The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a food company after a worker was killed when plastic bales fell on top of him.
On 4 February 2015, Jacek Adamowicz – a 29-year-old father of one – was cleaning a storage yard when a number of plastic bales weighing 703kg fell towards him, trapping him against the ground.
An HSE investigation into the incident found that Hitchen Foods – owned by the Bakkavor Group – had failed to consider and properly plan the stacking and storage of the plastic bales; and had also had failed to implement properly planned safe systems of work for its employees, who were exposed during the stacking of the bales.
There was also no formal training in stacking bales and lack of monitoring in the bale area, HSE investigators concluded.
At Manchester Crown Court, Bakkavor Foods Limited of Dobson Park Way in Wigan plead guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work at 1974 and was fined £2 million with £32,595.10 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Ian Betley said:
“Bakkavor Foods Limited fell far short of the required standard expected – not only should proper planning have been carried out in relation to the storage and stacking of waste bales, but also a system of work subsequently put in place to mitigate those risks.
“The company failed on both of these counts, with devastating consequences.”
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