Yorkshire pie factory guilty of breaching health and safety rules

The owners of a pie factory in Leeds have been found guilty of health and safety breaches after an explosion on the premises caused the death of an employee.

David Cole, who had worked for the company for around 12 years, lost his life in 2009 when an explosion took place at the Andrew Jones (Pies) factory in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. An investigation was launched into the explosion and the death of the 37-year-old employee by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The investigation led to the prosecution of Andrew Jones (Pies) Ltd over allegations that the company failed to carry out health and safety measures that may have prevented Mr Cole’s death. At Leeds Crown Court, the company was found guilty of three charges:

  • Failure to carry out a sufficient risk assessment for the use of natural gas in the factory’s ovens
  • Failure to give staff adequate health and safety training in how to use the oven correctly
  • Failure to make health and safety information and instructions for using ovens available to employees

In addition to any penalties the company may have to pay, the prosecutor in the case applied for HSE investigation costs of £125,000.