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April 26, 2017

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Death of construction worker would have been avoidable if firm had planned work

A court has heard how a worker was struck by a concrete drainage cover as he stood in an excavation area. He later died from severe head injuries.

Daniel Clifford Yeowell was employed by Hague Construction Limited, who has been ordered to pay £100,000 following the death of the ground worker. Yeowell and his colleagues were constructing and installing drainage boxes at a site in Crawley, West Sussex on 4 October 2013 when the incident occurred.

Lewes Crown Court was told that the HSE investigation found Hague had failed to:

• properly plan the lifting operation
• supply workers with the safe and appropriate equipment to carry out the work.

The investigation also revealed that the lifting chains used were too long for the work and were not attached safely to the cover or the excavator.

Hague Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,918.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Andrew Cousins said: “Our investigation was prompted in the most tragic of circumstances. Hague Construction should have properly planned the lifting operation regarding this work activity. If the company had done so Mr Yeowell’s death could have been avoided.”

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