Conveyor Belt Fatal Accident at a Woodchip Factory

Conveyor Belt Fatal Accident at a Woodchip Factory

Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd and Valmet Ltd have been fined after two workers were killed carrying out maintenance at a woodchip factory in Merseyside.

As Thomas Elmer and James Bibby were replacing part of a conveyor belt, which started unexpectedly and dragged them both into the machine. The injuries they sustained were fatal.

They both worked for Metso Ltd, which was taken over by Valmet Ltd in 2013. The company was prosecuted for not providing these self-employed contractors with the information they needed in order to carry out the fix on the conveyor belt. Valmet Ltd, a service provider for the pulp, paper and energy industries, also failed to give these workers adequate training.

Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd, the manufacturer of engineered wood products, was also at fault for the deaths. They should have had an established process for managing contractors, checked the competency of these workers and crucially should have isolated the dangerous machinery. This would have prevented the conveyor belt from starting up in their Merseyside plant and causing this fatal accident.

It is vital that employers carry out proper risk assessments. Neither Valmet Ltd or Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd undertook a risk assessment for these contract workers. Had a risk assessment taken place prior to the work on the conveyor belt, then simple measures could have been put in place to prevent workers from harm.

The Health and Safety Executive’s chief inspector who looked into the case at the Merseyside woodchip factory said that Thomas Elmer and James Bibby should not have died and described it as “the most horrific case I have ever had to work on”.

Both firms are being hit with hefty fines, but there is no sum of money that replaces the loss felt by losing a family member in a fatal accident at work. Families who suffer in this way have the right to claim compensation for their suffering.

Compensation can be used by surviving family members to ease the process of making the adjustments they need to make to their lives following their loss. Fatal accident compensation can also be used to pay for funeral expenses and cover personal losses that may have been incurred from the time between when the injuries were sustained in the accident and death.

Claims Direct personal injury lawyers have years of experience working with fatal accident compensation claims in a kind and compassionate manner. We work on a No Win, No Fee basis so that there is no financial risk to you.

For a free consultation call Claims Direct on freephone 0800 884 0321 or start your claim online and we will call you.