A construction company and a housing developer were both prosecuted for health and safety failures after a site worker was struck by a telehandler.
Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard that in July 2015, a grounds worker was hit by the vehicle whilst undertaking work in the middle of the construction site road.
The grounds worker only escaped fatal injuries because he passed under the body of the reversing telehandler and not under its wheels. Nevertheless, he was left with multiple injuries including chipped vertebra, muscular and tendon damage and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive, it was revealed that both the principal contractor and its subcontractor, A D Bly Construction had failed in their duties to effectively plan, manage and monitor control measures to address the risks associated with construction site vehicles.
Inspectors also found they failed to manage and control the risk of persons being struck by a vehicle on their construction site.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety at work regulations. The subcontractor was fined £26,000 plus costs of £5,271.38, whilst the principal contractor was fined £31,500 and ordered to pay costs of £48,600.
Following the conclusion of criminal proceedings, HSE Inspector Ian Shearring said: “The risks associated with construction vehicles is well-known and both companies failed in their duties to address these”.
Lara Murray, an Associate with Palmers who specialises in health and safety legal matters, said: “Although in this instance, the worker escaped with his life, he was left with both physical injuries and the mental trauma of this incident.
“Such cases serve as an opportunity for companies within the construction industry to take heed and use it as an opportunity to review their own health and safety procedures, to ensure that both employees and members of the public are properly protected.
“Ultimately, a safe working environment also leads to greater profitability, due to a reduction in downtime and less likelihood of facing a HSE fine or other sanctions.”
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