A ready meal maker has been fined by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after stacked food trays collapsed and fatally struck an employee.

The worker was helping re-stack a pallet of empty trays when the column – which was 44 cases high – was knocked towards him by a second pallet being delivered by forklift.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to sufficiently segregate the forklift and employees.

Bakkavor Foods Limited admitted breaking the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 – by failing to provide a safe system of work in the tray storage area.

It was fined £176,000.

Unsafe system

The HSE said the tragedy was ‘wholly avoidable’ and that it was caused by the company’s failure to implement a safe system of work.

The risk was said to be ‘further amplified’ by the failure to undertake safety measures including segregating vehicles and employees.

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