Firm fined for explosion death

18 Oct 2011

A £200,000 fine has been dished out to a multinational cement firm following the death of an employee in an explosion at one of its factories.

Peter Reynolds, 28, died in the incident at CEMEX UK Operations Ltd's cement works in Lawford Road, Rugby, Warwickshire on January 15, 2008. He had an 18-month-old daughter.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the firm knew about the potential for blockages to cause explosions due to steam pressure building up within the mixer at the plant, but did nothing about it.

The firm also failed to carry out a review of its risk assessment after a man was injured using the same machine in May 2006, the HSE said.

CEMEX was also ordered to pay £172,000 in costs at Warwick Crown Court after being prosecuted over Reynolds' death.

HSE principal inspector Neil Craig said the incident was completely avoidable and passed on his condolences to Mr Reynolds' family.

At a hearing in August CEMEX Operations UK, of Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, near Egham, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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