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A fish-processing firm from Plymouth has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £25,000 after one of its workers was killed when boxes of frozen fish fell on him.

Tomas Suchy, a 22 year-old employee of Interfish Ltd was helping to clear up a pile of frozen fish boxes that had previously fallen, when a further fall of stock struck him. He sustained multiple severe injuries that tragically proved fatal.

When the Health and Safety Executive looked into the incident they found that the company had no safe system of work or any policy of instruction as to how staff should stack pallets and boxes. In addition to this there was no written procedure for dealing with falls of stock when they occurred.

HSE inspector Emma O’Hara said about the incident: “Safe stacking of stock is a cross-industry necessity and can often be overlooked when considering safe systems of work. Duty holders need to ensure that they are stacking safely and that they have a plan for dealing with any unforeseen circumstances such as a fall of stock.”

Interfish Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £500,000.

Injuries in the workplace can happen for many different reasons and it would be impossible to eliminate all incidents, but that doesn’t mean that employers should not do their best to minimise the risks faced by their workforce. A proper risk assessment should highlight any areas of particular danger and proper systems should be put in place to reduce risks of injury.

If you or someone you care for has been injured in the workplace, it is quite possible that you might be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors have years of experience in dealing with cases of workplace injuries and are best placed to offer you advice as to whether you can claim, and if so, how much your claim might be worth. It won’t cost you anything to discuss your case with one of our team and identify if we can help you, so contact us today and start the process of getting the pay out you deserve.