Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Pet firm fined after man crushed

A dog food manufacturer in Surrey has been fined 157,500 after one of it workers was crushed to death after becoming trapped in packing machinery.

The equipment at Naturediet Pet Foods at Hazelbridge Farm, Chiddingfold, exerted a 24st pressure on 40-year-old Marcus Snow, 40, the Old Bailey heard.

The company admitted a breach of health and safety law over the incident in February 2006.

Judge Giles Forrester said it had been a "very grave breach".

The court was told that approved safety measures were not in force and workers adapted methods such as using broom handles to unblock jams in the machinery.

There was also a faulty safety mechanism which exposed workers to a risk of being trapped or crushed.

Bosses had originally faced a manslaughter charge but the company's plea to safety failings was accepted during the trial.

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