Sweet Firm Fined Over Machine Crush

Fatal Accident At Work

13.05.2010

Sweet Firm Fined Over Machine Crush

The confectionery giant behind Black Jacks and Butterkist popcorn has been fined £300,000 after an employee was crushed to death in a sweet-making machine, it was revealed.

The incident happened at Tangerine Confectionery on February 20, 2008, when Czech-born Martin Pejril was crushed when a machine he was attempting to unblock restarted, according to health and safety watchdogs.

The 33-year-old was pronounced dead at the firm's factory in Alder Road, Poole, Dorset.

Tangerine, the UK's largest independent confectionery company, also manufactures sweets such as Sherbet Dip Dabs and Mojos.

The firm, whose head office is in Blackpool, Lancashire, was found guilty of two breaches of health and safety law by failing to ensure the safety at work of its employees and failing to make sufficient risk assessments.

The company appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentencing on Sunday. It was fined £150,000 on each of the two safety breaches and ordered to pay legal costs of £72,901.

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."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I welcome the fine imposed following this horrific fatal accident at work.

"The circumstances that led to this work accident should never have been allowed to occur.

"Sadly, all too often, I have to assist workers pursue their compensation claim following a work accident that occurred in circumstances that could and indeed should have been avoided."