Employer ordered to pay £54,000 after worker died in car crash following three consecutive 20-hour shifts

An employer has been fined £30,000 after one of its workers was killed in a car accident outside working hours.

The Produce Connection distributor admitted breaching health and safety legislation by failing to protect its employees and the public.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) acted on behalf of the late Mark Fiebig, who is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel after working three consecutive 20 hour shifts and for 11 days without a break.

The company had failed to adequately monitor the hours its farm workers were working, judge Gareth Hawksworth at Cambridge Crown Court ruled.

Prosecutor Pascal Bates told the court that managers’ at The Produce Connection had to be aware of the hours that farm workers were doing as records were required for payroll.

Coroner William Morris said Fiebig had worked “intolerable hours” and probably fell asleep while he was driving home.

The company was also ordered to pay £24,000 costs in addition to the £30,000 fine.

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