Drinks firm fined after Gavin Bedford's death at Llantrisant
- 16 May 2014
- From the section Wales
A drinks firm has been ordered to pay £155,000 in fines and costs after being prosecuted over an engineer's death.
Gavin Bedford, 24, from Porthcawl was struck by falling pipework at the former Gerber Juice Company Ltd premises in Llantrisant.
He died in hospital in June 2010.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the company, now trading as Refresco Gerber UK Ltd, pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety laws at Newport Crown Court.
After the hearing, Mr Bedford's mother, Anna, said: "I am left heartbroken. Gavin was a perfect son."
The HSE said a joint investigation with South Wales Police discovered the smoothie and fruit juice company failed to adequately plan and resource its decommissioning work at the Llantrisant factory as production was moving to Somerset.
The HSE said the company pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Mr Bedford, who was well known as a surfer and trial-biker, was helping to dismantle and demolish a section of industrial pipework at the factory when the structure collapsed and struck him.
The HSE said the investigation established that because no written plan was provided to the Gerber team explaining how the structure was to be taken apart, various bolts and structural elements were removed in an unsafe sequence, leading to its collapse.
The HSE said the firm was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £75,000 costs.
Messages in memory of Mr Bedford were posted on a Youtube page which showed him performing bike tricks a few months before his death.