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Manufacturer fined after worker crushed to death

18 December 2015

Manufacturing company Hanson Packed Products has been prosecuted after a 26 year old worker was fatally crushed when his arm was caught in a powered roller.

William Ridge was clearing sand around the base of an in-feed conveyor at the company’s bagging site in Dagenham on 25 September 2013 moments before his right arm was drawn into the roller.

Southwark Crown Court heard that there should have been fixed guards surrounding the powered roller to prevent access to the dangerous moving parts. However, a critical guard was not in place.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that a guard had not been in place on the machine for a few days. It also found there had been issues with the machinery on the previous day which Mr Ridge was trying to rectify at the time of the incident.

Hanson Packed Products of Hanson House, Castle Hill, Maidenhead, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and were fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £29,511.

After the hearing HSE principal inspector Stephen Hartley said: “This death of a young worker could and should have been prevented. Where safety depends on guards, employers need to regularly inspect them and be confident they are properly in place and that they are effective. Our thoughts are with the Ridge family as they prepare for another Christmas without William.”

In a statement Mr Ridge’s family said; “The loss of William, our son and brother in September 2013 in an accident in his work place was a devastating loss for all the family. We have spent the past two years searching for answers and hoping for justice for William. We are glad we are finally at a point where this will happen. Once this is over we will finally be able to try to rebuild our lives as best as we can without William. We are still coming to terms with our loss, and we are finally getting the closure we need to do so.”