Health and Safety News

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Two Leeds firms in court over worker's crush injuries

A construction worker had both legs broken when a 22-tonne excavator reversed over him on a building site in Leeds, a court has heard.

The 58-year-old man from Barnsley, suffered severe crush injuries when the excavator backed into him as he erected boundary fencing on a Tinshill building site on 30 June 2008.

The man's employer, Jack Lunn (Construction) Ltd. of Pudsey and building contractor Fastsource Ltd of Hunslet were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over the incident.

Leeds Magistrates' Court heard the worker was sent to the Bedford Garth site to carry out preparatory work such as fencing and setting up site cabins.

On the day of the incident, a Fastsource employee was operating the excavator along the site access road. The driver was aware other workers were on site and a Fastsource colleague had been told to act as banksman, the person who safely directs the movement of the excavator and any workers nearby.

As the injured worker was fixing a fencing panel, the excavator drove past him toward the site entrance.  He then heard the excavator reversing back down the driveway.

As he was wearing a high-visibility vest and the excavator driver had passed him only moments before, the man believed he was in no danger. He also believed the site manager and banksman knew of his position as they were both at the site entrance and could see down the access road.

However, the court heard despite this the excavator hit the worker as it reversed, causing him to fall and the machine ran over his legs just below the knee.

Jack Lunn (Construction) Ltd. of Progress House, Bradford Road, Pudsey, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 with £6,338.50 in costs.

Fastsource Ltd. of Pepper Road, Hunslet, Leeds, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the same Act and was also fined £8,000 with £6,338.50 in costs.


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