Home >£2m fine for Bakkavor Group as waste bales kill worker

£2m fine for Bakkavor Group as waste bales kill worker

18 May 2017

A North West food firm has been fined after a worker died when plastic bales fell on top of him.

On 4 February 2015, 29 year old father of one Jacek Adamowicz was cleaning a storage yard when a number of plastic bales weighing 703kg fell towards him trapping him against the ground.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Hitchen Foods, owned by the Bakkavor Group, had failed to consider and properly plan the stacking and storage of the bales. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was unsafe stacking of bales of plastic. Bakkavor Foods had failed to implement properly planned safe systems of work for their employees who were exposed during the stacking of the bales.

There was also no formal training in stacking bales and lack of monitoring in the bale area. Bakkavor Foods of Dobson Park Way, Wigan plead guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work at 1974 and was fined £2million with £32,595.10 costs.

HSE inspector Ian Betley said: “Bakkavor Foods fell far short of the required standard expected. Not only should proper planning have been carried out in relation to the storage and stacking of waste bales, but also a system of work subsequently put in place to mitigate those risks. The company failed on both of these counts with devastating consequences.”