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Civil engineering company fined after death of employee

Date:
8 January 2018

A civil engineering company has been sentenced for safety breaches after father of three Darren Richardson suffered fatal crush injuries.

Sheffield Crown Court heard in December 2014 RMB Contractors Ltd were working on laying a new concrete slab at Ballast Phoenix Ltd, Claywheels Lane, Sheffield. 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 Mr Richardson was crushed between the two pieces of plant. Mr Richardson was pronounced dead at the scene.

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

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Medani Close said: “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.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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