• Robert Spicer

Lithuanian worker killed in unguarded machinery: employer given suspended sentence

Crushing death: suspended prison sentence

Health and Safety Executive v Gordon Leach t/a RGE Engineering Company (2016) Peterborough Crown Court, May 13

Gordon Leach, trading as RGE Engineering Company, a plastics manufacturer, has been given a suspended prison sentence after a worker was killed in a printing machinery crushing incident.

Significant points of the case

  • In April 2012 a 23-year old agency worker from Lithuania was working in the company’s print room.

  • She entered the machine to apply thinners to the ink. The machine started. Her head was crushed between the printing pads and the printing table of the machine. She suffered fatal injuries.

  • The machine had no effective guarding system.

Leach was given a prison sentence of 15 months, suspended for two years. He was also fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £45,000 costs for breaching regulation 11, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

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