THE family of a Cemex worker who died in a workplace explosion has received a substantial sum in compensation just before the third anniversary of his death.
Brownsover man Peter Reynolds was 28 when he died from head injuries after he was blasted out of the building he was working in and fell ten metres to the ground in January, 2008.
He was working as a plant operative for Cemex in Rugby and was trying to unblock a piece of faulty machinery when the explosion happened.
An inquest into his death heard the blast would have killed him almost instantly.
He was survived by his wife Kerry and their daughter Kayleigh, who is now five.
Following the accident, Peter’s trade union Unite instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation on behalf of his family.
Thompsons has secured an undisclosed settlement. Cemex has not admitted liability.
Peter’s mum, Jane Reynolds, who now lives in Great Yarmouth said: “This is an extremely emotional time for us all but it gives us a great sense of relief that our fight for compensation has been successful.
“This wasn’t just about the money, but about Cemex accepting their part in Peter’s life coming to such an abrupt and tragic end.
“Peter was a kind and loving father, husband, son and brother. We all miss him terribly and we are anxious to keep his memory alive for his daughter Kayleigh.”
The Health and Safety Executive is now prosecuting Cemex for the accident, which was caused when a mixing machine became blocked.
An inquest into his death heard another man had been injured using the same machine in 2006.
Adrian Axtell from Unite said: “Mr Reynolds was forced to work with a machine which had caused the company problems time and again.
“This was an accident waiting to happen.”
John Mullen from Thompsons Solicitors added: “We hope by securing this compensation that it gives the family at least a little peace of mind that Cemex have recognised their part in Mr Reynolds’ death.”
Ian Southcott, UK community affairs manager for Cemex, said: “The loss of Peter Reynolds has been devastating for his family and friends, but also to Cemex and Peter’s colleagues at Rugby cement plant.
“Cemex has been working closely with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to ensure a thorough investigation is undertaken.
“Whilst the inquest verdict was one of accidental death, measures were taken immediately to prevent a repeat of this tragic incident, which we could not have foreseen.
“If any further learning points become apparent we will ensure they are carefully considered.”