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Hospital Healthcare Europe

NHS trust cleared of safety breach

10 December, 2008  

An NHS trust has been cleared of causing the death of its laundry production manager after he was crushed by a machine.

In December 2005 Bayunga Meya, 47, crawled underneath a machine to correct a fault, but a colleague restarted it unaware Mr Meya was there.

London’s Southwark Crown Court was told that the father of three from Ilford was struck by a metal basket that caused severe chest injuries.

He was pulled free seconds later and carried to the nearby accident and emergency unit at King George’s Hospital, Goodmayes, Essex, but he later died.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospital NHS Trust has been cleared of any wrongdoing after arguing it had “taken all reasonable steps” to ensure the safety of its workforce.

The jury made a unanimous decision to clear the trust of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Richard Matthews, prosecuting, said the trust inherited the laundry machinery, which was used to clean laundry from 16 hospitals, when it was formed seven years ago.

He claimed: “Employees working in the laundry were exposed to a risk to their safety.”

But Oliver Campbell, defending, insisted: “This was a tragic, one-off, bizarre accident.”

Copyright Press Association 2008

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospital NHS Trust