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Demolition worker fined after colleague was severely injured

A demolition worker from Croydon has been taken to court after his actions left one of his colleagues with serious leg injuries.

Devon Stoner, 44, of Whitehorse Road in Croydon was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the incident in January this year, when he was carrying out demolition work for Sloane Demolition Limited in Kent.

Maidstone Magistrates' Court heard that on 20 January 2011, five employees, including the defendant were sorting through rubble and reclaiming bricks at the former Leybourne Grange Hospital in West Malling, Kent. The two-storey building was being demolished with the use of a 360 excavator - a large, 13 tonne vehicle so-called as it rotates 360 degrees.

Workers were putting bricks from a demolished chimney breast into the bucket of the excavator which the operator had left switched off but with the keys left in it.

Mr Stoner climbed into the excavator and began to move it around the site. However he was unable to control the machine and caused a wall to collapse. His co-worker was unable to move out of the way quickly enough and was trapped. He suffered serious injuries to his left leg, a broken right ankle and a shattered shin. He has had to have a steel plate inserted into his right shin and ankle.

Mr Stoner was not trained or authorised by Sloane Demolition Ltd to operate this type of plant equipment and therefore should not have been driving the machine on the day of the incident.

Devon Stoner pleaded guilty to breaching section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was ordered to undertake 120 hours community service and pay £500 in costs.


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