Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 12:42 UK

Sweet firm fined over worker crushed to death

A sweet firm has been fined £300,000 after an employee was crushed to death in one of its machines.

Tangerine Confectionery was convicted at Bournemouth Crown Court of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Martin Pejril, 33, climbed into the machine to clear one of the blockages, but it restarted and killed him at a factory in Poole in February 2008.

The sweet company, which has its headquarters in Blackpool, said it may appeal against the conviction.

The court heard Mr Pejril, a Czech-born starch room operator, became trapped in the machine at Tangerine's Alder Road plant in Poole.

The injuries were so severe he died at the scene, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.

All employees need to be adequately trained in correct company procedures
HSE Inspector Simon Jones

The company was also ordered to pay full costs of £72,901 following the nine-day trial.

HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: "This tragic case highlights the need to ensure that machines are safely isolated before any maintenance takes place so they cannot unexpectedly start up.

"Simply pressing a stop button does not adequately isolate a machine.

"If the machine in this case had been properly isolated from the electrical power source before Mr Pejril attempted to clear the blockage, this accident would never have happened.

"A proper risk assessment would have highlighted the dangers of entrapment.

"All employees need to be adequately trained in correct company procedures - whether it's for clearing blockages, operating machines or any other high risk activity."

A spokeswoman for Tangerine Confectionery Ltd extended the company's sympathies to the victim's family, but said it was "disappointed" by the conviction and the sentence and that it was considering appealing.



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