Agency worker died on first day at work
A Newmarket retail display firm has been fined £80,000 after a worker was crushed to death by a stack of glass he was unloading on his first day at work. Vitalijus Orlovas, 29, an agency worker originally from Lithuania, was unloading sheets of glass from a shipping container at Arken PoP's site in St Neots when they fell on him. He suffered crush injuries and died at the scene. Arken PoP Ltd specialises in point of purchase displays for many retail sectors. The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into the 18 August 2008 incident. The firm, which had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a criminal safety breach, was fined £80,000 at Peterborough Crown Court and ordered to pay £16,914 costs. The HSE investigation found that the company did not have adequate arrangements in place to unload the glass safely when the incident happened. HSE inspector David Head said: 'The tragic death of this young man should never have happened. Arken PoP did not carry out their legal duty to ensure the health and safety of people that were working for them - and the result was this horrific incident.' He added: 'This was a hazardous manual handling job which involved unloading several large sheets of glass, each of which weighed more than 100kg. It should have been planned properly and staff should have been fully trained in what to do. If there had been a safe system of work for this job this tragic death may not have happened.'
Issued: 7 January, 2011