A fatal incident at a Merseyside woodchip factory – described by one HSE inspector as his “most horrific case” – has seen two firms ordered to pay combined costs of £624,000.
Portuguese-owned Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd and equipment specialist Valmet Ltd, which took over Metso Ltd in 2013, were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday over the deaths of two workers at the Knowsley plant in 2010.
James Bibby, 25, and 27-year-old Thomas Elmer, were both killed while carrying out maintenance work on a conveyor belt at the Sonae factory five years ago today.
The Court heard how Mr Elmer, employed at the time by Metso Paper Ltd, and Mr Bibby, a self-employed contractor for the same company, had been asked to replace part of a conveyor belt.
During the course of the procedure, the conveyor suddenly and unexpectedly started to operate – dragging both men into the machinery and causing ‘catastrophic’ fatal injuries.
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