The convictions follow a 6 week trial arising out of the death of two young employees who died having been required to enter the body of a road tanker containing semi-liquid pig feed.
In passing sentence Mr Justice Fraser said the company “had absolutely no regard for the safety of its employees” and there was a “dangerous culture” onsite.
Staff had repeatedly warned management of the dangers involved in cleaning tankers and had asked for safety equipment, but were “simply ignored”.
“The inside of tankers are confined spaces, and it is dangerous to enter them without safety measures. There was no safe method of working; there was no training; there was no assessment of the risks; there were no warnings given to the yard staff; there was not even a basic record kept of when someone went into one to clean it. “The method that had been adopted at Greenfeeds for years, and which the senior management knew about, was simply climb in, clean the tanker and take your chances.”
Following the sentence, the Health and Safety Executive Principal Inspector, Samantha Wells said, “This incident could have been easily prevented by those in control by assessing the risks and putting appropriate control measures in place. It should serve as a reminder of the importance of an effective health and safety management system and the devastating consequences where these are not implemented and monitored. “HSE encourages all directors and senior managers to understand their duties to manage health and safety across their business and to take their responsibilities seriously. Those who do not will be held to account for their failings as in this tragic case.