Pirelli factory death probe ordered tougher safety measures
ERJ staff report (BC)
Carlisle, UK – An investigation by the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) into the death of a worker at Pirelli’s Carlisle factory found that the company breached health and safety laws at the plant, reports In-Cumbria.
George Falder, a 48-year-old father of two, is believed to have “died within seconds” on 30 September 2012 after entering a steam autoclave for reasons yet unknown and being overcome by extreme heat.
The HSE found the factory to be operating correctly.
The incident prompted the temporary closure of the factory where 850 people work as police launched an investigation into what they first believed to be a suspicious death.
Police concluded no criminal acts had taken place. The inquest into Falder’s death has yet to be held.
HSE officers found:
• Pirelli had failed to assess the risks of the autoclave, which was not designed to be entered. Temperatures could reach as high as 150°C.
• Procedures were not in place to prevent such an incident.
• There was a “failure to prepare suitable and sufficient arrangements for the rescue of persons from the autoclave in Mini-factory 2 in the event of an emergency.”
• There was a “failure to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the safety of persons entering or working in the autoclave in Mini-factory 2”.
The firm was given 28 days to improve health and safety procedures surrounding the autoclave, which it did.
A Pirelli spokesman said: “There is an ongoing investigation into the matter. Until such investigation has been completed and the coroner's inquest held, Pirelli remains unable to make any comment, but its safe [sic] to say that we are fully co-operating with the investigation."
An HSE spokesman said that following its investigations of deaths or serious injuries, prosecutions could be brought.
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