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Abattoir tragedy was misadventure
7:00am Saturday 9th March 2013 in News
A CLEANER who was crushed to death in an abattoir died as a result of misadventure, a jury has found.
The jury of nine were sent out yesterday morning at Salisbury Coroner’s Court and took just over an hour to reach their decision.
Adrian Roberts, of Toothill, had been working at F Drury and Sons, in Royal Wootton Bassett, for about a year when he was trapped between a platform and a hydraulic arm and died instantly on August 18, 2011.
The 49-year-old may have broken Health and Safety rules by turning on the rotating machine, which separates the hind legs from cattle carcasses, to make it easier to wash.
Slaughtering finished at about 3pm on the day of the incident. Mr Roberts was last seen at 4.15pm, and at 5.15pm his body was found by loading bay supervisor Martin Bell.
He was discovered standing on a raised platform, with his torso bent inside the heavy-duty equipment.
The hydraulic arm of the machine had come down on top of him after he had leaned inside to scrub it down.
After the verdict was returned, Coroner Ian Singleton said: “I am sure you would join me in extending condolences to the family of Mr Roberts at this sad time and to his work colleagues.”
In a statement, Christopher Drury, managing director of the abattoir, said: “The thoughts of everyone at F Drury and Sons Ltd have been with Adrian’s family ever since this tragic accident and we offer our deepest condolences again today.
"Adrian was a friend as well as a colleague and we feel his loss deeply.
“F Drury and Sons Ltd consider the health and safety of its employees to be of utmost importance.
“We have actively assisted the police and the Health and Safety Executive with the investigation at all times and will continue to do so.”
The Health and Safety Executive said it could not comment while an investigation was ongoing, however the inquest heard changes have been made at the abattoir after recommendations from inspectors.
The isolator switches on the machinery are now locked at the end of the day, which means they cannot be switched back on.
The railing on the moveable platform Mr Roberts was on at the time of the incident has been raised too.