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    UNUSED SEAT BELT WAS “COMMON PRACTICE” ON SITE

    Overturning dumper truck caused death of operators at spoil heap

    A construction company has been fined following an incident in which a workman died when a dumper truck overturned in October 2016 at the Summers Park Development site in Colchester.

    Chelmsford Magistrates heard that groundworker, David Scott Green, was manoeuvring a 9T front tipping dumper truck on a spoil heap to offload top soil.

    He “lost control” of the truck which toppled forward and came to rest upside down at the base of the spoil heap. A colleague noticed the overturned truck and ran to assist.

    Mr Green sustained a serious head injury during the fall and died on scene.

    Planning, training and supervision lacking

    HSE investigators found major deficiencies in the management of tipping operations on the spoil heaps. In particular:

    • Planning – the operation was not properly planned;
    • Training – drivers were not given training on how to safely operate vehicles and tip on spoil heaps; and
    • Supervision – the job was poorly supervised.

    The deceased driver was not secured by the seat belt fitted to the vehicle. The HSE investigation confirmed that using the dumper without the seat belt secured was “common practice on the site”.

    • Rose Builders Ltd – of Riverside House, East Lawford, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £225,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,822.90.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Kasia Urbaniak said:

    “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the employer to assess the risk related to tipping operations, implement safe systems of work, and failure to ensure that such systems were communicated to ground workers and were followed.”

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