Young factory worker death 'due to poor risk assessment'
A company based in West Sussex has been hit with a six-figure fine after one of its employees died following an incident in the workplace.
The 21-year-old was carrying out a test on a high-pressure valve at a site in Haywards Heath when the vent valve became detached and hit him, causing fatal chest injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that his employer, Flowserve, had not carried out an adequate risk assessment on the machine.
Furthermore, inspectors noted that the company had not installed the valve correctly and failed to include a guard at the back which could have prevented the incident.
Flowserve pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Lewes Crown Court and was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £66,838.
HSE inspector Russell Beckett explained that the incident, which occurred on May 7th 2008, should provide some "key lessons" for companies across the country.
"As this case tragically shows, this type of work needs to be properly managed when machines are being used, as well as when they are just being tested, in order to reduce risks," he said.
Haris Signs was recently fined after a scaffolding platform erected during work to repair a hotel sign collapsed, injuring the company's owner and his colleague.
Posted by Jason Nicholls
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