Welsh construction company Macob Administration has been fined £80,000 after one of its employees had his head crushed at a site in Gloucestershire.
Macob, based in Bridgend, was charged by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after 23-year-old Lance Taylor from Thornbury, Bristol, was killed while working on a construction site at Chestnut Walk in Abbeymead, Gloucester on 11 February 2005.
Taylor was driving a mini excavator − which he was not qualified to operate - and unintentionally hit a lever as he leaned out of the cab window. The digging arm of the vehicle was raised, crushing his head between the cab and the arm. He suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on site.
Gloucester Crown Court heard Macob plead guilty to breaches under Regulation 9(1) and 28(a) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £40,000 for each charge and ordered to pay costs of £29,798.
"This terrible incident highlights the extremely serious risks posed by equipment and vehicles on sites if the workers using them don't have adequate training or are not versed in safe working procedures,” said HSE inspector Martin Lee.
"Taylor and other site workers were not all properly trained to use the equipment they were handling and, just as seriously, vehicle keys were routinely left in the machines. As a result, the vehicles were accessible to anyone on site, regardless of their qualifications.
"It is imperative that on any construction site using plant and machinery there are systems in place to control access to the vehicles. Construction site managers need to know which workers on site are qualified to operate the machinery and that their control systems are working effectively."