Corporate manslaughter charge over death at a Rotherham recycling plant

01/10/2013

The CPS has today announced that Sterecycle (Rotherham) Limited should be charged with corporate manslaughter following the death of Michael Whinfrey.

The incident occurred on 11 January 2011 when the door to the autoclave that Mr Whinfrey was working on blew out under pressure. Another operator was seriously injured as a result of the explosion at the recycling plant at Templeborough, Rotherham.

The autoclave was one of two large vessels at the site that used heat and pressure in order to process household waste into material for recycling.

Jane Wragg, specialist prosecutor in the CPS Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: "I have carefully reviewed the evidence gathered by South Yorkshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive during their investigation into the tragic death of Michael Whinfrey. I have concluded that Sterecycle (Rotherham) Limited should be charged with an offence of corporate manslaughter.

"I have also authorised charges under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act against Kevin Goss (maintenance manager), Steven Weaver (operations manager) and Paul Greenwell (operations director) and a further charge of perverting the course of justice against Kevin Goss.

"The decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors."

The first hearing will take place at Rotherham Magistrates' Court on 14 October 2013.