Michael Ellerby / Feature Articles

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Corporate Manslaughter leads to £100,000 fine

J Murray & Son Ltd (an animal feed mixing company) was recently fined £100,000 (with  £10,450 costs) for health and safety failings that led to the death of a 47 year-old employee (NP).

NP had only worked for the company for eight weeks and died after he became entangled in moving parts of a meal blending machine. The investigation revealed that the company had removed safety panels from the top of the mixer to allow raw ingredients to be added more easily. This also had the effect of exposing dangerous moving parts of the machine, which the company failed to identify and correct. The investigation revealed that the Company had operated the blender without the safety guards for approximately three years.

Following the hearing, Kevin Campbell, an Inspector with HSENI’s Major Investigation Team said:

This case highlights the importance of proper management of health and safety in the workplace. Management need to ensure that all aspects of their work are adequately addressed, with appropriate measures put in place where necessary. The removal of safety guards from the machine and the continued use of the machine ultimately led to the death of [NP]. The company allowed the use of the unsafe machine.

I strongly urge that all levels of management actively ensure that health and safety within their workplace is taken seriously to prevent another worker from needlessly losing his or her life.

 How to avoid situations like this

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Michael acted as health and safety training consultant on Croner’s Health and Safety Training Resource, and also contributed a number of updates and in-depth articles to other publications, all to a high standard. Experienced and helpful, and always a pleasure to work with.

Tim Gilpin, Croner (Wolters Kluwer), Kingston-upon-Thames

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