Pellet company found guilty following industrial blender fatality
A Nottinghamshire-based manufacturer has been fined following an incident which took place in 2011.
George Major, a 50-year-old father of one, was working on an industrial blender at Rettenmaier UK Manufacturing Ltd in Mansfield, when the machine started up unexpectedly. Major had been clearing a blockage from the blender, but when it started up without warning, he was caught up in the machine and killed.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) followed the incident, finding that the guard had not been in place on the machine. The court also heard that the blender had not been isolated from the electricity supply.
In the January 21st, 2011 incident, the blender had become blocked and Major was helping to clear it. The production line was set out over a number of floors at the premises, controlled by a computerised system, with control screens only on two of the floors. The court was told that the blender was located on a floor where no control screen was in place, with the nearest control screen on the floor below offering no line of sight to the machine. It was also revealed that conditions in the factory were noisy when the production line was in operation.
The investigation revealed that no proper training was carried out for employees, and that there were no instructions to enable isolation of machines, no written work procedures and no risk assessments in place. A fine was issued in the sum of £200,000 and the company was ordered to pay costs of £100,000. Compliance with health and safety regulations, which includes the use of risk assessments and PPE, could save lives in the workplace.