A family-run plant hire company has been fined after a member of the public was crushed at its Cambridgeshire site.
On 30 January 2020, a FDS (Cambridge) Ltd employee was moving and processing a stockpile of concrete and brick rubble using an excavator at the company’s site on Ely Road, Little Thetford, Ely, Cambridgeshire.
A member of the public then came onto the site in a vehicle and was removing building waste from their trailer when they became trapped against the trailer by the reversing excavator, sustaining multiple fractures to both of their legs.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that members of the public should not have been able to get onto the site unchallenged. Additionally, they should not have been permitted to park near an operating machine which the company should have either barriered off or put suitable arrangements in place to ensure that it had ceased operating whilst people were in the vicinity.
FDS (Cambridge) Ltd of Ely Road, Little Thetford, Ely, Cambridgeshire pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company were fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £9,354.58 in costs at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on 4 November 2022.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Roxanne Barker said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work, considering the breadth of their operations, including, and especially, those which involved visitors to its site.
“This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of simple safety measures including the segregation of vehicles and pedestrians.”
Notes to Editors:
- The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to 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. hse.gov.uk
- More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
- Guidance on workplace transport safety can be found at: Workplace transport safety – A guide to workplace transport safety (hse.gov.uk)