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£80,000 penalty for two companies after employee is killed by reversing vehicle (19 May 2017)

Date: 19/05/2017
Duncan Lewis, Personal Injury Solicitors, £80,000 penalty for two companies after employee is killed by reversing vehicle

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a construction company and its groundwork contractor, after a worker was killed by a reversing vehicle.

On 28 June 2013, 47-year-old John Small – an employee of Steve Hoskin Construction Limited (SHCL) – was working for the groundwork contractor at a construction site at Dawlish in Devon, when he was crushed by a reversing telescopic material handler.

Mr Small was crushed by the vehicle after it reversed while he was walking alongside it. He was pronounced dead after suffering multiple injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident found that Cavanna Homes – the principal contractor for the site – failed to ensure this area of the construction site was organised to enable pedestrians and vehicles to move safely.

The investigators concluded that SHCL had not fully considered the risks to their employees at this part of the site.

At Exeter Crown Court, Cavanna Homes (SW) Limited of Riviera Park, Nicholson Road in Torquay, Devon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 36(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

Steve Hoskin Construction Limited of Ten Acres Lane, St Ive Industrial Estate, Pensilva in Liskeard pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The company was also fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said:

“There were no control measures in place to segregate vehicles and pedestrians in the area where the incident happened.

“Separating pedestrians and vehicles by introducing measures, such as walkways with barriers, could have prevented John Small’s death.”

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