Man Fined Over Excavation Collapse

Accident On A Building Site

09.03.2010

A groundwork contractor from Cambridgeshire has been fined over an incident in which one of his employees was buried alive in an excavation collapse.

Cambridge Magistrates Court heard that the worker, who had been undertaking groundwork on a construction project at Penny Farm, near Binkley, was "fortunate to survive the horror of being buried alive".

Anthony John Melvyn Hill, 58, of Sawston, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive, and fined £3,500.

HSE Inspector Norman Macritchie told the court that the while the employee was in the trench, the sides collapse, burying him completely.

The emergency services were called and he was rescued alive from the collapse by other workers and the Suffolk Fire and Rescue team.

Mr Macritchie said: "This worker suffered a broken leg and bruising.

"Groundworks can be extremely dangerous and companies must make sure excavations are properly supported to avoid serious injury, or even death."

Mr Hill was also ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fine imposed following this serious work accident.

“The construction industry is the industrial sector where a worker is most likely to be seriously injured or killed following an accident at work.

“Given the risks of a fatal accident at work, employers need to take steps to provide workers with a safe place and a safe system of work."