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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Oven deaths sentencing due
Harvestime Bakeries
The two men were carrying out maintence work
A bakery company and three of its directors are being sentenced after two men were killed in an industrial bread oven.

The men were carrying out maintenance work when they became trapped and were carried through the 75 foot oven on a conveyer belt.

Unable to escape, they died from burns and heat exposure.

Fresha Bakeries, trading as Harvestime Bakeries, pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to provide a safe system of work.

Heat exposure

David Mayes, 47, of Rushey Mead, Leicester, and Ian Erickson, 43, an engineer from Walsall, West Midlands, died after maintenance on the bread oven went wrong at Harvestime's plant in Thurmaston Boulevard, Leicester in May 1998.

David Mayes
David Mayes suffered 80% burns
The men, who were trying to retrieve a broken part, became trapped as temperatures inside the bread oven rose to 100C.

Three company directors pleaded guilty charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

John Bridson, 54, of Hale, the managing director of Fresha Limited, the company which owns the bakery, admitted two charges of failing to provide a safe system of work.

The production director, Brian Jones, 60, of Hertford, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to a single count of the same offence.

Joint investigation

The chief engineer, Dennis Masters, 45, of Mountsorrel, admitted one charge of failing to take reasonable care for others at work.

The company and directors are being sentenced at Leicester Crown Court in a hearing which could last three days.

The prosecution followed a joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive and Leicestershire police.

See also:

27 Apr 01 | Business
Accidents at work rise
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