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.