A man employed to help put up fencing suffered a broken back after part of a digger hit him on the shoulder.
The accident has now cost his employer – RMC Building and Civil Engineering – a £1,500 fine and a £1,117 costs bill after it admitted breaking regulations that cover use and provision of equipment at work.
The London firm was taken to court by the Health and Safety Executive after it investigated the incident at Longleat Estate, Warminster.
Accident at work
Peter McGrellis was one of three people tasked with doing the work after the company was hired in January last year. They pushed wooden fence posts into the ground using a digger.
He was holding a post for the digger driver to push it into the ground when the wooden post split, sending the digger bucket into his shoulder.
Mr McGrellis – then aged 48 and of Westbury, Wiltshire – was knocked over and suffered a broken vertebra, along with other injuries. He spent more than a week in hospital and remains in pain.
The Health and Safety Executive found RMC Building and Civil Engineering had failed in a number of ways:
It did not prepare for, carry out or check up on the work properly. It said a post driver would be used to press posts into the ground and that the digger was there to position them. That piece of equipment had been ordered but didn’t get to site until after the accident. The assessment carried out by the company did not mention how working near the digger presented a risk of injury.
The company – based at Perivale Business Park on Horsenden Lane in Greenford – admitted a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
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