Unqualified Operation of Excavator Kills Young Worker | National Union of Public and General Employees

Unqualified Operation of Excavator Kills Young Worker

The senseless death of a 23-year-old construction worker in England shows the importance of keeping untrained and unqualified workers away from heavy duty equipment.

The worker, who was operating a mini-excavator even though he was not qualified to do so, accidentally knocked a lever while leaning out of its cab window. The digging arm of the mini-digger moved upward, crushing the young man's head between the cab and the arm. He died at the scene.

Wales-based construction company Macob Administration Limited pleaded guilty in Gloucester Crown Court to charges of failing to ensure that all workers receive adequate training and failing to prevent hydraulic excavators from being started by unauthorized workers.

The company was fined the British equivalent of about $134,00 CAD, along with being ordered to pay the equivalent of $50,000 CAD in court costs.

HSE inspector Martin Lee says the fatality highlights the extremely serious risks posed by equipment and vehicles on sites if workers lack adequate training.

The victim and other site workers were not all properly trained to use the equipment they were handling and vehicle keys were routinely left in the machines. As a result, the vehicles were accessible to anyone on site, regardless of their qualifications.

 - taken from "Safe Supervisor", March 2010. www.SafeSupervisor.com


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