
“Paul was a very popular colleague and his death has affected us all profoundly, both personally and professionally.
“The safety of our workforce is always our primary concern.
“We have invested significantly in health and safety and will continue to do so.”