Construction company fined £1 million after worker is killed by excavator

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A construction company worker was killed by this excavator.A construction company has been fined £1 million for health and safety breaches after a worker was killed by an excavator.

Kevin Campbell was struck by a vibrator attached to a 35-tonne excavator he was working close to during night work at a construction site in Stratford in March 2014.

He had been disconnecting lifting accessories from a metal pile extracted from the ground when he was crushed against a concrete wall a short distance away, Southwark Crown Court was told.

Mr Campbell died from his injuries. Another worker directly next to him also faced a risk of being struck.

An HSE investigation found the principal contractor, Clancy Docwra Ltd, failed to ensure the safety so far as is reasonably practicable of its employees and of others working on the site. 

It also found that Daniel Walsh, the site supervisor who was operating the excavator, failed to take reasonable care for other persons on site at the time.

Clancy Docwra Ltd of Coppermill Lane, Harefield, Middlesex, denied breaching Health & Safety at Work regulations. It was fined £1,000,000 with costs of £108,502.

Daniel Walsh of Eastcote, Orpington, Kent, denied breaching Health & Safety at Work regulations. He was given a six month suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay £15,000 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Darren Alldis said: “This death was preventable and serves as a reminder as to why it is so important for companies and individuals to take their responsibilities to protect others seriously and to take the simple actions necessary to eliminate and minimise risks.

“If the risks had been properly considered by the construction company, and simple and appropriate control measures were put in place, the likelihood of such an incident occurring would have been significantly reduced. 

“Informing all site operatives of the specific risks they face when carrying out such tasks and the control measures required of exclusion zones, the importance of communication and the mandatory use of excavator safety levers were simple actions that should have been put in place and their effectiveness monitored.

“All those with legal responsibilities must be clear that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action including where appropriate prosecution against those that fall below the required standards”.