Recycling centre worker Simon Hogg killed in waste drum


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Safety procedures were bypassed by workers to save time, the hearing was told

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

Simon Hogg suffered broken ribs and a fractured spine inside a large rotating drum, known as a trommel, at the John Wade recycling plant at Aycliffe Quarry, County Durham, in December 2015.

The 47-year-old, of Hurworth, had been trying to clear a blockage.

Stonegrave Aggregates Limited said safety measures had been improved.

Mr Hogg died at the scene. Another worker suffered serious leg injuries.

The inquest heard evidence from Health and Safety Executive inspector Michael Kingston who said the recycling line on which the men had been working had a safety gate with an interlocking device.

When opened, he said, it would stop the machinery automatically but the line would then have to be reset – stopping work for several minutes.

In order to avoid such a delay, the inquest was told workers would regularly bypass the system by walking around the safety gate.

The plant was dealing with waste paper when a blockage occurred in the trommel.

Mr Hogg, who was working a Saturday overtime shift, went inside along with colleague Ray Garrett, 46.

Mr 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.

Other workers spotted Mr Garrett trapped inside, but Mr Hogg was only seen when paramedics arrived.

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

The inquest continues.

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