County Durham Firm Fined Over Death Of Worker

Expert Calls For Lessons To Be Learnt

11.10.2011

The death of a 52-year-old worker from Newton Aycliffe who was crushed by machinery demonstrates why employers cannot afford to ignore the importance of workplace safety, an expert at Irwin Mitchell has outlined.

Tallent Automotive Ltd-Gestamp Automocion has been ordered to pay £100,000 and costs in relation to the case of Paul Clark, who died at the company’s plant in County Durham in 2009.

An investigation into the work accident revealed that the worker was attempting to clear a jam in a pneumatically-powered carriage at the time of the incident. While the equipment’s power was isolated, it did not make the pneumatic element safe and Mr Clark was crushed when the carriage moved suddenly.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the company failed to put a system of work in place which would have ensured all aspects of the machine were isolated.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This terrible fatal accident  highlights what can happen if businesses do not take every possible step to ensure that the health and safety of workers comes first.

“Many lessons can be learnt from this case, including that every step must be taken to address all potential risks and that workers need to be given the best possible information on the equipment they work closely with.

“Time and again we act in cases where people have been seriously injured or killed in avoidable accidents and it is vital that all companies look to make sure they are ensuring safety is a priority.”