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- By Andy Smith
Concrete manufacturer Treanor Pujol Ltd has been fined £285,000 following two separate incidents in which one worker was crushed to death and another had his hand partially de-gloved.
Leeds Crown Court heard how on 5 June 2014 Treanor employee
Mathew Fulleylove, 30, was operating a mobile saw unit on Line 12 at the
factory in Stourton, Leeds, while another employee was operating a mobile bed
cleaner on Line 11. Fulleylove was standing on the footwell of the saw unit as
the other machine passed on the adjacent production line. As the bed cleaner
came past, Matthew’s head was crushed between the frames of the two machines
and he was killed instantly.
An investigation by HSE found that it was the nature of
production for machines to routinely pass each other on adjacent lines. On
lines 11 and 12 the gap between the passing bed cleaner and saw machines was
very small – between 65 and 93mm at different parts of the frames. It was
identified that Treanor Pujol Ltd failed to identify the risk of crushing posed
by the passing machines; failed to devise a safe system of work to control this
risk and failed to provide adequate training in such a procedure to employees.
On 12 April 2018, in a second incident, a 47-year-old
employee was operating a hooks machine, which embeds hooks into precast
concrete when a fault developed during the operation. While attempting to reset
the machine his elbow leant on a concrete dispenser box and a metal shutter
designed to close off the flow of concrete. The metal shutter closed, trapping
his hand resulting in a fracture and partial de-gloving of his left hand.
An investigation by HSE found that the machine was not
fitted with working interlocks, meaning several of the machine doors could be
opened to gain access to dangerous moving parts whilst the machine was
In the early stages of the investigation into the incident
involving Fulleylove, HSE inspectors also noticed several electrical safety
concerns with the equipment in the manufacturing shed. Inspectors carried out
numerous visits between 2014 and 2018 and discovered further failings, one of
which related to electrical equipment not being suitably constructed or protected
from the environment. It was left in wet, dirty, dusty and corrosive
conditions, which resulted in rapid deterioration and safety features becoming
inoperable over time. This exposed employees to a risk of serious personal
injury or death.
Treanor Pujol Ltd of former Bison Works site, Pontefract
Road Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety
at Work etc Act 1974, breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of
Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and breaching Regulation 3(1)(a) of the
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 by failing to comply with Regulation 6(c).
The company has been fined £285,000 and ordered to pay costs of £56,324.97.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Kate Dixon said: “Treanor
Pujol Ltd should have identified the risk of crushing between passing machines
on the production lines. The company should have taken steps to reduce and
control the residual risk, organising production to minimise the likelihood of
machines passing each other on adjacent lines, as well as devising and
implementing a safe system of work.
“This should have included a designated place of safety
where operators were required to stand as a machine passed. The operator’s
manual for the bed cleaning machine stated an exclusion zone around the machine
at 655mm should be implemented. If this had been in place, it would have
addressed the significant crushing hazard and prevented the death of Mr
Dixon added: “In regard to the second incident, the company
should have ensured that the dangerous parts of the Hooks Machine could not be
accessed by anyone whilst they were moving by way of suitable guarding
“Duty holders should ensure they carry out site specific
risk assessments to identify any issues relevant to a particular location, task
or piece of equipment. It is important to ensure where safe systems of work are
required, employees are properly trained and monitored to ensure the correct
way of working is followed.”