Lewes Crown Court heard how Daniel Clifford Yeowell was killed after sustaining injuries while working on site at Langley Green Primary School in Crawley, West Sussex.
Mr Yeowell was employed by Hague Construction as a ground worker and on 4th October 2013 he and his colleagues were constructing and installing drainage boxes at the school. As he was standing in the excavation area, Mr Yeowell was struck by a concrete drainage cover that was being lifted by chains hung from an excavator. He later died as a result of his severe head injuries.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Hague failed to properly plan this lifting operation and also failed to supply workers with the safe and appropriate equipment to carry out the work. It was also found the lifting chains used were too long for the work and were not attached safely either to the load or to the excavator.
Hague Construction Ltd of Sir Thomas Longley Road, Rochester, Kent pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. It was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,918.
HSE inspector Andrew Cousins said after the hearing: “Our investigation was prompted in the most tragic of circumstances. Hague Construction should have properly planned the lifting operation regarding this work activity. If the company had done so Mr Yeowell’s death could have been avoided.”