Director jailed over death of worker

A company director has received a one-year jail sentence following the death of an employee at his paper recycling business.

Paul White (43) of Drayton was given a 12-month custodial sentence at Norwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to manslaughter and health and safety charges.

His company was also fined £30,000 with costs of £55,000.

The sentencing follows an investigation carried out by detectives from Norfolk CID and inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive into the death of Kevin Arnold (36).

Arnold climbed into a paper-shredding machine to clear blockages, but the machine started, fatally injuring him. The machine contained a series of hammers projecting 15cm from a shaft, which revolved at high speed.

The extensive investigation revealed that the machine was not securely isolated while the unblocking work was being carried out (there was no local electrical isolator provided for the machinery); there was no safe system for such work; and the electrical controls for the machine were contaminated with dust.

Minister for health and safety, Lord Hunt, said tragic incidents in the workplace such as this were totally preventable.

“All employers must make the welfare of their employees a top priority by ensuring that safe systems of work are provided and maintained,” he said.

“There is also a need to make certain that employees are properly instructed in how to operate machinery to guard against any threat of injury or death.”

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