Factory boss in court after apprentice crushed to death

06 February 2015

A factory boss and his son have appeared in court charged with manslaughter, after a 16-year-old apprentice was crushed to death, only a month into his new job.

The company’s Director and his Supervisor son were charged with unlawful killing, by gross negligence, after the apprentice became entangled in an industrial metal lathe and suffered fatal head injuries.

The apprentice, who had just started work at the factory, was pronounced dead at the hospital, after being flown there by air ambulance.

At Magistrates Court the Director and Supervisor were ordered to face trial by jury. Both men had earlier been served with court summonses.

The Company is also charged with corporate manslaughter, after failing to maintain a lathe in a safe condition, which amounts to a gross breach of duty of care. It is also accused of failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees and is facing offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act, of failing to ensure the safety of an employee. These are matters which can only be dealt with at the Crown Court.

In addition the training company, which placed the apprentice with the company, has been summonsed for failing to ensure the health and safety of a person other than an employee. The charges follow an investigation by both Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A representative for the prosecution explained that, ‘the matters arose out of the death of a 16-year-old apprentice at the premises, run by the two men. The company is charged with corporate manslaughter and the two defendants are charged with manslaughter by gross negligence’. The Director and Supervisor were granted bail pending a preliminary hearing at Crown Court.

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