A waste management company has been fined half a million pounds after a worker was killed in a tragic accident at work.
Sterecycle (Rotherham) Limited, which is now in administration, was found guilty of corporate manslaughter through “inexcusable neglect” in what was described as a “completely avoidable” incident.
Michael Whinfrey, 42, was fatally injured in a blast at the firm’s recycling plant on Sheffield Road, Rotherham, in January 2011.
The force of the explosion was so great that it blew a hole in the wall of the factory.
Dad-of-three Mr Whinfrey was working as an autoclave operator for the company when the incident happened.
He sustained fatal head injuries when the door to one of the autoclaves failed and blew out under pressure.
Another employee sustained serious life-changing injuries in the explosion, which South Yorkshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive concluded could have been prevented if the company had followed procedure.
A joint investigation discovered that Sterecycle (Rotherham) Limited had neglected industry standards and failed to stick to strict inspection regimes. It was therefore found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court.
The company’s former maintenance manager Kevin Goss, 57, of Sheffield, was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.
How Accident Advice Helpline can help
All employers have a duty of care to protect their employees, no matter what industry or line of business, and ensure they can work safely at all times. Failure on this front can be deemed as negligence.
This is something Accident Advice Helpline can assist with, providing all the information and support needed to make a successful claim. How much a person receives will depend on the type and severity of the injury.