Krauesslar statement24 July 2008
Killed at Recycling Centre
The family of a man killed by a mechanical digger at a recycling centre in Newbury has welcomed the verdict of a jury at an inquest.
In a statement, Linda Krauesslar and her daughter Victoria called on the Health and Safety Executive to prosecute Biffa, which ran the site. She said that Biffa should face manslaughter charges.
Dennis Krauesslar, 59, was killed on 10 September 2007 as he emptied garden waste at the site in Pinchington Lane.
A Biffa employee was using the digger to clear waste in a pit and brought the shovel down on Mr Krauesslar who had been emptying garden waste into the pit, crushing him against the pit's wall. He died a few hours later in hospital. One witness told the jury that the bucket of the digger overshot and came down over the wall.
Lack of Health and Safety Procedures
The jury in its verdict found that factors contributing to the death included a lack of site staff and signage to warn members of the public, the digger driver's possible lack of visibility, no formal safety systems in place for when the digger was being used and a lack of risk reporting between Biffa staff.
Biffa have admitted liability for Dennis Krauesslar's death.
Linda Krauesslar said: "The verdict gives us real hope that Biffa will be prosecuted for Dennis's terrible death. We have always been unhappy that the driver himself was not prosecuted, but ultimately it was his employer's responsibility to ensure that he was properly trained in the use of the vehicle. It was Biffa's inadequate systems that put the public in danger and killed a loving and devoted husband and father and therefore Biffa should face manslaughter charges."
Henrietta Phillips, of Thompsons Solicitors, who acts for the Krauesslar family, said:
"The CPS said there was not enough evidence to prosecute anyone for this terrible failure in health and safety. With this verdict both we and the GMB Union, of which Dennis was a member, will now press the Health and Safety Executive for gross negligence manslaughter charges to be brought against Biffa".
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