Recycling worker Rafal was found dead in giant machine, inquest hears

Tragic worker Rafal Swiadek was seen climbing into a waste separating machine shortly before he died at the city's Materials Recycling Facility, an inquest opening heard.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 1:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th August 2016, 2:25 pm

Bachelor Rafal, 42, worked at the Old Wolverton company as a mechanical machine cleaner.

Concern was raised on Monday afternoon when Rafal did not turn up for a taxi he has booked to take him home from work.

A “welfare search” of the MRF premises was carried out and Rafal’s body was discovered in the machine, the Coroner heard.

Emergency services were called and he was confirmed dead at 5.42pm.

Police and health and safety officials attended to examine CCTV footage and investigate the circumstances of the death.

The inquest was told: “The deceased was seen in CCTV climbing into a ballistic separator machine, possibly to clean the machine.”

The inquest was adjourned for investigations to be completed.

Meanwhile workers at the centre, which is run by Viridor on behalf of Milton Keynes Council, have been offered counselling to deal with the trauma of losing their colleague.

Stuart Wood, Viridor’s Regional Manager told the Citizen: “The death of Rafal has had a real impact across the whole site team. Rafal had been a recycling operative with Viridor for over seven years. His loss will be felt deeply by us all and all of our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”

MRF deals with 100,000 tonnes of waste products from pink sacks every year. The ballistic machine separates the plastics, paper and other materials before they are crushed into bales and sent off to be recycled.