Huddersfield Firm Fined Over Worker Death.
8 March 2013, 15:47
A pie making firm has been fined over the death of a baker in a gas explosion in Huddersfield.
David Cole, 37, was killed when an industrial bakery oven exploded at Andrew Jones Pies in 2009.
He had worked for the company for 12 years.
The firm was found guilty of safety breaches after a trial at Leeds Crown Court last month and has now been fined £250,000 and told to pay £124,896 costs.
Judge Guy Kearl QC told the firm it had ``failed dismally''.
The explosion happened after Mr Cole made repeated attempts to light the 30-year-old oven causing a flammable mix of gas and air to build up inside the baking chamber.
When the gas ignited, the blast blew the large oven door off its hinges.
Dad-of-two Mr Cole from Halifax was hit by the door and then trapped when part of the roof collapsed.
Another employee, Marcus Cartwright, from Huddersfield, was badly injured and five other men suffered minor injuries.
More than 40 firefighters were called to the explosion.
An HSE investigation found workers had not been given enough training in the use of the ovens and the company failed to appreciate the hazards posed by repeated unsuccessful attempts to fire them up.
The firm is now in administration.