A food firm in the North West has been fined after 29-year-old father of one, Jacek Adamowicz, lost his life. Mr Adamowicz was cleaning a storage yard when multiple plastic bales weighing 703kg fell towards him and trapped him to the ground.
Mr Adamowicz’s premature demise could have been avoided and Bakkavor Foods Limited could have saved themselves the massive £2 million fine with £32,595 costs for their prosecution under 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work at 1974. A clear example of how cost cutting on health and safety didn’t pay off. Not only does the company have the enormous financial penalty but the emotional one too for knowing that their failings caused the death of an employee.
An investigation which was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) highlighted that there was the unsafe stacking of bales of plastic. Bakkavor Foods Limited failed to implement properly planned safe systems of work for their employees. It was also found that there was no formal training put in place to stack the bales and a lack of monitoring in the bale area.
This tragic and sad case highlights the importance of proper planning being carried out in relation to the storage and stacking of waste bales, and risk assessments to ensure the risks are identified and minimised. Sadly this is something that Hitchen Foods, owned by the Bakkavor Group, had failed to do so.