Worker died after suffering serious burns at an animal rendering plant

A 50-YEAR-OLD welder died after suffering serious burns at an animal rendering plant.

Mark Bullock was working at John Pointon and Sons, pictured, in Cheddleton, when the tragedy struck.


JohnPointons

Paramedics called to the Felthouse Lane factory battled to save Mr Bullock, but the sub-contractor, who was believed to live in Milton, Stoke-on-Trent, died hours later at the burns unit of a Birmingham hospital.

Now the Health and Safety Executive and police are investigating how Mr Bullock came by his injuries.

It is understood he was carrying out routine maintenance work at the factory when the alarm was raised.

Retired Pointon's financial director Mike Worthington, who had worked with Mr Bullock, said today: "I've known Mark for a very long time and you couldn't meet a nicer man.

"He was always respectful, tended to keep himself to himself and was really the nicest, most inoffensive gentleman you could ever meet.

"Everything a company could do as regards health and safety has been done at Pointon's.

"Throughout life accidents do happen and this seems to have been a very tragic accident. I believe the company is blameless and his death is very sad."

Emergency services were called to the plant at 8.30pm on Saturday. Mr Bullock died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Sunday morning.

Detective Inspector Glyn Pattinson, from Staffordshire Police, said: "This is an extremely tragic incident.

"We're currently carrying out a joint investigation with the Heath and Safety Executive to establish the full facts of what happened."

Pointon's workers are devastated by Mr Bullock's death.

A company spokesman said: "All at John Pointon and Sons, including directors and employees, are devastated by the tragic death of Mark Bullock, who was a highly valued member of the workforce.

"Our thoughts go out to his family and we are determined to find out how this tragic accident occurred.

"The company is co-operating with the investigation and as such cannot make any further comment."

In 2008 John Pointon and Sons was ordered to pay £680,000 in fines and costs for breaching health and safety rules which contributed to the death of worker Glyn Thompson.

The 45-year-old electrician fell into offal processing equipment while trying to rescue colleague Ivan Torr in 2004.

Sub-contractor Mr Torr, of Kingsley Holt, had slipped and fallen into a processing line.

Mr Thompson, of Park Hall Road, Weston Coyney, died in hospital after becoming overcome with fumes.

The penalty was later reduced to £540,000 on appeal.