Company fined �80,000 after Lithuanian worker crushed to death on first day at work

A COMPANY has been fined �80,000 for causing the death of a Lithuanian worker.

The worker was crushed to death by a stack of glass he was unloading on his first day at work.

Vitalijus Orlovas, 29, an agency worker originally from Lithuania, was unloading sheets of glass from a shipping container at Arken PoP’s site in Hawkesden Road, St Neots when they fell on him. He died at the scene from the crush injuries.

Arken PoP Ltd, based at Studlands Park Avenue, Newmarket, specialises in point of purchase displays for many retail sectors. The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into the incident which happened on 18 August 2008.

Mr Orlovas was living in Peterborough at the time of his death and had just started his new job that morning.

The firm pleaded guilty at Peterborough Crown Court to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at an earlier hearing and were fined �80,000 plus �16,914 costs.

The HSE investigation found that the company did not have adequate arrangements in place to unload the glass safely when the incident happened.

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HSE Inspector David Head said: “The tragic death of this young man should never have happened. Arken PoP did not carry out their legal duty to ensure the health and safety of people that were working for them - and the result was this horrific incident.

“This was a hazardous manual handling job which involved unloading several large sheets of glass, each of which weighed more than 100kg.

“It should have been planned properly and staff should have been fully trained in what to do. If there had been a safe system of work for this job this tragic death may not have happened.”