A man was seriously injured when he was drawn into machinery used to flatten bags, and was fined £30,000 by Truro Crown Court.

The accident happened on 14 August, 2008, when Gerald Dahlstrom (then 45 years-old), was loading bags of china clay onto a conveyor belt when he was drawn into a gap of approx 6″ between the conveyor and another belt mounted above, which was designed to flatten bags of china clay. He suffered multiple injuries including serious head, shoulder and chest injuries. He was off work for over a year and is still suffering from the effects of the incident.

China clay company, Imerys Minerals Ltd, pleaded guilty to a charge brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after failing to ensure the safety of staff engaged in manually loading bags onto conveyors at the European Milling Centre site at Par Docks.

The company was fined £30,000 for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. The company was ordered to pay costs of £45,124.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector, Jo Fitzgerald, said: “The serious injuries suffered by Gerry Dalhstrom could easily have been avoided by Imerys if they had carried out an assessment and looked at the risks being taken by employees at the site.

“All employers have a duty to manage health and safety properly and protect their staff as far as possible.”