Man crushed to death at plastic factory in Cornwall… A worker was crushed to death by a machine used to make plastic lids at a plastic factory in Cornwall.
The accident victim had been preparing the machine for use and needed to gain access to the machine’s plates – normally there would be a guard in place which automatically prevented the machine from operating when activated yet on this occasion one of the conveyors on the machine had been removed and the worker was able to get to the plates through an unguarded gap. While he was inside the machine it suddenly started up and the plates closed in on him, crushing his body at a pressure of more than 1,000 tonnes.
The company was prosecuted by the HSE for failing to provide adequate safety protection from dangerous machinery and pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations under Section 33(1) (c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Trumo Crown Court.
HSE Inspector, Trevor Hay, said:
“This tragic incident could have been avoided if the company had observed standard industry guidance from the British Plastics Federation and the British Standards Institution.
“Conveyors should be bolted into position, or fitted with an electrical cut-off switch which removes power to the machine when the conveyor is taken away.
“Effective guarding should prevent access to dangerous machinery by workers, or an automatic system should cut off the power supply if someone is working inside.
“Users of such machinery should ensure effective safeguards are in place to avoid further deaths or injuries to their workers.”
The company was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,000.