Forklift truck operator James Welka, aged 61, died after he was struck by two falling bales of rags each weighing over 300kg. Mr. Welka was standing out of sight beside the five metre column of bales when these toppled after a colleague attempted to move some of the bales.

The HSE found that rag bales were unsafely stacked in the Wakefield warehouse using unstable vertical columns rather than tiered stacking. Effective measures were not put in place to control the activities of those walking around the warehouse.

WE Rawson Ltd was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to an £100,000 fine and ordered to pay full costs of £15,389 for a breach of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.