Companies have been warned to guard themselves against injury compensation claims and fines after a worker at a pet food factory was crushed to death.
John O’Connor, 38, was employed by Butcher’s Pet Care in Northampton when he entered a machine in order to clear a blockage.
The machine should have been fully enclosed with an interlock system, but he was able to enter, becoming trapped and fatally crushed.
Health and Safety Executive inspector Neil Craig said the shocking thing about this fatal work injury was that it was far from being an isolated incident.
"The unfenced gap between the stair rails had been there for nearly two years and it had become common practice for employees to nip through it to fix problems on the machine in an effort keep the production line running," he commented.
It follows news that an engineering company in Ipswich has been fined after an employee lost four fingers and part of his thumb in an asphalt mixer.