A horrific incident where a worker was killed in a recycling shredder has been ruled an accident, an inquest heard last week (10 July).
Karlis Pavasars, 55, was identified by DNA from his toothbrush after parts of his body were found in a shredding machine at Mid UK Recycling’s Barkston Heath factory on July 19, 2013.
Police conducted an investigation of the premises after his death and found what is believed to have been one of his boots jammed in the conveyor belt.
Jurors were told that the Peterborough man moved to the UK from Latvia in 2009 and began working for the organisation in June 2013. The recycling plant sorts waste via a series of conveyor belts so it can be turned into fuel pellets.
HSE – “What actually happened to Mr Pavasars is unknown, but if the machinery had been guarded he would not have ended up in the shredder, or on the conveyer”
The jury retired for one hour and 40 minutes to make their decision.
Dr Dominic Swan, of the Health and Safety Executive, said the death was due to a lack of guarding around a conveyer leading to the shredder.
“In my opinion the accident resulted from the lack of guarding around the conveyer belt,” he said.
“Other contributory factors were the lack of control and management of personnel in the shed, poor risk assessments, lack of procedures for undertaking maintenance, cleaning and clearing of blockages and lack of supervision of personnel.”
“What actually happened to Mr Pavasars is unknown, but if the machinery had been guarded he would not have ended up in the shredder, or on the conveyer,” he added.
It is understood that there is to be a civil action for damages against Mid UK Recycling.