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Industrial ‘Oven death’ ruled accidental

Posted in: Workplace Injuries Wrongful & Accidental Death 

After the body of a man was found in an industrial oven at a tyre factory in Cumbria, the inquest jury found the death to be an accident. 48-year-old George Falder died at the Pirelli site in Carlisle in September of last year, having worked at the factory for many years. The machine in which he was killed could reach staggering temperatures of 145C (293F).  The family of Mr Falder said that if someone had properly checked the oven with a torch before closing the door, his death could have been prevented.

The inquest heard that the father of two had been struggling to cope with depression prior to the incident, with suspicion that the death could have been suicide. Mr Falder’s wife Andrea, however, argued strongly that he was not suicidal at the time of the incident. It was also heard from colleagues that Mr Falder frequently went into the autoclave to tidy up objects that had fallen on the floor.

New safety regulations

The company has now changed its procedures regarding how members of staff operate the autoclave, with the application of new safety regulations. 

The machinery in which Mr Falder was killed is used to harden rubber-coated rings used to strengthen tyres.

In a statement, their solicitor said: “The family would earnestly hope that lessons can be learned from this tragedy and that it will act as a wake-up call for all employers and all involved in health and safety.

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