Tragic death in machine after health and safety failures24 November 2010
Crushed to death at work
The daughter of a printworker who was crushed to death at work has welcomed the findings of an inquest that there were a catalogue of breaches of health and safety procedures.
The Wakefield Coroners’ Court returned a narrative verdict in the death of William Aveyard, 49, when he became trapped in a hand fed platen machine at Bezier, Wakefield on 8 May 2008.
The inquest jury found that a catalogue of health and safety regulations were not followed including that there was no written system of work for dealing with misfeeds, that the risk assessment had not been cascaded down to the workers, that there was no evidence that Mr Aveyard had been trained in the use of the machine, that any instructions given were verbal and not written and that the safety edge had been reported as not effective by other workers but had not been fixed.
His death was entirely preventable
Helen Aveyard said: "On that morning my father William Aveyard went to work as he had done every day for over 33 years. He never came home that night. At the age of 49 he was crushed to death at work. To have lost your father in this way is devastating. As a family we are still coming to terms with his death.
“The inquest has made clear that there were shortcomings by my father's employers, Bezier. Without a doubt his death was entirely preventable. It is now clear, as we always suspected, that inadequate steps were taken following the death, 13 months prior to my father's of a Mr Kennedy also on a hand fed platen machine at another company.
“If our father's horrific death is going to bring any good it must be that lessons really are learned and no other family has to go through what we have been through."
Davey Hall, Unite regional secretary, said: “There were safety issues at Bezier. We must ensure that no one in the future should be fatally injured in this way as a result of lack of training or instruction, for the sake of his family and for all his former colleagues”.
Marion Voss of Thompsons Solicitors, who represents the Aveyard family, said: “The jury was asked questions by the coroner about the circumstances of Mr Aveyard’s death. The answers reveal that although he had 30 years of experience in the print industry, there was no evidence that he had training in the operation of the machine in which he was killed or misfeeds. The jury’s responses show that this was a needless death of a hardworking family man. Bezier have to face the family and should face the full force of health and safety laws.”
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