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Sun April 18 2021

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£65k fine for bucket-ride fatality

4 Nov 15 The boss of a Sussex skip hire firm has been given a suspended jail sentence after an employee was killed falling from the bucket of an excavator.

Excavator buckets are never an appropriate option for working at height
Excavator buckets are never an appropriate option for working at height

The firm, South Coast Skips Ltd, was fined £65,000.

Lindsay Campbell, a 66-year-old father of ten from Waterlooville in Hampshire, was killed when the bucket he was riding tipped because hydraulic pressure dropped, causing him to fall nine metres to the ground. He was in the bucket as an improvised solution to working at height.

A colleague who was in the bucket alongside him also fell and suffered severe leg injuries. The incident occurred on 25th July 2012 at the company’s site at the Rudford Industrial estate in Arundel.

Chichester Crown Court heard that Lindsay Campbell had carried on working for Kevin Hoare, a director of South Coast Skips, despite recently retiring. On the day of the incident he was running an electric cable to power a waste screening trommel.

Mr Campbell decided to run the cable along a previously used route in the rafters of the shed and asked to be lifted in the bucket of an excavator.  The excavator driver lifted both Mr Campbell and an agency worker. While positioning the cable, the hydraulic pressure dropped, causing the bucket to tip forward. Both men fell nine metres to the concrete floor.

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South Coast Skips Ltd of Rudford Industrial Estate, Ford, Arundel pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974 (HASWA,1974). It was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

Kevin Hoare, 65, of Fareham, Hampshire pleaded guilty to section 37 of HASWA, 1974 and was given a 12 month custodial sentence suspended for 18 months.

Health and Safety Executive Inspector Graham Goodenough said: “Nobody should ever be lifted in the bucket of an excavator. Neither the bucket nor the excavator have the necessary safety devices nor fail safe devices that would prevent a person falling.

“This company did not have in place the training and supervision and especially the health and safety culture that ensures that nobody would consider undertaking such an obviously unsafe act such as this, and if they did ask nobody would allow it to happen.”

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