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Mon June 14 2021

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Builders fined £12k after pit collapse

26 May A Yorkshire building firm has been fined after an employee was injured while trying to measure the depth of an excavation.

The excavated pit was unsupported when the employee went into it
The excavated pit was unsupported when the employee went into it

Harlands Builders was undertaking groundworks when an employee was injured as a two-metre-deep excavation collapsed.

Bridlington Magistrates’ Court heard that on 26th June 2019, the company was undertaking groundworks at West Farm Stone, Creek Sunk Island, East Riding. The worker had entered an excavation to measure the depth when part of it collapsed on him. He sustained a broken tibia and fibula on his left leg.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the excavation had three sheer unsupported sides and was not battered back.

Other workers were also put at risk as they went into the excavation to free the trapped man.

Harlands Builders Limited of Station Avenue, Bridlington pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22 (1) of the Construction Design Management Regulations 2015. It was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,139.

HSE inspector Sarah Robinson said after the hearing: “The excavation should have been supported or battered back, and no individuals should have been asked to go into the excavation whilst it was unsafe. This incident could have led to the death of the worker. The case highlights the importance of identifying and following any risk assessment that was set in place.”

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