Statement from Alutrade
Following the conclusion of a case involving Alutrade Limited and its directors at Wolverhampton Crown Court today (Friday, 25th March 2022), the Company said:
We want to again express our deep remorse at the death of Stuart Towns, a valued and much liked employee. Stuart died in a tragic accident on our site on 24 July 2017. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. Nothing can bring Stuart back but we trust that these proceedings will have provided his loved ones with some answers.
We hope that they can draw some comfort from the fact that, as remarked upon by the sentencing judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Martin Spencer, lessons have been learnt and the Company has subsequently transformed its approach to managing and enforcing health and safety on site.
We accept the Company is responsible for Stuart’s manslaughter by virtue of gross negligence. We fell short of the required standard by allowing him to work in the immediate vicinity of machinery known as the ‘Biffa Line’ when it was unguarded by lockable gates.
It was, though, acknowledged by the judge that before this tragic accident the Company had clearly defined health and safety policies and procedures in place which profiled risks. It had had a good health and safety record, but sadly as far as the Biffa Line was concerned, the Company had not adhered to its policies and procedures in practice.
The Company took swift action to remedy the deficiencies highlighted by the accident and the judge gave credit for this in his sentencing remarks. He commented that the Company’s approach to health and safety is now very different to what it was in 2017 and it has successfully transformed its standards of risk management. The Directors are passionate in their commitment to ensuring that the Company’s premises at Oldbury will be the safest metal recycling site in Europe and they believe that they are close to reaching this goal.