A building firm and one of its directors have been fined for endangering the lives of employees.
Paul Connolly, director of Bushey-based PNT Contractors Ltd, had to be rescued after the high sides of an excavation he was working on at a site in Essex collapsed on him.
He suffered a broken leg and ankle in the incident in July 2014.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive uncovered a number of safety failings on behalf of the company and Mr Connolly. It said it was extremely lucky that no one else sustained serious injury.
Dug out by hand
PNT Contractors Ltd was carrying out extensive ground work at a site in Crays Hills, Bilericay, when the incident took place.
Mr Connolly and another employee were working together in the sheer-faced excavation when it collapsed.
While the second worker managed to jump to safety, Mr Connolly could not get out in time. He was partially buried and trapped by the falling earth. It took the efforts of two employees to dig him out by hand.
PNT Contractors Ltd of Sparrows Herne, Bushey, Hertfordshire, admitted a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations. It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,176.
Paul Connolly of Lipton Street, Watford, was fined also £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,176 for a similar breach, by virtue of being a director of the company.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 6, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown