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Cleaning firm fined over porter's death at Bolton hospital

31-03-2012

A national cleaning company has been fined £175,000 after a hospital porter was killed by an industrial waste compactor in Bolton.

Peter Bonomy's neck was broken when the lid on the large metal container slammed down on him at the Royal Bolton Hospital in Farnworth in 2006.

His employer, ISS Mediclean Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the company had allowed porters to load the waste compactor in an unsafe manner.

Manchester Crown Court heard the 58-year-old from Little Lever in Bolton had been collecting waste cardboard from around the hospital on Sunday 8 October 2006. He was found by a colleague with his head and arms under the lid of one of the compactors.

The HSE investigation concluded that the most likely explanation for Mr Bonomy's death was that he leaned against a lever while leaning over the waste compactor, causing the lid to snap down.

The manufacturer's recommendations for the compactor stated that it should be loaded from the front, away from the controls, but the court was told it was standard practice for porters to load it from the side.

ISS Mediclean Ltd., part of the ISS group which employs more than 43,500 people around the world, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after failing to provide a safe system of work for its employees.

The company, of Albert Drive in Woking, Surrey, was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £42,000 in prosecution costs on 30 March 2012.

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