Demolition Firm Fined After Worker Suffers Awful Injuries

Nottinghamshire Company Given £40,000 Penalty Following Excavator Bucket Accident

26.11.2013

A Nottinghamshire-based demolition company has been fined £40,000 after an employee suffered horrendous crush injuries on his first day at work.

Labourer James Wilson, 46, was in a coma for two weeks after he was hit by a falling excavator bucket.

He broke his eye socket, jaw, nose, collarbone, cheekbone, left leg and several ribs, while also suffering a punctured a lung and severed nerves on his bottom lip.

Mr Wilson has undergone extensive surgery and is still receiving medical treatment nearly three years after the accident.

Bloom Plant of Newark pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and was ordered to pay costs of £27,500, as well as the fine.

It emerged that excavator driver Paul Batty had been attempting to reattach the four-tonne bucket to the boom of his digger when it suddenly fell down a pile of rubble, landing on Mr Wilson below.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to plan the work and it had not provided Mr Wilson with adequate training on working around heavy plant machinery.

HSE inspector Kevin Wilson described the worker's injuries as "appalling" and he was "extremely lucky" to survive.

"Bloom Plant should have provided safe systems of work with better instruction, information, training and supervision, especially as the operations being carried out were known to have serious risks," he commented.

"Instead, Mr Wilson was put in a position of grave danger."

The construction/demolition industry is one of the most dangerous in the UK and the HSE has attempted to clamp down on unsafe working practices throughout 2013.

Figures published by the regulator last month showed there were 156 major injuries per 100,000 workers in this sector in 2012-13, which was significantly higher than the overall average of 78.5 per 100,000.

Only agriculture (239.4 per 100,000) and waste management (369.8 per 100,000) had worse ratios.