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Pillar accident costs UK food group

Pillar accident costs UK food group

Premier Foods Group's failure to ensure workplace safety left a maintenance engineer with a crushed skull, a court has learned.

Thomas Williams, a 61-year-old from the Wirral, was hit on the head by a four-metre-long metal pillar which weighed 65kg.

Mr Williams sustained severe injuries to his brain and spine and spent six months in hospital. He and his wife, who now cares for him, have been unable to work since it happened, Wirral magistrates were told on September 9.

He now finds it difficult to speak and move.

The St Albans-based firm, which is the largest food manufacturer in the UK, was handed a £14,000 fine.

Mr Williams and another worker were taking cages and pillars out of a storage area at Manor Bakeries, Moreton, Merseyside, in July 2008. They had cut one of the pillars and levered it free at its base but it came off the ceiling at the same time and landed on Mr Williams.

An HSE investigation showed that Premier Foods did not plan the work or train staff properly.

Premier Foods Group Ltd, based in Centrium Business Park, Griffiths Way, admitted breaking Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Magistrates also told the food giant to pay prosecution costs of £6,808.