Brick Company Fined Following Death of Worker


Brick manufacturing company Hanson Building Products Ltd. has been fined £280,000 and ordered to pay costs of £29,204 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, following the death of a worker at its distribution plant in Coleshill in Warwickshire.
The employee was working next to a low bridge over a 30-metre conveyor belt that carried concrete blocks from a kiln to a packaging area. He had only recently joined the company and his job was to remove sample blocks in order to carry out quality testing. The operator of the conveyor was unable to see the employee because his view was obscured and when he moved the belt unexpectedly the man's head was crushed between the blocks on the conveyor and the metal platform.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation into the incident. It found that the company had failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment for the operation. The only risk that had been identified was the possibility that workers might get their fingers trapped between the blocks and the stairway leading to the platform.
Risk assessments must be carried out systematically and all foreseeable risks considered. See HSE guidance on risk management .

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