£250k fine for waste company after employee killed by trommel

Waste management company John Wade Group is facing a court bill of around £250,000 following the death of an employee in a workplace incident in December 2015.

The incident took place at the company’s Stonegrave Aggregates quarry in Newton Aycliffe near Darlington.

QuarryTwo employees, 46-year-old Ray Garrett and 47-year-old Simon Hogg, were clearing blockages in a trommel (a large rotating drum that separates waste) when the machine was inadvertently switched on.

The machine was running for four minutes before it was switched off and, five minutes later, the employees were found among the waste paper the trommel had been separating.

While Garrett was rushed to hospital with multiple serious injuries, Hogg was pronounced dead at the scene.

The subsequent court case, which took place at Durham Crown Court, has seen the waste management company charged with £250,000 in fines and costs.

An investigation carried out by the prosecuting Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a number of faults with the company’s machinery and work practices.

Site manager David Basham and operations director Bruce Whitley have admitted to breaching safety regulations and failing to ensure the health and safety of their employees. 

According to the BBC, Basham was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for a year, while Whitley was given a 12-month community order.

The company also paid around £49,000 in prosecution costs.