THE family of a woman who had the top of her head cut off in an horrific industrial accident have received an undisclosed six figure sum for damages – four years after her death.
Lynda Trebilcock, 53, from Heelands, was killed at the DeliCo plant in Tattenhoe while working as a cleaner.
She had been inspecting a piece of machinery on the site when it is believed that a flap on a blender suddenly closed, causing the fatal injuries.
Lynda’s shocked colleagues then made a frantic call to police at around 3.25am.
At the inquest, which was originally opened in 2007, the company was unable to give any evidence that specific training had been provided for how to clean and inspect the machinery safely, or any warnings given for the potential risks of working with the equipment.
Police speaking after the incident in May 2007 were quick to deny that the woman had been decapitated and a spokesman said: “An investigation was launched which concluded that there had been no foul play and the death has now been passed to the Health and Safety Executive to investigate.”
The subsequent investigation was carried out by two HSE investigators and an electrical expert while the 100,000 sq ft factory was closed.
DeliCo chief executive Bernard Hoggarth, speaking at the time of the accident, said: “This is horrendous for her family and for everyone who was working at the factory at the time.
“It is such a tragic incident – we have never experienced anything like it.
“The machine was not a slicer, it does not have blades and there were no exposed parts.”
Now businesses have been issued a stark warning regarding the importance of workplace safety policies.
Ciaran McCabe, who works for law firm Moore Blatch Resolve, has warned firms that health and safety policies must be regularly reviewed or the consequences could prove to be just as fatal.
He said: “This is a tragic accident that should never have happened, and it sends a clear message to other firms that becoming too complacent can prove fatal.
“It’s easy to think it won’t happen to you, but when it is the lives of your employees that is at risk, can you afford to think that way?”
“We hope lessons have been learnt and that no-one has to go through this again. Nothing can bring back a loved one, and now the case is finally at an end, the family can try to start rebuilding their lives.”