Wales

UPM Shotton paper mill death: Firms fined £350,000

UPM Shotton Image copyright Google

The owners and operators of a paper mill where a worker was run over by a lorry have each been fined £350,000.

Austin Thomas, 29, was hit from behind by the shovel loader at UPM Shotton in Flintshire on 6 February 2017.

An inquest jury previously concluded the death was accidental after the driver said he did not see Mr Thomas.

On Wednesday, operator Downton Haulage admitted two health and safety charges before magistrates in Mold, while owner UPM admitted one charge.

District Judge Gwyn Jones said following an investigation by North Wales Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) it was not known why the driver of the loader had not seen Mr Thomas.

A collision investigation report had found visibility was not an issue for the driver of the loader.

There had been a 30-second period when Mr Thomas was visible and CCTV showed there was space for the vehicle to go around him.

He said there was no obvious reason for the vehicle to move slightly in the lane and hit him.

The judge added it was clear the risk of death or physical impairment was there because there had been no segregation of vehicles and pedestrians within the warehouse.

Both companies had fully co-operated with the investigations, had made changes and accepted their full responsibilities, the court heard.

The prosecution was brought by the HSE.

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