Excavator Accident Lands Engineering Company £800,000 Fine
BAM Nuttall, one of the UKs largest civil engineering contractors, has been fined more than £800,000, after a worker was injured during a lifting operation.
On 20th January 2017, workers were constructing a platform for a piling rig which was being assembled using large expanded blocks of polystyrene, using an excavator to move the materials. One of the polystyrene blocks fell from the bucket of the excavator whilst being lowered into place, and hit Andrew Stewart, fracturing three of his vertebrae. Mr Stewart is still suffering from the effects of the accident and is expected to be on pain medication for the foreseeable future.
An investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the block had not been moved using appropriate lifting accessories, such as chains or slings, which would have provided assistance by securing the load, and had simply trapped the load between the bucket and the dipping arm of the excavator.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector, Andrew Cousins, commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply using appropriate lifting accessories such as chains and strops to carry out the lifting operation. Failure to do so has resulted in the serious injury of Andrew Stewart. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those that fall below required standards.”
BAM Nuttall of St James House Knoll Rd, Camberley pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company received a fine of £833,333.33, plus full costs of £5,478.22 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Source: SHP Online, Bam Nuttall fined after inappropriate lifting operation injured worker, June 13th 2019. Read the full article.