Video shows staff racing forklift around at plant where worker died

A video shows the shocking behaviour of staff at a recycling plant in Cornwall where a man was tragically killed after becoming trapped in a baling machine. Dale Mcclelland, aged 23 of Redruth, was killed on November 16, 2017, after becoming trapped within a baling machine he was operating at H&A Recycling Limited on the Cardrew Industrial Estate. He died at the scene.

The company, which deals in recycling commercial waste, had pleaded guilty to corporate manslaughter and was sentenced today at Plymouth Crown Court. The company has been fined GBP200,000 and told to pay additional costs of almost GBP46,000 to cover the prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive. A video posted by Devon and Cornwall Police which was shown in court showed members of staff play fighting and racing vehicles around the factory floor.

Charges were brought against the Redruth based company following a complex three-year investigation into Dale’s death by Devon and Cornwall Police and the HSE, and extensive liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). On September 4 the company pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court to corporate manslaughter, contrary to Section 1(1) of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, and failure to discharge a duty, imposed by Section 2(1)and contrary to Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Dale McClelland

Today (November 13), almost three years since Dale’s death, the company was sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court. The judge said the baler machine, which an inadequately-trained colleague turned on with Dale inside, was not fit for purpose and frequently became blocked and workers regularly climbed into or onto the baler to remove blockages.

The judge said there was no locking mechanism which could have shut down the machine when someone was inside and no proper guard rails. He referred to the CCTV (which you can watch at the top of this article) that CCTV showing an employee driving a fork lift truck to get a wheel spin and others riding down chutes into piles of rubbish. Two employees were seen fighting and one worker hid in rubbish going on a conveyor belt and then leapt up to surprise his colleague, he also told the court.

Read that full story here. It is believed that this is the first prosecution for corporate manslaughter within the Devon and Cornwall area under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Steve Hambly, from Devon and Cornwall Major Crime Investigation Team, said the investigation showed a number of systematic failings over staff safety, training, risk assessments and supervision.

Of particular concern to all agencies involved was the way in which machinery had been used, including the baling machine involved in Dale’s death.

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DI Hambly added: “This three-year investigation is a testament to the hard work and good working relationships between different agencies, and positive liaison with the CPS. It serves as a warning to all employers that the safety of their staff should be at the very heart of the way they do business. It was not acceptable to expose Dale to the risks that were uncovered during this investigation.

“The investigation team would like to acknowledge that Dale’s family and friends have conducted themselves with dignity and displayed great patience throughout this very long, technical and challenging investigation. This result can never bring Dale back to them, but the sentence today does say to all that Dale’s death was completely avoidable and should not have happened.”

Video shows staff racing forklift around at plant where worker diedDale McClelland, who died in a tragic baling accident at work

Following the hearing HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “The guarding standards that were found at the recycling plant during the investigation were some of the worst that I have seen in 20 years. All employers should ensure that machinery is always properly guarded and maintained and that employees receive adequate training to allow them to work safely.

If the baler at H&A Recycling Ltd had been properly guarded and maintained, then this terrible incident would not have happened.” Today his family paid tribute to a “family man with a heart of gold” and urged all companies to ensure standards of health and safety were the highest they could be. They said: “Dale was an amazing son, dad, brother, fiance, uncle, grandson, nephew, godfather, cousin and friend.

“He was kind-hearted and would go out of his way for anyone he met. He had a heart of gold and was always the life and soul of the party. Dale was a very family-oriented man and he will forever be missed and always loved by all of his family and friends.

It is a pain in our hearts that will never go away.

“As a family we hope this horrendous situation makes other companies step up and make sure that their health and safety is at the highest standard it can be.”

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