Fine for death in meat blender (UK)

A company has been fined £160,000 after a worker was fatally injured while cleaning a blending machine at a meat processing plant in Milton Keynes.

Lynda Trebilcock, 53, was killed at the Delico plant in May 2007. The firm, based in Hull, had pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations at a hearing in July. At the sentencing at Aylesbury Crown Court last week, the firm was also ordered to pay costs of £40,452.

Mrs Trebilcock suffered severe head injuries when the powered door on the blending machine closed unexpectedly. She died at the scene.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident at Delico's meat processing plant in Snelshall West, Milton Keynes on 19 May 2007. The safety watchdog issued an immediate prohibition notice stopping use of the machine, which had inoperative guard interlocks. Four improvement notices were also issued, requiring better training, inspection and maintenance.

HSE inspector Karl Howes said: 'Employers must ensure that they implement safe systems of work for staff using machinery. They must make certain that safety features on machines, such as guards are not overridden. All areas of risk need to be assessed, including cleaning and maintenance tasks, to make sure that tragic incidents like this do not happen.'