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June 3, 2008

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Excavator ran over bricklayer

Lack of adequate traffic management on a site in Crook, Co. Durham, led to serious injuries for a worker after an excavator ran over his leg.

Magistrates in Bishop Auckland heard on 19 May that groundworkers sub-contracted to Redworth Construction had been laying hardcore for roads around the site, while a squad of bricklayers were laying the brickwork for the ground floor of a building, on 23 April 2007.

“There was no segregation between vehicles and workers,” Carol Forster, the HSE inspector who investigated and prosecuted the case, explained. “When one of the bricklayers knelt down to pin his line, it left him below the level of the cab of the excavator, which tracked over his leg.”

A Prohibition Notice was served on all movement of traffic, and an Improvement Notice served requiring the company to put in place suitable and sufficient measures to manage transport on the site.

Redworth Construction of Malton, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching s3(1) of HSWA 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of sub-contractors. It was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £2321.

Mitigating, the company said it had taken a number of steps to improve its systems of work and had increased the role of its independent safety consultant. It cooperated fully with the HSE investigation, and had a previous good safety record.

Said inspector Forster: “The company complied with everything that was asked of it after the incident, but it was reasonably practicable that that could have been done from the very start of the project.”
 

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