Shropshire Star

No major defects in industrial shredder where man fell to his death, court told

No major defects were found with an industrial shredding machine which a worker fell into when trying to clear a blockage, a court has heard.

David Willis died in the horrifying incident in 2018

David Willis, 29, was working as a labourer at Timmins Waste Services in Wolverhampton when he failed to return home in Tipton on September 15, 2018.

The company based in Mander Street, Merridale, and yard manager Brian Timmins, of Fair Lawn, Albrighton, are accused of his manslaughter under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Several engineers who were working for shredder supplier Blue Southern at the time gave prosecution evidence on Friday to explain how the machine worked and its safety features including the power isolation 'lock out, tag out, test out' procedure.

Engineer Steven Langford said he assisted with a police inspection of the machinery following the alleged incident and there were "no major issues".

Another engineer Paul Holder said: "There are several emergency stop buttons around the machine. To get on top to the hopper you use a ladder or climb up the side of the shredder - ultimately you should use the ladder."

Wolverhampton Crown Court was previously told that Mr Willis climbed atop the shredder after a blockage and his boss tried to fix the problem without consulting engineers, using a forklift truck to lift him into position.

Mr Willis, of St Marks Road, in Tipton, died "within seconds" after falling into an industrial shredding machine in front of colleagues.

The prosecution alleges that he would not have died if the company had proper measures in place and his death was the fault of the company and Mr Timmins, whom it alleges covered up the company's culpability in the days following the tragedy.

Mr Willis' family reported him missing, but no body was ever found despite a police search at the Poplars landfill site in Cannock.

Timmins Waste denies corporate manslaughter. Company manager Timmins, of Fair Lawn, Albrighton, denies manslaughter, gross negligence and perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.