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Company Fined After Worker Dies in Industrial Blender

October 14, 2015
Health and Safety

hardhats2Rettenmaier UK Manufacturing Limited were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £100,000 costs by Nottingham Crown Court after a worker died in an industrial blender at the company’s plant in Mansfield. 51-year-old George Major was clearing material from the blender when it started unexpectedly.

An investigation into the incident of 21st January 2011 found that the guard had been removed from the machine and it had not been isolated from the electric supply. There was also no line of sight from the computer control screen, which was situated on the floor below. The blender was part of a process line in which shredded recycled paper was mixed with bitumen and oil before being pressed into pellets, dried and bagged. Pellets produced were used to reinforce asphalt mixes for road surfaces.

HSE Inspector Samantha Farrar said, “Mr Major’s death was entirely avoidable and his life was needlessly lost. The failings by Rettenmaier UK Manufacturing Ltd caused a fatality in particularly distressing circumstances. The absence of an effective health and safety management system, including a lack of a safe system of work for equipment isolation and lock-off, risk assessment and proper training for staff, meant that all workers at the site were at risk.”

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.