Three on trial over waste plant death blast

THREE senior managers of a former waste recycling pant have gone on trial over for breaches of health and safety laws following a worker’s death in an explosion in 2011.

THREE senior managers of a former waste recycling pant have gone on trial over  for breaches of health and safety laws following a worker’s death in an explosion in 2011.

Maintenance manager Kevin Goss (58), of Sheffield, operations manager Steven Weaver (39), of Sheffied, and operations director Paul Greenwell (62), of Suffolk, deny the alleged offences.

They all relate to the waste treatment autoclave machine operated by Rotherham man Michael Whinfrey at the Templeborough HQ of Sterecycle at the time of his death in 2001.

The three are alleged to have:

- Failed to take reasonable care in the carrying out of maintenance, including cleaning, lubrication and inspection for defects.

- Caused or permitted disabling, bypassing or removal of door safety devices, including pressure gauges, in the absence of risk assessment or compensating measures.

- Failed to secure safe operation in response to persistent door misalignment, steam leaks and seal failures.

- Failed to take reasonable steps to respond to malfunctioning of door locking rings, including sticking an spontaneous opening.

- Instructed or permitted to hammer locking rings when sticking and did so personally.

- Made, caused or permitted modifications to the door and locking ring actuators.

In addition, Goss is charged with failing to take reasonable steps in response to the absence of a locking ring fishplate screw.

Goss has also denied  intending to pervert the course of justice by seeking to dissuade two other employees Andrew Harrison and Scott Hunter from revealing potentially relevant evidence to the investigating authorities that a bolt had been known to be missing and reported to him prior to the accident on January 11, 2011.

The trial, which is expected to last at least a month, continues.

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