Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Sweets factory death accidental

Tangerine Confectionery in Poole
Mr Pejril was due to visit his wife and stepson in Prague the next day

A 33-year-old Dorset factory worker was accidentally crushed to death by a sweet machine while trying to clear a blockage, a inquest has ruled.

Martin Pejril was on a night shift at Tangerine Confectionery in Alder Road, Poole, on 20 February when he died.

The Czech Republic national was trapped by a machine making jellies and soft sweets and died from his injuries.

An accidental death verdict was recorded at Bournemouth, Poole and East Dorset Coroner's Court.

The jury heard how Mr Pejril climbed on top of the machine which then suddenly started up again.

His leg became trapped and although firefighters managed to free him, he was pronounced dead.

Night line leader Ryan Saywell, who was in charge that evening, earlier told the inquest at Bournemouth Town Hall: "I heard a bit of a crash, stuck my head out and heard a scream.

"[Mr Pejril] was standing on a moving part of the machine, rather than on the base. For some reason he was inside.

"I pushed all the emergency stop buttons I could find."

Not switched off

Mr Saywell said he had asked Mr Pejril to switch off the machine before clearing the blockage and the worker had given him the thumbs-up sign indicating he understood.

Mr Saywell said he first thought the accident had been caused by a machine fault.

"He wouldn't go into a machine that was turned.

"But as I don't think it was a machine problem anymore - the only explanation is that he hasn't turned the machine off."

The inquest heard that staff wore ear defenders in the factory because it was so noisy.

It was also told that the machine, which transferred a liquid sweet mixture into moulds before it set into gums and jellies, could break down up to 40 times during a shift.

Mr Pejril, who spoke little English, had been working at the factory since October 2007 and had received on-the-job training.

He was due to visit his wife Leona Pejrilova and his stepson, who lived in Prague, the next day.

Mrs Pejrilova said outside the inquest: "He was a loving, caring and hard-working man.

"He was and always will be deeply missed, not only by me but by all the family."

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