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  • Safety@Work

Pig Feed Deaths- UK Directors Jailed

The family of Gavin Rawson, 35, who drowned in a pig feed tanker while trying to save a teenager, Nathan Walker, 19, said he had no hope of escape. The fatal accident happened at

a food waste company Greenfeeds Limited in Leicestershire, United Kingdom in December 2016.

Mr Rawson's family had demanded to know why the company had been allowed to continue operating, following a previous death at the site in 2005.

At a hearing at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday, Greenfeeds co-owner Gillian Leivers was jailed for 13 years, with her husband Ian Leivers also sentenced to 20 months for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. The company Greenfeeds Limited was also fined £2m.

Gillian Leivers was convicted of two counts of gross negligence manslaughter and a health and safety offence. Manager Stewart Brown was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years, for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Mr Rawson's mother Linda and brother Gareth are demanding to know why the company was allowed to continue operating

Speaking after the case, Mr Rawson's mother Linda said the victims had "no hope whatsoever" of escaping the tanker, due to the lack of ladders inside the tank and breathing equipment on the site.

The court heard when he tried to do so, he had been overcome by carbon dioxide fumes, leading him to collapse and drown in the pig feed. Mr Rawson died while trying to save Nathan. However he too was overcome by the fumes. Had there been ladders inside the tank, Nathan would not have died.

The mother of Mr Rawson demanded to know why the company was allowed to continue, following an incident in 2005 that saw Greenfeeds convicted for breaches after the death of an employee involved in tanker cleaning.

The firm is now in liquidation.

The deaths occurred three days before Christmas in 2016

Speaking after the case, HSE 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." She added "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."

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