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FIRM FAILED ON REVERSING EXCAVATOR RISK

Smaller excavator could have been chosen to avoid reversing dangers

Jack Lunn (Construction) Ltd and Fastsource Ltd have been prosecuted after a 22-tonne excavator reversed over a construction worker on a building site in Leeds. The 58-year-old man suffered severe crush injuries whilst he was erecting a boundary fence on a building site in June 2008.

Leeds Magistrates heard the workman was carrying out preparatory work fixing a fencing panel when the excavator drove past him toward the site entrance. Shortly afterwards the excavator began reversing back down the driveway.

The injured man was wearing a high-visibility vest and believed he was in no danger. He believed the site manager and banksman knew of his position could see down the access road. However, the excavator struck the worker as it reversed and the machine ran over his legs just below the knee.

Segregation of vehicles and pedestrians required

Jack Lunn (Construction) Ltd of Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 with £6,338.50 in costs. Fastsource Ltd also of Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the same Act and was also fined £8,000 with £6,338.50 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Sarah Lee, said:

“Workplace transport incidents are one of the biggest killers in the construction industry and this case could easily have been fatal. The danger of collisions between heavy plant and pedestrians on construction sites is well known in the industry and the need for vehicles to reverse should be avoided.

This incident was entirely preventable. If the simple precaution of segregation of vehicles and pedestrians had been put in place by Jack Lunn Ltd or they had suspended vehicle movements while fencing was being erected, this worker would not have suffered such appalling injuries.

“Similarly if a smaller excavator had been chosen by Fastsource, the driver would not have needed to reverse down the access road.”

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One Response to “FIRM FAILED ON REVERSING EXCAVATOR RISK”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 16TH MAY 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] FIRM FAILED ON REVERSING EXCAVATOR RISK […]