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EXCAVATOR FATALITY AND PROSECUTION

Young workman died after being crushed by mini excavator

Macob Administration Limited, based in Bridgend, has been fined £80k and ordered to pay almost £30k prosecution costs after a young construction worker died when he was crushed by a mini excavator.

The death occurred on a construction site in Gloucester during February 2005. Lance Taylor, aged 23 from, Bristol, was killed while working on a site in Abbeymead and was operating a mini digger.

He was not qualified to operate the plant and unintentionally hit a lever as he leaned out of the cab window.

The digging arm of the vehicle was raised, crushing his head between the cab and the arm. He suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on site.

Macob Administration Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches under Regulation 9(1) and 28(a) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £40,000 for each charge and ordered to pay costs of £29,798.14.

HSE Inspector, Martin Lee, said: “This terrible incident highlights the extremely serious risks posed by equipment and vehicles on sites if the workers using them don’t have adequate training or are not versed in safe working procedures.

“Mr Taylor and other site workers were not all properly trained to use the equipment they were handling and, just as seriously, vehicle keys were routinely left in the machines. As a result, the vehicles were accessible to anyone on site, regardless of their qualifications.

“It is imperative that on any construction site using plant and machinery there are systems in place to control access to the vehicles. Construction site managers need to know which workers on site are qualified to operate the machinery and that their control systems are working effectively.”

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