Quick hitch incident leaves workman severely injured after first day on site
Bloom Plant Ltd has been fined after a workman suffered severe injuries when he was struck by a falling excavator bucket during his first day on a Worksop demolition project in January 2011.
Excavator driver Paul Batty was re-attaching the four tonne excavator bucket to the boom of the machine when the bucket fell and slid down a pile of rubble landing 46 year old James Wilson.
Mr Wilson lost his left eye and part of his scalp and suffered injuries to his eye socket, cheekbone, jaw, nose, left collarbone, several ribs and his left leg. He also punctured a lung and severed the nerves on his bottom lip. He was in a coma for two weeks and required extensive reconstructive surgery. He is still receiving medical treatment and will continually need to take pain relief.
HSE investigators uncovered the absence of safe systems of work for excavators and failure to provide Mr Wilson with adequate information, instruction, training or supervision, including adequate warnings of the hazards involved when working around plant.
Nottingham Crown Court was told that persons should have been excluded from the area while the bucket was being re-attached and a safety pin used to secure it in place.
Workman place in a position of ‘grave danger’
Bloom Plant Ltd, of Newark, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 by failing to provide and maintain safe systems of work and to provide adequate information, instruction, training or supervision and have now been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £27,500.
At an earlier hearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 3 October 2012 the driver of the excavator pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay a £200 contribution towards costs
After the hearing HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said:
“Mr Wilson suffered appalling injuries and was extremely lucky to survive.
Bloom Plant Ltd should have provided safe systems of work with better instruction, information, training and supervision, especially as the operations being carried out were known to have serious risks.
Instead, Mr Wilson was put in a position of grave danger.”