Steps not taken to keep young worker safe distance from excavator

It has been reported by the St Albans Review that a demolition site manager has been given a suspended prison sentence after he was found guilty of health and safety failings which led to the death of a young labourer in July 2011 near St Albans, Herts.

The workman, aged 20, was struck by a piece of concrete which fell from the bucket of an excavator striking his head and causing fatal injuries.

The court heard that the manager was operating the excavator when the incident occurred and that he should have taken steps to make sure the workman was behind a barrier at a safe distance from the excavator arm.

Death not intended by defendant

The manager was found guilty at the end of a trial where he had pleaded not guilty to an offence of failing to discharge a duty to which he was subject to by virtue of Section 7 of the health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Judge Warner sentenced him to five-month imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and ordered that he pay £3500 towards the cost of the prosecution. The Crown said:

“He didn’t mean to kill Robert Shore, it was a dreadful accident but the prosecution say it was completely preventable. He failed to take measures he knew he should have taken and were required.”