Premier Foods’s skull-crush worker wins payout

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

The accident happened at Premier's Mr Kipling cake factory
The accident happened at Premier's Mr Kipling cake factory

Related tags: Premier foods, Mr kipling, Accident, Occupational safety and health

A Premier Foods engineer has received a significant amount in compensation after he was left with life-changing injuries following a devastating accident at its Moreton cake factory.

Tom Williams was left in a coma and spent seven months in hospital after part of the ceiling at Premier’s Manor Bakeries fell on him and crushed his skull while he was removing a pillar in 2008.

The 65-year-old suffered head injuries, neck fractures and swelling to his brain and now needs 24-hour care for the rest of his life, according to local reports.

Solicitors argued that Williams’ employers failed to carry out a risk assessment to identify any potential dangers.

Adequate training

It was also argued that the company failed to give Williams and the rest of the team removing the pillar adequate training.

Williams used an angle grinder to remove the bottom section of a pillar in the site’s engineering stores, where Mr Kipling cakes are manufactured, to create a new walkway. The accident happened when part of the ceiling fell and hit him on the head.

A spokesman from Premier said: “Premier Foods sincerely regrets the accident at Manor Bakeries, which resulted in the injury to Mr Williams and immediate steps were taken at the time to prevent any similar incident occurring in the future.

“We take our responsibilities for health and safety very seriously and over the years we have established an excellent record throughout the company.”

In September 2010, Premier Foods was prosecuted for the accident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Wirral Magistrates’ Court.

Premier was ordered to pay almost £21,000​ and was slammed by the UK safety authorities.

Pay almost £21,000

The manufacturing giant was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,808.

Premier Foods had “no excuse” ​for its failure to follow “basic health and safety procedures”, ​according to the HSE in 2010.

Phil Redman, an HSE inspector, said: “A man’s life has been turned upside down because basic health and safety procedures weren’t followed.

“Williams has been permanently disabled from his injuries and will never be able to return to work.”

Williams’ compensation followed a ruling in December last year that the death of a safety inspector​ at Premier Foods’s Worksop, Nottinghamshire gravy-making site, was accidental.

Meanwhile, don't miss our photogallery charting the highs and lows​ of Premier Foods's turbulent 2014.

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