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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

UK: manslaughter for ‘scuba diving’ deaths

UK: manslaughter for ‘scuba diving’ deaths
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Two young farm assistants died when they entered an oxygen-deficient atmosphere while holding their breath in a bid to retrieve top quality apples for an agricultural show.

The practice, on Blackmoor Estate fruit farm in Hampshire, was known as ‘scuba diving’, reports SHP. The farm manager, Andrew Stocker, was convicted of manslaughter and jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Apples were stored in a controlled atmosphere container filled with nitrogen. The oxygen level was found to be one percent. People suffer adverse effects when the oxygen level falls below 19.5 percent. Stocker was absent on holiday at the time but had left instructions that the best apples were to be selected for the estate’s entry into a fruit show in Kent.

Industry practice is that if fruit has to be retrieved from controlled atmosphere storage then it should be stored in a tray or net close to the storage entrance for retrieval by a pole with a hook on the end.

Stocker, it was found, was of the opinion that the pole-and-hook method was inadequate in selecting fruit of competition standard, and had left instructions that someone was to enter the unit via a top hatch to make a selection.

Blackmoor Estate had earlier been fined £75,000 on three health and safety charges.



People Mentioned:
Andrew Stocker
Organisations Mentioned:
Blackmoor Estate
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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