A Cambridgeshire groundwork contractor has been fined £3,500 after a worker was buried alive in an excavation collapse.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Anthony John Melvyn Hill for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and for breaching Regulation 31(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
Hill was also ordered to pay costs of £2,000 at Cambridge Magistrates Court on 4 March 2010.
On 22 October 2007, one of Hill’s employees was undertaking groundwork on construction project at Penny Farm near Brinkley in East Cambridgeshire.
The Court heard that, while the employee was in a trench, the sides collapsed, burying him completely. The emergency services were called, and he was rescued alive from the collapse by other workers and the Suffolk Fire and Rescue team.
HSE Principal Inspector, Norman Macritchie said: “This worker suffered a broken leg and bruising, and was incredibly fortunate to survive the horror of being buried alive.
“These types of easily preventable incidents are all too common and often prove fatal, so it is absolutely essential that employers and contractors ensure they have measures in place to protect their staff.
“Groundworks can be extremely dangerous and companies must make sure excavations are properly supported to avoid serious injury, or even death.”