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    MOBILE PLANT DRIVER PROSECUTION

    Excavator operator prosecuted after pedestrian death

     

    HSE has issued a warning to machine operators of the need to adhere to safe working practices after an excavator driver was prosecuted and fined following the death of a pedestrian in February 2007. The excavator was being operated outside a house and within a fenced off area.  A number of attachments were stored in the machine front bucket and while turning the excavator the front bucket rose above the site fence and over a section of pavement. An incorrect lever was operated causing the stored attachments to fall striking an elderly man who died soon afterwards.

    The investigation showed that there was sufficient space to turn the excavator without the need to lift the front bucket above the public pavement, and also that there were other workers nearby who could have helped in closing the public pavement had it been necessary to do so.

    HSE investigating inspector Lisa Chappell said: “Construction machinery is obviously dangerous, and can cause harm to both site workers and members of the public. Plant operators must take sufficient time and care when manoeuvering vehicles. This case shows the worst case of what can go wrong when operators cut corners.”

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