Published: 10:56, 15 May 2019
| Updated: 10:58, 15 May 2019
A much loved family man died after a freak accident at work on his birthday.
Nigel Richardson worked at Olympic Glass Products in Queenborough, where an accident left him with “catastrophic” injuries, an inquest heard.
The 64-year-old, who had been in the glass industry for more than 30 years, agreed to start his shift early on September 10 last year.
Mr Richardson unloaded a lorry of 2.7-tonne glass packs using a mechanical grabber. CCTV footage at the factory on Queenborough Business Park then showed Mr Richardson taking glass into a storage room.
It was then colleagues heard a “massive bang.”
Shift manager Colin Baughan said: “I’ve heard that sort of bang once or twice, it always means the same thing.
“We went in and saw Nigel pinned between the grabber and a pack of glass with a lot of glass smashed on to the floor.”
Mr Baughan used a crane to hoist the grabber off Mr Richardson so he could be pulled clear.
“We hope something good comes out of his death and that the firm takes measures to ensure nothing like this happens again...” Eleanor Richardson
In the seconds after the accident, Mr Richardson was still able to talk.
Managing director Gary Jenkins told the inquest: “We got him into the recovery position and tried to keep him talking.
“He told us he was in pain. I asked how bad out of 10 and he said eight.”
He was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London where he died.
A post mortem revealed injuries to his liver, pancreas and spleen, any of which were potentially fatal.
Experts found no fault with the grabber. A jury ruled Mr Richardson died by way of accident.
Mr Jenkins added: “We all felt he was going to make it. It came as devastating news to hear of his death.
“Nigel’s loss will be felt among all of us at Olympic Glass.”
Mr Richardson was divorced from his wife, Paula, with whom he had three children, Darryl, Eleanor and Luke.
“I’ve heard that sort of bang once or twice, it always means the same thing..." Colin Baughan
Darryl Richardson said: “He was very hard-working - he was at the factory all hours. He did everything there - cleaning the toilets and sweeping the yard as well as moving the glass.
“They were all good friends, especially Colin Baughan who he’d known for years.”
Eleanor Richardson said: “He was very loving and caring and would do anything for his kids.
“We hope something good comes out of his death and that the firm takes measures to ensure nothing like this happens again.”