Worker crushed to death after entering machine's danger zone

A textile company has been fined £600,000 after a worker was dragged into a machine and crushed to death in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court was told that the W E Rawson employee leant into a packaging machine while trying to dislodge a package on 28 February 2014. 

The 50-year-old became trapped between an upper and lower moving conveyor and later died in hospital of severe crush injuries. 

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the employer had failed to prevent workers accessing the danger zone between the moving conveyors. 

There was no safe system of work for removing items that had become lodged in the machine. 

W E Rawson, which manufactures non-woven industrial textiles from recycled fabrics, pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. 

Under the sentencing guidelines, the company is classed as a medium organisation with a £22.3m turnover in 2017.

It was fined on 4 July and ordered to pay £20,165 costs. 


Keeley Downey is assistant editor of IOSH Magazine

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