Firm fined £75K after father-of-three crushed to death by digger

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

A Derbyshire civil engineering firm has been fined £75,000 after one of its employees was killed when he was crushed by plant machinery.

Darren Richardson, 42, was crushed to death while working on a site in December, 2014, when an excavator backed towards a dumper truck.

In a case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Mr Richardson’s employer, RMB Contractors, which is based in Ripley Road, Ambergate, pleaded guilty to breaching a section of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that the incident happened as the ground at a site at Ballast Phoenix Ltd, in Claywheels Lane, Sheffield, was being prepared ahead of the laying of a concrete slab.

An old cable duct had to be dug out before the concrete could be laid. A 21-tonne tracked excavator was being used to dig out the duct - and parked behind it was a dumper truck.

RMB Contractors at Ambergate has been fined £75,000 following the death of one of its workers

RMB Contractors at Ambergate has been fined £75,000 following the death of one of its workers

As the excavator was working back towards the dumper, Mr Richardson was crushed between the two pieces of machinery. The father-of-three was pronounced dead at the scene.

As well as receiving a fine, RMB Contractors was ordered to pay £24,482.80 costs.

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Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Medani Close said: “Back-to-back plant activities should be avoided as both pedestrians and vehicles could be put at a higher risk of coming into contact with each other.

“If the two separate work activities cannot be avoided then the area should be safeguarded and effectively managed with segregation in place, for example using fencing or barriers to delineate the ‘no go’ areas for pedestrians.”

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