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Sun April 11 2021

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Digger driver tumbled out of fourth-floor opening

3 Jul 15 Demolition contractor Euro Dismantling Solutions Limited has been fined £80,000 for safety failings that resulted in a man losing his life.

The unguarded fourth-floor opening
The unguarded fourth-floor opening

Construction worker James Stacey, 31, was killed in November 2011 when he drove his mini excavator out of a fourth floor opening.

Bristol Crown Court heard this week how demolition work was taking place at the former Cadburys Somerdale factory near Bristol. The wall had been opened up to allow debris to be tipped out. Large fibreglass tanks were cut in half and then dropped to the ground below.

However, there was insufficient protection in front of the opening to prevent the machine falling from the building. When one tank section got stuck on the digger it pulled the vehicle with it. Mr Stacey died from his injuries.

Euro Dismantling Solutions Limited (now in liquidation) pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. On Wednesday 1st July it was fined £80,000.

Site wupervisor Paul Ben Priestley, 54, was also charged under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after failing to take reasonable care. He denied the charges but was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on 21st May 2015 and was given an 18 month custodial sentence, suspended for two years. He was also fined £7,500.

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