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An inquest has ruled that a chipboard factory in Liverpool did not carry out the correct health and safety procedures which could have prevented the deaths of two engineers.
The two engineers died of multiple injuries while working on a conveyor belt at the Merseyside factory in December 2010.
They were doing repair work to the conveyor belt when it started up automatically, dragging both men into the machinery.
The Health and Safety Executive is now carrying out a thorough investigation regarding the deaths and has not ruled out criminal charges against the company. Both engineers had not been shown how to isolate the machinery from the power supply ultimately citing a lack of training as the cause of the accident.
On behalf of the company, a spokesperson said that its thoughts were with the families of the two men but acknowledged this would be of little consolation. The spokesperson added: “The company had a permit to work system in place, which had it been followed would have prevented the tragic accident.”
The coroner said that the man who had issued the permit to work form had not shown the men where the isolation points for the machine were and there was nothing to show they had had training.
He added: “It is our view that the death of each man was the result of a failure to adopt appropriate procedures.”
In a separate case, the factory is also the centre of a compensation case following a fire which caused extensive damage in August 2011.
Residents living close to the site are pursuing compensation in the belief that fumes from the blaze were damaging to their health. A second fire occurred in January 2012 and the factory eventually closed down the following September.
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Published on 16th February 2015.