Managers at a recycling firm where a scrap metal worker was killed after suffering head injuries have been convicted of health and safety failings in a case brought by CPS Special Crime Division.
On 24 July 2017, 35-year-old Stuart Towns died after being struck from above while working at Alutrade Limited’s recycling site in Oldbury.
Alutrade admitted corporate manslaughter. Two company directors and the Health & Safety Manager – Malcolm George, 55, Kevin Pugh, 46, and Mark Redfern, 61, also admitted failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the company’s employees at the hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Ben Southam, of the CPS Special Crime Division, who charged the case, said: “The company had a legal duty to provide a safe system of work to protect their employees from this avoidable serious accident. The CPS case was that their failure to do so caused Stuart’s death.
“These convictions will not bring back Stuart Towns but I hope that they will do something to bring some closure to his family who have waited for this day for so long.”
The court heard how in 2015 HSE sent a Notification of Contravention letter to the company due to the absence of gates on a piece of recycling machinery.
The company installed gates to prevent employees from going under the machine. However, by June 2017 the gates were damaged again and CCTV showed numerous employees, including Stuart, going underneath the machinery while it was still in operation and also climbing in or on the machinery.
Senior managers had been ‘on notice’ about the damaged gates, said the CPS. However, the machinery was not isolated, nor were new gates installed.
The three men will be sentenced on 18 March.
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