Kirkby Sonae factory deaths due to safety failures
Published: 23rd Jul 2013 21:10:38
The deaths of two engineers dragged into machinery at a Merseyside factory were caused by a failure to follow procedures, an inquest has found.
James Bibby and Thomas Elmer died after being dragged into a conveyor belt at the Sonae chipboard factory in Kirkby in December 2010.
An inquest jury found there was a lack of training in how to use the equipment.
The Health and Safety Executive said it would consider criminal charges.
In a narrative verdict the jury said the two sub-contractors from Rossendale, Lancashire, had not been shown how to isolate the conveyor belt from the power supply.
They were carrying out repairs when the conveyor belt started up and they were dragged into the machinery, the inquest at Bootle Town Hall heard.
The jury was told the conveyor belt was triggered automatically as factory machinery started to dump wood chips into a silo.
A post-mortem examination found both men died from multiple injuries.
The jury said: "It is our view that the death of each man was the result of a failure to adopt appropriate procedures."
The site, which opened in 2000, was badly damaged by a large fire in August 2011 in which a demolition worker - James Dennis Kay, 62, from Heywood, Greater Manchester - died.
About 10,000 people living near the site are bidding for compensation, arguing fumes from the blaze affected their health.
The plant was affected by a second fire in January 2012 and it closed in September with the loss of 220 jobs.
A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: "We are carrying out a thorough investigation into the deaths of James Bibby and Thomas Elmer and will now carefully consider the inquest's findings before deciding whether it is appropriate to bring criminal charges."
A spokesman for Sonae said: "Sonae had a permit to work system in place, which had it been followed would have prevented the tragic accident.
"It will be of little consolation but our thoughts remain with the families of Thomas Elmer and James Bibby."
At 03:49:53 in HeadlinesThe oldest former player with Major League Baseball, Conrado "Connie" Marrero, has died in at home in Havana at the age of 102.
At 03:28:13 in WorldIndians are voting in the sixth phase of a marathon general election in which the governing Congress party is fighting the main opposition BJP.
At 03:13:22 in ScotlandThe last avalanche forecast of the latest Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) season has been published.
At 03:06:05 in ScotlandWhen Nicola Sturgeon joined the SNP, pursuing a career in politics was not her agenda.
At 02:56:02 in ScotlandTwo major curling competitions are under way in Dumfries just a couple of months after Scottish competitors scooped medals at the Winter Olympics.
At 02:54:55 in ScotlandParts of a fast reactor control room at Dounreay in Caithness look set to be dismantled and rebuilt at the Science Museum in London.
At 02:47:22 in ScotlandA new service of flights between Edinburgh and Stavanger has begun operation, it has been announced.
At 02:45:05 in ScotlandMajor restrictions on traffic and parking are to be introduced in Glasgow during the summer Commonwealth Games.
At 02:45:05 in WorldThe number of people who have contracted the Ebola virus in Guinea, according to the World Health Organization, has risen to 208 - and 136 of them have died. About half of these cases have been confirmed in a laboratory - earlier cases were not tested.
At 02:42:42 in ScotlandScottish councils have too little power and are too distant from the communities they serve, according to a report.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2013. Kirkby Sonae factory deaths due to safety failures [Online] (Updated 23rd Jul 2013)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1497447/Kirkby-Sonae-factory-deaths-due-to-safety-failures [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Drinking more than three large glasses of wine can push people over a "tipping point", meaning they consume about 6,300 extra calories in the following 24 hours, a report has said.
Drones are becoming more common in our skies, performing a variety of tasks, from taking photos to monitoring crops and potentially even delivering broadband.
The disappearance of a 96-year-old woman with Alzheimer's two years ago remains "really frustrating and very upsetting", her great-nephew has said.
The Irish education minister has proposed a radical shake-up of the further education sector.
Cult comic character Frank Sidebottom has inspired a film starring Michael Fassbender, while a documentary and biography are also in the works. Four years after his creator Chris Sievey died, why is Frank's legend growing and who was the man behind the mask?
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com