Worker crushed to death at car parts firm in County Durham

One worker suffered a fatal personal injury at work at a car parts firm in County Durham, as a production line jam led to him being crushed to death, accident claim experts familiar with the case recently said.

52 year old Paul Clark lost his life in July of 2009 while he was working at the Newton Aycliffe based ThyssenKrupp Tallent plant, personal injury claims experts recently reported.  The firm was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive, leading to a £100,000 fine for breaching health and safety rules handed down by Durham Crown Court in a recent hearing, with the court also ordering the company to pay legal costs of an additional £44,000.

The HSE found that a jam in a pneumatic carriage precipitated the accident, as Mr Clark was fatally injured in his attempts to clear the jam because he had needed to open the interlocked safety gates in order to do so.

While the safety gates did work properly isolate the piece of equipment from its supply of electricity, the machine’s pneumatic power element was still active, HSE investigators said.  The carriage suddenly moved while Mr Clark had been performing maintenance on the equipment, trapping him.

Both HSE inspectors and Mr Clark’s family have said that his untimely death could have, and should have, been avoided. Carole, Mr Clark’s wife, told reporters that her husband’s death had left a significant void in her life and the lives of her family, adding that if her husband had not been working alone he might have been able to have been extricated from the machinery in time to save his life.

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