Friday, 15 June 2012

Firm fined after worker hurt in trench collapse

Nottinghamshire engineering company was fined £10,000 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for an incident which saw 36-year-old worker   buried up to his waist when a trench collapsed.

The worker was working on a small housing development just in, Lincolnshire when the incident happened.

He was laying drain pipes in a trench being dug by an excavator. It had been raining heavily during the day. While he was in the trench the digger operator noticed the walls beginning to crack and shouted a warning but before the worker could escape he was hit by the falling material, including a large lump of concrete, and was pinned down by his legs.

He dislocated and fractured his hip socket and shattered his pelvis. He needed 10 hours of surgery and is still off work. The worker, a former England kick boxer has had to give up the sport following the accident.

HSE investigations found that the company had failed to assess the ground conditions and the effect that the rain would have, and failed to install measures to prevent a trench collapse.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Tony Mitchell said:

"Excavation work is a high risk activity, but the risks are foreseeable and preventable.

"The site had previously been a farm. It had been demolished and the rubble spread on site as top fill. The subsoil beneath it was predominantly compacted sandy soil, so the ground conditions were poor. However, this was not properly identified as high risk before work started, the rain made the soil structure more unstable and the trench collapsed because it was not sufficiently supported.

The injuries suffered by the injured worker could have been prevented had the guilty company identified the foreseeable risk and planned and implemented safety procedure to prevent such accident before the work was undertaken. Instead, a man has been left with life-changing injuries.

If you or a member of your family has been involved in an accident which has resulted in you sustaining injury and would like a free and confidential discussion with one of our specialised Solicitors, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 389 1978 or visit our website at You can also follow us on Twitter (@ForsterDeanLtd) and find Forster Dean Solicitors on Facebook

Mofozzul Hussain LLB (Hons) -Office Manager (Birkenhead) and Personal Injury Solicitor

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