£1 million fine for a construction company after worker killed
Published: 13 Aug 2019

A construction company Clancy Docwra Limited, as well as one of its employees were sentenced for health and safety breaches following a death of an employee struck by an excavator.

On 2 March 2014 during night work at a construction site at Salford, a site operative, Kevin Campbell, was struck by an Excavator Mounted Vibrator (EMV) attached to a 35-tonne excavator, which he worked in close proximity to. At the time, Mr Campbell was disconnecting lifting accessories from a metal pile that had just been extracted from the ground, when he was fatally crushed against a concrete wall. Another employee who worked directly next to him narrowly avoided being crushed as well.

An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to ensure safety of its employees and others working at the site. The investigation also found that Daniel Walsh, the site manager who operated the excavator, failed to take reasonable care for other persons on site at the time.

Clancy Docwra Limited pleaded not guilty for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay costs of £108,502.30.

Mr Daniel Walsh pleaded not guilty for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was given a 6 month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

After the hearing, the HSE inspector Darren Alldis said: "This death was wholly preventable and serves as a reminder as to why it is so important for companies and individuals to take their responsibilities to protect others seriously and to take the simple actions necessary to eliminate and minimise risks.

"If the risks had been properly considered by the company, and simple and appropriate control measures were put in place, then the likelihood of such an incident occurring would have been significantly reduced. Informing all site operatives of the specific risks they face when carrying out such tasks and the control measures required of exclusion zones, the importance of communication and the mandatory use of excavator safety levers were simple actions that should have been put in place and their effectiveness monitored.

"All those with legal responsibilities must be clear that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action including where appropriate prosecution against those that fall below the required standards"