Health and Safety News

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Firm fined after worker hurt in trench collapse

A former England kick boxer has had to give up the sport after being injured at work, a court was told.

On 13 June, Nottinghamshire engineering company Phil Watson Civil Engineering Limited was fined for the incident which saw 36-year-old Zak Davis, of Billinghay, Lincolnshire, buried up to his waist when a trench collapsed.

Mr Davis was working on a small housing development just off Wragby Road, Bardney, Lincolnshire when the incident happened on 4 August 2011.

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 Mr Davis 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.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Phil Watson Civil Engineering Ltd. 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.

The company, of Victoria Street, Shirebrook, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 31(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. Lincoln magistrates today fined the firm £10,000 and ordered it to pay full costs of £2,141.


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