Woman died when racking collapsed and several heavy boxes landed on her…
A paper manufacturer in Corby has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after one of their female employees died when heavy boxes collapsed onto her.
The 44 year-old accident victim was waiting to collect some boxes at the factory when the racking next to her collapsed and several heavy boxes fell onto her on 16 March 2009 at the factory in Corby.
The subsequent investigation by the HSE into the accident found that the company had failed to adequately ensure the safety of their employees especially with regard to the risks associated with working in the warehouse environment. The racking that collapsed and caused the tragic death of the woman was discovered to be in an unsafe condition with many locking pins absent.
Northampton Crown Court heard that the accident occurred while the woman was standing beside the racking when a forklift truck was transporting pallets of boxes from the area – the racking gave way and several boxes suddenly fell onto the woman inflicting multiple injuries that led to her death.
The paper company was fined £70,000 in addition to costs of £30,974 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE Inspector Roger Amery commented after the sentencing had been handed out:
“This has been an extremely tragic case which has had a huge impact on the woman’s family. I felt huge sympathy for her husband who was also working in the factory and was nearby at the time.
“Had the paper company properly erected and then properly maintained its racking, this incident would never have happened.
“Virtually all industries use racking in one form or another and I hope that this case will serve as a reminder that attention to detail is crucial when erecting, maintaining and inspecting racking to ensure its integrity.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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