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Building company fined after worker crushed to death

A building firm has been fined £225,000 after a 32 year old worker was crushed to death when his dumper truck overturned.

26 November 2019

The incident happened when the worker was pulled from underneath the vehicle after it fell from the top of an 11ft-high mound of soil at the building site.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the worker was operating the tipper trucks without having the required training and was found to be operating without wearing a seatbelt.

The investigation also found that the soil heap that was being worked on was 11ft to 12ft high and was found to have different gradients with some edges steeper than others. The company failed to carry out effective risk assessments into how dumper truck operators safely navigated the large mounds of soil on the site.

Other workers interviewed by the HSE said that they used their personal judgement of how to tip safely, including how close they get to the edge and whether they need to wear seatbelts.

Investigators found tipping should have taken place at ground level, which would have eliminated the risk.

The company was ordered to pay a £225,000 fine plus £11,822 costs.

A report published by the senior coroner raising concerns over the incident said that

“There did not appear to be a safe system of work in operation on the site, there seemed to be a widespread practice of employees not wearing the seatbelts provided with the vehicles and there seemed to be an inadequate system of checking whether or not employees were wearing seatbelts in the course of their work.”

If you require any assistance or further information on carrying out risk assessments on your workplace hazards, please get in touch.

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