The young father was teaching new employee Kyle Harvey how to fix a stuck garbage compactor, when court officials said the training had turned deadly.
“To deal with the blockage, Mr. McClelland went down into the baler,” said the Plymouth Crown Court judge. “Kyle Harvey hit the backboard again and the baler worked. Mr. McClelland was quickly drawn into it.
Instead of realizing that McClelland was inside, his colleagues called his phone for advice.
It wasn’t until they heard his phone ringing inside the baler that they realized he had been run over.
H&A Recycling admitted McClelland manslaughter on Friday and was criticized by Judge Neil Garnham, who called the company’s safety practices “reminiscent of Victorian factories” before adding, “It would be unfair for owners of Victorian factories. ”
“This was only part of the appalling culture of H&A – there was evidence that employees were not wearing their PPE, playing fighting among the garbage on site, carried on vehicles on site,” said the judge.
The court concluded that the incident was “an accident waiting to happen” as employees often jumped over falls or hid under garbage on conveyor belts and jumped to scare their co-workers.
Harvey was not held personally responsible due to the company’s inadequate security training.
H&A Recycling was only fined around a quarter of a million dollars because of its early cooperation with law enforcement.
The 23-year-old victim left behind a one-year-old daughter and a fiancee.