Fatal injuries blamed on health and safety breaches on Space 4 site

Space 4, a subsidiary of Persimmon Homes, was last week fined a total of £125,000 following the death of an employee in December 2001.

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Philip Macken was injecting insulation foam to an internal wall panel for use in a new build home on a Space 4 site in the West Midlands. He entered the foam injection enclosure to fix a problem with the automated machine, but the machine started automatically while he was inside. Macken was trapped against the machine and received fatal crush injuries.

Space 4 pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, and was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 costs.

HSE investigating inspector Tony Mitchell said: "Companies need to ensure that all safety devices are fully operational. In this case properly fitted interlocks would have prevented access to the enclosure, and saved Mr Macken's life."