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Nestle fined £180,000 after safety failures led to worker's death

13-03-2012

Bradford Crown Court has been told that a Halifax man was killed at a Nestle factory because the company failed to implement basic safety measures.

Father of three Nazar Hussain died at food giant Nestle's Albion Mill plant in Bailey Hall Road in December 2008 after a colleague re-started a conveyor-type machine, known as a depalletiser, unaware that Mr Hussain was inside.

During the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, the court heard that Mr Hussain may have gone into the depalletiser to remove a blockage, as earlier in the day some large sweet tins had jammed the machine, causing the alarm to sound.

Later that day, the machine's alarm sounded again and Mr Hussain's co-worker, who had been covering his break, went to investigate. Being a large machine, he walked around it to check no one was inside. Seeing no one he re-started it but immediately it shuddered, stopped and the alarm re-sounded.

Mr Hussain's body was discovered inside the machine. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The HSE investigation found that a safety key device to halt the machine was available but Nestle failed to ensure its employees were aware of its purpose and how to use it correctly.

HSE said the company's safety breaches were compounded by the fact Nestle had received written advice about improving guarding on a palletiser back in 2002 but had not applied that advice to the machine operated by Mr Hussain.

Nestle UK Ltd., of St George's House, Croydon, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £180,000 and ordered to pay £41,826.33 in costs.

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