The family of a young factory worker who died in a workplace explosion has received a substantial sum in compensation just days before the third anniversary of his death.

Peter Reynolds from Rugby was just 28 when he died from head injuries after he was blasted out of the building he was working in and fell 10 meters to the ground in January, 2008.

He was working as a plant operative for Cemex in Rugby and was trying to unblock a piece of faulty machinery when the explosion happened.

An inquest into his death heard the blast would have killed him almost instantly.

He was survived by his wife Kerry and their daughter Kayleigh, who is now five.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following the accident, Peter’s trade union Unite instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation on behalf of his family.

On the eve of the third anniversary of his death Thompsons was successful in securing a settlement. Cemex has not admitted liability for the accident.

Peter’s mum, Jane Reynolds, who now lives in Great Yarmouth said: “This is an extremely emotional time for us all but it gives us a great sense of relief that our fight for compensation has been successful.

“This wasn’t just about the money, but about Cemex accepting their part in Peter’s life coming to such an abrupt and tragic end.

“Peter was a kind and loving father, husband, son and brother. We all miss him terribly and we are anxious to keep his memory alive for his daughter Kayleigh.”

Blocked machine had caused injuries in the past

The Health and Safety Executive are now prosecuting Cemex for the accident which was caused when a mixing machine became blocked.

Peter had followed the correct procedures to restart the machine but it had become heavily pressurised and exploded. The inquest into his death heard another man had been injured using the same machine in 2006.

Adrian Axtell from Unite said: “It is only just that Mr Reynolds’ family is compensated for his tragic untimely death. He was forced to work with a machine which had caused the company problems time and again. This was an accident waiting to happen.”

John Mullen from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This has been a tremendously difficult time for Mr Reynolds’ family who are still awaiting the outcome of the HSE’s prosecution against Cemex.

“We hope by securing this compensation that it gives the family at least a little peace of mind that Cemex have recognised their part in Mr Reynolds’ death.”