Man killed by paper bales was due to give health and safety talk


An inquest at Worcestershire Coroners Court was told that a man who was killed by falling paper bales was due to give staff a health and safety talk that day.

Kenneth Swaby died on 11 February 2011 when large bales of paper that were not stacked stably fell on him.


According to the Redditch Standard newspaper, the jury was told that this happened just weeks after he had been employed to improve health and safety and just hours before he was due to give other employees a health and safety briefing.

Following the inquest, a jury returned a narrative verdict stating that the 43-year old from Canvey Island in Essex died as a result of an accident caused by a falling stack of bales which were inappropriately stacked due to a lack of training and inadequate safety measures at the R and S Recycling Centre in Beoley, Worcestershire.

A narrative verdict means that the circumstances of death are recorded without attributing the cause to a named individual.

Kenneth Swaby had commuted from his home in Essex to Redditch most days, leaving home to get to work on time. A post-mortem found that he had died from multiple head injuries and had also suffered other multiple injuries after the bales fell while he was walking past.

Dominic Swan who was an expert witness from the Health and Safety Executive gave evidence that the stacks appeared unstable and too high, but that lessons had been learned when he visited a month after the accident.

The HSE investigation into the death is currently ongoing.