Bakery fined £600,000 following death of two employees

A
bakery where two employees died in 1998 while they were cleaning an oven has
been ordered to pay a total of £628,000 after three of its directors were found
guilty of negligence.

The
two maintenance workers at Fresha Bakery in Leicester had been ordered inside
the 75-foot bread oven, which was still heated to more than 100 degrees Celsius.

One
died of heat exposure whilst the other was crushed by machinery.

Managing
director John Bridson, production director Brian Jones and chief engineer
Dennis Masters, who pleaded guilty to eight health and safety charges, were
fined a total of £373,000 and ordered to pay £255,000 in costs.

The
prosecutions followed one the first joint investigations between Leicestershire
Constabulary and the Health and Safety Executive.

Timothy Walker, director-general of the HSE said,
“I hope that today’s penalties will send the strongest message to employers
throughout Great Britain that protecting the health and safety of workers is a
vital task for directors and managers, not an administrative inconvenience.”

By Robert De La Poer

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