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£2million fine after worker killed by bales

A worker died when plastic bales fell on top of him while he was cleaning a storage yard.

Father of one Jacek Adamowicz, 29, was cleaning the yard on 4 February 2015 when a number of plastic bales weighing 703kg fell towards him trapping him against the ground. Manchester Crown Court was told that Hitchen Foods, owned by the Bakkavor Group, had failed to consider and properly plan the stacking and storage of the bales.

A HSE investigation revealed unsafe stacking of plastic bales. Bakkavor Foods Limited had failed to implement properly planned safe systems of work for their employees, who were exposed during the stacking of the bales. There was also no formal training in stacking bales and lack of monitoring in the bale area.

Bakkavor Foods Limited Foods of Dobson Park Way, Wigan plead guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work at 1974 and was fined £2million with £32,595.10 costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Ian Betley said: “Bakkavor Foods Limited fell far short of the required standard expected. Not only should proper planning have been carried out in relation to the storage and stacking of waste bales, but also a system of work subsequently put in place to mitigate those risks. The company failed on both of these counts with devastating consequences.”

Source - HSE
May 2017