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Written by
on 21 February 2013


Safety at work breach lands Merley £70,000 fine

A woman lost her life while working at a paper firm in Corby in March 2009. The employee, Desanka Todorovic, was aged 44 and working at the Merley Paper Converters at the time of the accident. He was stood waiting to collect some flat pack boxes when several boxes fell on top of her. She died shortly after the accident after suffering from multiple injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive have to investigate all serious accidents to discover if the incident could have been avoided. When the inspectors visited the scene they discovered that the firm, that manufactures paper till roles, had failed to control the risks to their employees working in the warehouse. On the day of the accident Mrs Todorovic was stood next to racking as a forklift was being operated, lifting pallets of boxes down.  The boxes that fell on her were full of till rolls and she had been buried underneath.

Guilty Plea for Failing to Ensure the Safety of their Employees

The firm pleaded guilty for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. They were fined £70,000 and must pay £30,974 in court costs. The inspectors found that the racking was not erected properly and the firm had failed to maintain the racking. If they had ensured it was put up correctly and looked after the racking wouldn’t have failed and Mrs Todorovic wouldn’t have been killed. Racking is used in almost all industries. The inspector, Roger Amery said he hoped that this tragic death will remind employers to ensure the racking is kept in good condition to avoid other accidents.

Health and Safety Consultants can come into your work premises and perform an audit to spot problem areas and lapses in health and safety management.  Audits are useful if you are too busy or unskilled in performing your own audits. They can be used to identify areas where the laws are being breached and to help you to understand what is not working.  The audit can also be used to identify the places where health and safety management is working within your organisation. You will be given a report which will contain advice on what needs to be done if problems are discovered in the audit. The advice is based in the health and safety regulations and the best industry practice and will help to ensure the work you perform as a result of the audit will bring you up to a legal standard. Call 0800 1488 677 to learn more about the audit health and safety services.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.