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EXCAVATOR INCIDENT LEAVES TEENAGER DISABLED FOR LIFE

Demo contractor fined after crushing incident leads to amputation of arm

UK Demolition Services Ltd of Walsall has been fined after the arm of a teenage was amputated following crushing by an excavator during demolition of a cinema in Cambridgeshire in March 2010

Thomas Bird  was working as a labourer loading debris into the selector grab of a hydraulic excavator when the excavator swung round and crushed his arm against the building. He was airlifted to hospital but surgeons were unable to save the arm which was amputated below the elbow.

HSE investigators found the excavator operator failed to switch off the ignition when he left the driver’s seat. As he dismounted his coat pulled a safety side arm down engaging power and allowing the excavator boom to swing into Mr Bird.

Huntingdon Magistrates heard that the firm failed to put in place arrangements to ensure construction plant did not inadvertently move and put groundworkers at risk of being struck.

Plant manufacturer guidance not followed

UK Demolition Services Ltd of Walsall, West Midlands admitted two breaches of health and safety legislation: Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974; and Regulation 37 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £4,000 for each breach and ordered to pay £3,500 costs.

HSE Inspector John Berezansky said:

“Construction work including working around and near machinery is a high risk activity with significant numbers of major and fatal injuries.

Implementing appropriate standards with good planning, communication, training and cooperation is essential. In this case the defendant failed to put these arrangements in place including following the manufacturer’s own guidance in respect of preventing the excavator from moving inadvertently.

As a result of these failings, Thomas Bird will now have to live and manage the rest of his life with the use of only one arm.”

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One Response to “EXCAVATOR INCIDENT LEAVES TEENAGER DISABLED FOR LIFE”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 6TH JUNE 2012 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] EXCAVATOR INCIDENT LEAVES TEENAGER DISABLED FOR LIFE […]