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Site worker killed by excavator

11 Jan 18 A civil engineering contractor has to pay out nearly £100,000 after an employee was crushed to death between a digger and a dumper.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how RMB Contractors Ltd was laying a new concrete slab at Ballast Phoenix Ltd in Sheffield in December 2014. During ground preparation an old cable duct had to be dug out before the concrete could be laid. A 21-tonne tracked excavator was being used to dig out the duct; parked behind it was a stationary dumper truck.

As the excavator was working back towards the dumper, site worker Darren Richardson was crushed between the two pieces of plant. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

RMB Contractors Ltd of Belper in Derbyshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £24,482.80 costs.

HSE inspector Medani Close said after the hearing: “Back-to-back plant activities should be avoided as both pedestrians and vehicles could be put at a higher risk of coming into contact with each other.

“If the two separate work activities cannot be avoided, then the area should be safeguarded and effectively managed with segregation in place, for example using fencing or barriers to delineate the ‘no go’ areas for pedestrians.”

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