Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Tragic Loss of Life at the Andrex Factory
Posted by David Cant on December 21, 2011

A 28 year old man tragically lost his life while working for the global company Kimberley-Clark in November 2007. The young man was working in Barrow-in-Furness at the well-known Andrex factory when he was fatally hit by some machinery during his night shift at the plant.

Machinery Needs to Be Properly Guarded to Protect Employees

When the Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident they found that the machine which caused the accident was not properly guarded. So as a result Christopher Massey was struck as he looked through a hole in the machined to check that the tissue was feeding through the machine properly.  It was then that the machine moved in order to correctly position the tissue paper in place. As it moved Mr Massey was hit on the head and died. He was found by his fellow workers at around 5.30am when the shift was due to come to an end. It is thought that the incident had occurred twenty minutes prior to the discovery of his body.

Modified Machinery Needs to Be Check for Safety

The Health and Safety Executive Inspectors learned that the machine which caused the death of Mr Massey had been modified. Several months prior to the accident it was altered so that two-ply reels of tissue could be used in the machine rather than the single sheeted tissues. The modification required part of the machinery to be moved which resulted in the hole which the employees at the factory used to monitor the machine, just like Mr Massey had done.

Health and Safety Services Such as Training Could Have Prevented the Incident

The inspectors were informed that due to staff being off sick Mr Massey was put in charge of working on that part of the machine. This was not his usual role and had no training when it came to operating or monitoring the machine. None of the workers including Mr Massey had been warned against standing in from of the hole in order to view the running of the machine.

The addition of a clear screen would have been able to reduce the risks posed to the employees. The screen could have been positioned to enable an easy way of checking the tissue inside and could have prevented the death of Mr Massey. Four years on and the family are still finding it difficult to come to terms with the loss of their son and the circumstances around it.

Fine for Kimberly-Clark

The global company were fined £180,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £20,000 for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act. Health and Safety Services such as training should have been provided to all of the workers when the machine had been modified. Furthermore an adequate guard would have also prevented the death of Mr Massey.

Manufacturing Accidents are Common

Health and Safety consultants are able to work with companies in the manufacturing industry to prevent accidents. Some of the health and safety services available include training for employees on all levels, audits and risk assessments. Call 0800 1488 677 for further information.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Competent Person Service, Construction Health and Safety, Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety Services, Workplace Safety

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