A former recycling firm has been charged with corporate manslaughter after the death of a man on its site.

Thirty-five-year-old Dean Atkinson died after suffering “serious” injuries at the now-closed Ward Recycling plant on Windermere Road in Hartlepool on January 30, 2020.

The firm went into liquidation in April 2021 after reporting losses of more than £1m at its operation making recycled paper products.

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Ward Recycling has now been charged with corporate manslaughter along with two other health and safety related offences.

Among six allegations it is accused the firm failed to have appropriate health and safety arrangements in place, failed to appoint a competent person to manage health and safety, did not conduct an adequate risk assessment and failed to ensure there was adequate training and instruction given to those on site about the movement of pedestrians and vehicles.

The Richmond-based firm is also charged, between January 1 2018 and Mr Atkinson’s death, with failing to ensure that employees were “not exposed to the risk of injury or death by collision between vehicles and pedestrians”.

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The charges were heard during a hearing at Teesside Magistrates Court on Friday (April 28) and no pleas were entered against any of the charges.

District Judge Helen Cousins sent the case to Teesside Crown Court for a plea hearing on Friday May 26.

On January 30, 2020 emergency services including the air ambulance were called to the site and an investigation launched by police and the health and safety executive.