A 24-year old employee died after becoming trapped in machinery at the company’s Slough Trading Estate premises as he worked on nightshift on 15th January 2008.

The deceased was operating an automatic inspection machine checking rolls of rubber and cloth printing blanket for flaws. After the unwitnessed accident the man was discovered trapped between the rubberised blanket and the roller. He died at the scene.
The accident was only possible because Duco had not risk assessed the machine which had not been checked after a modification had been made. Its lack of guarding permitted access to the dangerous parts and employee information, instruction and training on the machine were inadequate.

At Reading Crown Court Duco International Limited of Irlam, Manchester, admitted breaching S.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and r.3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It was fined £200,000 and must meet costs of £43,352.

An HSE inspector stated: “This needless tragedy is typical of what can happen when health and safety management systems fail. Had the hazards been assessed, the lack of any guarding would have been highlighted, and this death could have been avoided. Companies should realise that when there are flagrant breaches of health and safety law, HSE will prosecute.”