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Thu January 21 2021

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Non-fatal dumper spill leads to £850 fine

30 Nov 20 A construction company has been fined just £850 for putting an unqualified operator on a dumper truck, resulting in it rolling and crushing him.

Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how on the 12th April 2019 an employee became trapped when the truck overturned on the construction site. The employee was not wearing a lap belt and he was operating the dumper truck without deploying the roll-over protective structure (ROPS).

He survived but suffered multiple crush injuries to his body, when the dumper overturned.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company, Jim Elliot & Son, had failed to assess the competence and the skills of the operator ahead of work on the refurbishment project. The company had failed to induct the employee on starting work at the site, thus failing to identify that the employee had the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to operate the dumper.

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It was also identified that the company had failed to undertake a risk assessment or prepare a construction phase plan. These measures, along with a suitable site induction would have identified that the employee did not have the required competence, training, skills and knowledge to ensure that the work was carried out safely and the dumper operated in accordance with its operator’s manual.

Jim Elliott of The Grove, Crow’s Nest, Liskeard, Cornwall was found guilty of breaching Section 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £850 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

HSE inspector Georgina Symons said after the hearing: “This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had assessed the risk related to operating site dumpers and ensured that its workers had the skills and competence necessary to do so safely.”

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