SITA recycler killed by baler

A worker at a recycling plant near Swindon has died after falling into a carboard baling machine.

Paul McGuire, 33, died of multiple injuries at around 7.30am on Tuesday, August 16 at SITA's Cricklade facility.

Mr McGuire was operating a top-loading baler when he became trapped in the machinery.

"I've not seen a baling machine first hand, but I believe it was quite quick and he died at the scene," said a spokesman for Wiltshire police. "It probably wasn't a particularly pleasant death."

A spokesman from the Health & Safety Executive, which is now leading the investigation into the accident, told edie that while there were a number of people working on the site at the time of the accident, loading a baler tended to be a one-man job.

SITA has issued a statement on the accident saying: "At this difficult time our thoughts are obviously with Paul's family, friends and work colleagues.

"Paul had worked for the company at the Swindon site for three months and was a well-liked and respected member of the team.

"Counselling has been offered to those within the team affected by yesterday's events. "At present the site remains closed and will not re-open until investigations at the facility have been completed.

"SITA UK takes its health and safety obligations very seriously. The events leading up to yesterday's incident are now a matter for investigation by ourselves and the Health & Safety Executive.

"Until this has been concluded we are unable to comment further."

Mr McGuire lived in Greatfield, Wootton Bassett with his wife. They had no children.

The accident will do nothing to appease growing concerns about safety in the waste and recycling industries.

Industrial accidents in the sector are all too common - within just the last two months edie has reported on a fatal accident involving a faulty shredder (see related story) and on a worker being killed by a tipper truck on a waste transfer site (see related story).

As recently as October 2004 the Health & Safety Executive ran a campaign highlighting the danger of machinery in the scrap metal, rubber, paper and wood industries.

At the time Chris Flint from HSE's manufacturing sector said: "Machines still kill people. HSE inspectors all too regularly investigate fatalities at machinery.

"It's not as if the risks of moving machinery are new - people need to stop and think before they work on a machine.

"It is not enough for managers providing safeguards and introducing a power isolation and lock off procedure and assuming employees will follow it.

"People need to be carefully trained in the procedure and supervised by a competent manager.

"Senior management must carry out regular checks to confirm the procedure is always followed.

"Anything less and people will continue to be killed."

By Sam Bond



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