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EXCAVATOR OPERATOR RECEIVES PRISON SENTENCE

Missing digger bucket safety pin caused death of site engineer

It has been reported by This is Tamworth (April 15, 2013) that excavator operator Jonathon Gold (aged 48) has been given a seven-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work.

The punishment follows a construction project incident in August 2009 in which engineer Mark Handford, aged 22, died when he was struck on the head by the bucket of an excavator. Jonathan Gold was charged with perverting the course of justice, perjury and failing to ensure the safety of a non-employee.

The earlier inquest heard evidence from an HSE expert witness who concluded that the main safety pin could not have been in place when the bucket fell. 

After sentencing, Detective Sergeant Adam Hartwright of West Mercia Police said:

“The tragic set of circumstances which led to Mr Handford’s death were the subject of a complex and detailed investigation which involved our officers and HSE. Cases like this are rare but I would like to take this opportunity to praise Mark Handford’s family who have acted with dignity, patience and understanding throughout.”

Comment

Since this death a range of guidance has been published by HSE and others on the safe use of excavator quick hitches.

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One Response to “EXCAVATOR OPERATOR RECEIVES PRISON SENTENCE”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 22nd MAY 2013 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] EXCAVATOR OPERATOR RECEIVES PRISON SENTENCE […]