Inspections after man’s disappearance reveal violations at Spartanburg recycling plant

Duncan Alexander Burrell-Gordon, 20
Duncan Alexander Burrell-Gordon, 20(Viewer Submission)
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 4:00 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2022 at 5:02 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A Spartanburg County recycling plant had multiple safety violations according to an investigation conducted after a man disappeared on the job.

Duncan “Alex” Burrell-Gordon, a worker at Industrial Recovery and Recycling in Greer, went missing in May. His blood and other remains were found on a shredding machine at the plant.

About 30 minutes before his disappearance, a coworker reported seeing him on a platform preparing to dump material into the shredder. Burrell-Gordon’s father filed a worker’s compensation claim, saying he believes his son died after falling into the machine.

New documents FOX Carolina received on Tuesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show the business had multiple violations during inspections after Burrell-Gordon’s death.

According to the documents from the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (SCLLR), inspections conducted between June and October resulted in more than $33,000 in fines for the business.

Citations were issued for multiple violations the SCLLR classified as “serious” including a lack of fall protection from some stairs and platforms, failure to post a danger sign on the shredder machine where Burrell-Gordon’s blood was found and failure to enforce proper safety practices for employees working around the shredder.

According to SCLLR officials, employees at the plant “were exposed to the hazard of making contact with and/or being caught between [the shredder’s] moving machine parts which could result in serious injury (such as laceration and amputation) and/or death.”

Twenty-two employees who worked in and around the shredder did not have required, certified training, according to SCLLR.

After investigating the facility, an inspector said management demonstrated a sense of responsibility for safety in the workplace, but there was a lack of accountability for safety. The company was in the process of hiring a new safety coordinator at the time of the inspection, according to the documents.

Industrial Recovery and Recycling has until Nov. 29 to correct the violations.

In previous years, SCLLR found multiple other safety violations at the recycling plant.