Factory worker crushed in printing machine most likely bypassed safety barrier, inquest rules

The scene outside RGE Engineering after the accident in April 2012.

The scene outside RGE Engineering after the accident in April 2012.

Archant

A FACTORY worker who was crushed to death inside an industrial printing machine most likely bypassed a safety barrier in order to gain entry to the device, an inquest has ruled.

A jury of six men and three women believed that Zydre Groblyte either climbed over the gate or ducked through a gap so she could put thinners into the ink pads of the equipment at RGE Engineering’s site in Godmanchester without having to restart the machine.

Co-workers then heard the Lithuanian, who was employed as a temporary worker from City Staff recruitment in Peterborough, scream as the machine started working and she was trapped inside.

Jurors at Huntingdon Law Courts returned a verdict of accidental death but said it was “more likely than not that a colleague started the machine by accident” by activating a foot pedal which enabled it to start.

However they believed there was a “failure to ensure adequate guarding” of the machine.

“We believe it ought to have been known to management that temporary workers accessed the machine other than through the safety gate,” they added.

Had the 23-year-old, of New Road, Woodston, Peterborough, opened the safety barrier it would have automatically cut power to the machine and prevented the accident, workers at RGE told the inquest.

However Inspector Mark Greenhalgh, the police officer who attended the incident at around 2.20pm on April 27 this year, said in his statement that he thought the incident “was a result of bad working practices and as a shortcut to not turn the machine off to save time”.

The jury also said the “ongoing supervision of temporary workers, particularly those with poor English language skills, was neither consistent nor adequate”.

They added that the inconsistencies in the training of colleagues contributed “more than minimally, negligibly or trivially to her death”.

The accident left Miss Groblyte with severe head injuries. She was confirmed dead at the scene by paramedics.

A spokesman for RGE Engineering said: “RGE Engineering respects the verdict reached by jury in this matter.

“The circumstances surrounding Zydre’s death remain under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive so it would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time.

“Our sympathies remain with Zydre’s family and friends.”

At the end of the three-day inquest Belinda Cheney, deputy coroner for South and West Cambridgeshire, said to Miss Groblyte’s mother, who was sitting in the hearing: “May I pass on condolences for the tragic loss of your daughter.”

More news stories

Fri, 15:08

An appeal has been launched to help pay for the funeral costs of a Huntingdon couple who died within a day of each other, leaving two devastated children.

Fri, 14:03

A developer has unveiled plans for more than 40 new apartments on a parcel of land in Huntingdon that was formerly earmarked for a supermarket.

Fri, 12:03

Two groups of talented dancers from Huntingdonshire successfully auditioned to perform their own show at Disneyland next summer.

Fri, 10:23

There is strong public support for a new foot and cycle bridge over the River Great Ouse in St Neots, a new report has revealed.

Most read stories

Local business directory

Cambridgeshire's trusted business finder
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hunts Post e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter