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Worker died after being trapped in trommel

A recycling centre worker died after being trapped inside a waste separation machine, an inquest has heard.

The BBC has reported that Simon Hogg suffered broken ribs and a fractured spine inside a trommel at the John Wade recycling plant at Aycliffe Quarry, Durham, in December 2015.

Hogg had been dealing with waste paper and was trying to clear a blockage when the accident occurred, and he died at the scene. Another worker suffered serious leg injuries.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Michael Kingston told the inquest the recycling line had a safety gate with an interlocking device which, when opened, would stop the machinery automatically but the line would then have to be reset – stopping work for several minutes.

To avoid such a delay, workers would regularly bypass the system by walking around the safety gate, he said.

Kingston told the inquest at Crook Coroner’s Court that the line restarted and ran for at least four minutes with the two men inside the machine.

Bruce Whitley, operations director for Stonegrave Aggregates, which is owned by the John Wade Group, told the hearing that additional safety measures had since been implemented.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I have found the biggest dangers are from staff working in isolation or where others can't see them. It is a human weakness to move into a potentially dangerous situation because they THINK it will be safe to do so. This is why cyclists often come to unexpected grief. We have to drill into ALL staff to act 100% responsibly at all times and take NO chances.

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