UK Sugar Manufacturer Paying $558,000 in Drowning Case

The 2004 death of Keith Webb, 53, during the unloading of a ship docked in the Thames River exposed Tate & Lyle PLC's failure to train employees to enter and exit ships' holds.

Another giant sugar manufacturer has been hit hard by a fine related to an occupational fatality. Not the U.S. company Imperial Sugar; this time, London-based Tate & Lyle PLC was fined 270,000 pounds (roughly $441,000 in U.S. dollars) on Oct. 9 for the March 2, 2004, drowning death of Keith Webb, 53, during the unloading of a ship carrying sugar at a dock on the Thames River. Webb, who worked for a subcontractor, was sitting in the cab of a "digger," a machine used to break up solidified sugar in ships’ holds so the sugar could be unloaded, as it was being lowered toward the ship when a connecting lug to the chains broke and the machine plunged into the river.

Tate & Lyle is a worldwide manufacturer of food ingredients, including sugars, and racked up approximately $5.8 billion in sales in the year ending March 31, 2009. The judge overseeing the case also assessed $147,000 in costs against the company.

Testimony in the case indicated the company did not train workers involved in unloading ships’ holds to safety enter or exit the holds, and no ladder was provided so Webb could climb down into the space. A lawyer defending the company said Tate & Lyle strives for zero incidents but accepted full responsibility for Webb’s death, according to newspaper accounts of the case.

Product Showcase

  • Magid® D-ROC® GPD412 21G Ultra-Thin Polyurethane Palm Coated Work Gloves

    Magid’s 21G line is more than just a 21-gauge glove, it’s a revolutionary knitting technology paired with an advanced selection of innovative fibers to create the ultimate in lightweight cut protection. The latest offering in our 21G line provides ANSI A4 cut resistance with unparalleled dexterity and extreme comfort that no other 21-gauge glove on the market can offer! 3

  • Full Line of Defense Against Combustible Dust Nilfisk

    Nilfisk provides a comprehensive range of industrial vacuums meticulously crafted to adhere to NFPA 652 housekeeping standards, essential for gathering combustible dust in Class I, Group D, and Class II, Groups E, F & G environments or non-classified settings. Our pneumatic vacuums are meticulously engineered to fulfill safety criteria for deployment in hazardous surroundings. Leveraging advanced filtration technology, Nilfisk ensures the secure capture of combustible materials scattered throughout your facility, ranging from fuels, solvents, and metal dust to flour, sugar, and pharmaceutical powders. 3

  • Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker WBGT Monitoring for Workplace Safety

    Ensure safety with the Kestrel® 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, the go-to choice for safety professionals and endorsed by the Heat Safety & Performance Coalition. This robust, waterless WBGT meter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, offering advanced monitoring and data logging essential for OSHA compliance. It features pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to quickly signal critical conditions. Integrated with the cloud-based Ambient Weather Network, the 5400 allows managers to view, track, and log job site conditions remotely, ensuring constant awareness of potential hazards. Its capability for real-time mobile alerts and remote data access promotes proactive safety management and workplace protection, solidifying its role as a crucial tool in industrial hygiene. 3

Featured

Webinars