Three companies have been fined a total of £2 million after a worker’s leg was broken in six places when a trench which he was working in collapsed on him. The firm contracted to carry out the excavation works were not approved for this type of specialist excavation work. They appointed a supervisor who had never supervised work, nor did he have the relevant training and qualifications to do so. After the accident the method statement was backdated to give the impression that it was signed by the workers prior to the trench collapsing.
The HSE inspector said: “This incident was foreseeable and avoidable and the injuries were the result of multiple failings by the duty holders, from the planning stage through to the execution of the project, resulting in the inevitable collapse of an unsupported trench.
A South Yorkshire crushing plant operator has been fined£240,000 and ordered to pay £22,7941 costs after worker lost his left arm when it was dragged into exposed machinery. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that workers on the crushing plant were required to clean down the machinery after each batch to ensure the titanium product was not contaminated; this placed them immediately next to unguarded belt and flywheels. Although the company had enclosed all the machinery with a fence including an interlocked gate, which ensured that the machinery was not powered when the gate was open, the belt and the flywheel could still move with considerable power if it was caught or nudged.
A Staffordshire logistics company has been fined £265,000 and ordered to pay £14,943 costs after two employees were injured in two days. Both incidents resulted from fork lift truck operations. The investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that fork lift truck operators and their supervisors were not properly trained and the risk assessments in place were poor. The investigation also found that there was inadequate segregation of pedestrians and vehicles.