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Collapsed contractor ‘fined’ £146k over worker death

A collapsed firm has been sentenced for failing to maintain its staff protected after a 48-year-old man was fatally crushed by a 20-tonne excavator.

Kidderminster-based Birch Brothers, which went into liquidation final yr, had been constructing a concrete overflow weir construction at a pond in Derbyshire in 2017.

Philip McDonald was one of many staff employed to assist assemble the construction. In keeping with a press release from the Well being and Security Govt (HSE), whereas ready on a highway above the location for the excavator to take away sand from trench containers, it swung spherical and crushed him.

HSE investigators discovered that Birch Brothers had not adequately deliberate the work and that no directions had been given to the operator of the digger or the pedestrians on web site. The contractor had additionally not adequately assessed the dangers related to the job and did not segregate pedestrians from the plant.

On high of that, the contractor did not appoint a banksman to make sure the pedestrians had been protected whereas the excavator was getting used, and did not have anybody oversee the excavator to verify its work was carried out safely, the watchdog stated.

Birch Brothers (Kidderminster) Ltd of Barracks Street, Sandy Lane Industrial Property, Stourport-on-Severn, DY13 9QB, pleaded responsible to breaching Regulation 27(1) of the Development (Design and Administration) Rules 2015.

Kidderminster Magistrates Courtroom fined it £146,000 and ordered it to pay prices of £4,621.90.

However the agency, which specialised in utility and water tasks, appointed liquidators in September 2022. This implies its nice can be registered as a declare from an unsecured creditor and is unlikely to be paid in full.

After the listening to, HSE inspector Katherine Cotton stated the tragic incident was “simply preventable”.

“These in command of work have a accountability to organise their websites and devise protected strategies of working in relation to automobiles and pedestrians, and guarantee they’re carried out,” she added.

“Development web site car incidents can and needs to be prevented by the efficient administration of transport operations all through the development course of. Corporations needs to be conscious that HSE won’t hesitate to take applicable enforcement motion in opposition to those who fall under the required requirements.”