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Two bakery workers died in agony after bosses sent them into a giant oven to carry out repairs on the cheap, a court heard yesterday.
The machine should have been allowed to cool for 12 hours, but was only left for two.
David Mayes and Ian Erickson were unaware of the full danger as they crawled into the oven because fans had cooled its outer reaches to 40c. Its core, however, was still at 100c.
The repair was a delicate procedure in which they had to collect broken parts from along the length of a conveyor belt which carries bread trays slowly through the 75ft-long oven
The company would have lost £1,120 for every hour the oven was shut down
On the day of the tragedy in May 1998, Mr Erickson, of Walsall, admitted he wanted to get the job done quickly so he could go home and watch the FA Cup Final with his two sons.
Mr Mayes, of Rushey Mead, Leicestershire, had told friends the night before: 'I have a challenge in the morning. I am going for it - the money is good.'
John Bridson, 54, of Hale, the managing director of Fresha Limited, the company which owns the bakery, admitted two charges of failing to provide a safe system of work. The production director, Brian Jones, 60, of Hertford, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to a single count of the same offence. The chief engineer, Dennis Masters, 45, of Mountsorrel, admitted one charge of failing to take reasonable care for others at work. Fresha Bakeries were fined a total of £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £175,000. The firm's owners, Harvestime Ltd, of Walsall, West Midlands, was fined a total of £100,000 and made to pay costs of £75,000. Mr Bridson was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000. Mr Jones was fined £1,000 and Mr Masters £2,000 because of their financial means.
Originally posted by snarfbot
wow thats really disgusting.
i wonder how much they spent on 14 years of legal fees, probably many times more than 11200 pounds.