A British judge has issued a hefty fine on an engineering polymer company after it pleaded guilty to safety breaches which led to the death of one of its Indian-origin workers in an industrial accident a few years ago.
Tarsem Singh died from a heart attack in hospital the day after sustaining injuries while removing a plastic rod from a casting machine at Leicester-based Nylacast Limited in April 2016. District Judge Tim Daber fined the company 293,000 pounds and also ordered it to pay more than 10,000 pounds in costs, Leicester Mercury' reports.
"On behalf of all parties I would like to pay tribute to the quiet dignity with which the family of Tarsem Singh have conducted themselves throughout these proceedings," Daber said at Northampton Magistrates Court on Monday.
"The failings in this case were not an isolated incident as the risk existed each time the machine was used. In this court's judgement this was an accident waiting to happen, he said.
The court heard that as Singh went to remove the rod from the machine, the metal retaining end cap and plastic rod were forcibly ejected, hitting the 52-year-old in the chest at an estimated speed of 81mph and with a force of up to eight tonnes. An inquest had previously heard that the force had the effect of fracturing Singh's chest and jaw.
The rod was secured in the machine by a pressurised piston, which should have been de-pressurised before the rod was removed.
"There was no engineering measure which prevented the ejection of the end cap before pressure in the mould had been released, the judge noted.
Nylacast Limited, which manufactures products for the construction and offshore industries, had pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety regulations at an earlier hearing in July.
"Nylacast deeply regrets the incident which occurred in April 2016 and wishes to reiterate its sincerest condolences to the family of Tarsem Singh, the company said in a statement.
"We continually strive to improve the safety results of operations by reducing physical risk through the design and innovation of process, equipment and work areas, applying high standards of safety performance each day, it said.
Tarsem Singh's widow Kulwender Kaur and his son, Kuldip, were present in court at the sentencing hearing this week.
"The pain is not going away at all. I don't think it ever will," Kaur said at the end of the hearing.
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