Verdict recorded on worker death

A coroners' court in Doncaster has heard how a peat worker was killed after he was crushed in a baling machine.

Geoffrey Burnitt, 54, from Goole, was working for Scotts at a packing station on Hatfield Moors in 2006.

In a hearing on 18 January, the court was told that Burnitt had ignored a warning sign telling workers not to enter the area where the machine that packed bark chippings for Focus DIY was working.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death after hearing evidence that Burnitt may have accidentally tripped a sensor that started the machine, trapping him.

But the HSE said it was still considering a prosecution against the company as the electronic locking device on the gate to the danger area was broken, leaving it open.

After the inquest, a Scotts representative said: "The death of Geoff Burnitt was a tragic accident. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Geoff's family. We at Scotts take seriously the health and safety of our associates in the workplace. Throughout our operations we actively follow and promote best safety practices and strive for an injury-free workplace."

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