Plant hire firm fined £18,000 for failing to undertake a number of simple safety measures
FAMILY-run plant hire company FDS (Cambridge) Ltd have been fined £18,000 after a member of the public received serious crush injuries at their Cambridgeshire site.
Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 30 January 2020, an FDS (Cambridge) Ltd employee was moving and processing a stockpile of concrete and brick rubble using an excavator at the company’s site in Ely.
A member of the public then came on to the site in a vehicle and was removing building waste from their trailer when they became trapped against the trailer by the reversing excavator, sustaining multiple fractures to both of their legs.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that members of the public should not have been able to get on to the site unchallenged, nor should they have been permitted to park near an operating machine. The company should have ensured that the machine was barriered off or that suitable arrangements were in place to ensure it had ceased operating while people were in the vicinity.
FDS (Cambridge) Ltd pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £9,354.58 in costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Roxanne Barker said: ‘This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work considering the breadth of their operations, including and especially those which involved visitors to its site.
‘This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of simple safety measures, including the segregation of vehicles and pedestrians.’