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Construction Firm Fined Over London Gateway Death

A Surrey-Based Company Has Been Fined For Failures That Contributed To The Death Of A Worker


A Surrey-based firm has been fined by judges after a contractor was crushed to death at the London Gateway Port construction project in Essex.

Robert Mayne, who was commonly known as Noel (his middle name), was aged 59 when he died as he attempted to retrieve a stricken bulldozer at a development in Stanford-le-Hope on April 23rd 2011.

Basildon Crown Court was told by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutors that Mr Mayne was carrying out regular land reclamation work in his bulldozer in the early hours of the morning when his vehicle became stuck in a mud bank.

With there being no official policy on what to do in this scenario, the 59-year-old Dredging International employee called one of his co-workers on a mobile phone to request assistance from a nearby excavator driver as his bulldozer sunk further into the ground.

The colleague arrived in time to help Mr Mayne escape but his excavator's bucket seemingly struck the stranded construction worker and sent him flying to the ground.

Jurors were told the man died at the scene as a result of extensive crush injuries to his upper torso and chest, with prosecutors blaming Dredging International for their failure to draw up proper working practices to mitigate issues arising from stricken vehicles.

For its lack of preparation in this regard, the company was fined £120,000 and told to pay £26,473 in costs after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974.

After its successful prosecution, HSE inspector Paul Grover said: "This absence of safe recovery procedures resulted in drivers adopting their own methods of recovery.

"The method used at the time of Mr Mayne's death resulted in him leaving the cab of his bulldozer and taking up a position in close proximity to the excavator that was coming to his assistance. This tragic death could have been prevented if a safe system of recovery had been put in place"