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Worker sustained life-changing personal injuries after being crushed by excavator

July 11 2014

A Worcestershire construction company has been fined £12,000 for neglecting safety after a 27-year-old worker sustained life-changing injuries when he was struck by a reversing excavator.

Thomas Plumb, from Evesham, was run over by the vehicle as it reversed on a site in Gretton, near Cheltenham, on 10th May last year, leaving his right leg shattered.

He was in a coma for 10 days and has since undergone extensive surgery, including bone and skin grafts, and now has metal rods and screws in his leg, knee and ankle.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which on 7th July prosecuted his employer, SD Launchbury Ltd, of Evesham, at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court.

HSE discovered SD Launchbury Ltd had not carried out a proper site risk assessment and failed to ensure a safe system of work was in place, including the use of a trained banksman.

There was also no segregation or barriers between dangerous moving plant and pedestrians.

The court was told that workers had not been provided with information or instructions about working around excavators or given high-visibility personal protective equipment.

SD Launchbury Ltd also failed to ensure that work on the site was properly supervised.

SD Launchbury Ltd, registered at High Street, Evesham, Worcestershire, and with its HQ in Murcot, Oxfordshire was also ordered to pay £913 in costs after admitting to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Kate Leftly said Mr Plumb suffered life-changing injuries, which could have been avoided if SD Launchbury had properly assessed the risk posed by the excavator.

“Each year, around ten people in the construction industry die as a result of being struck by moving plant,” she said.

“In addition, there are hundreds of preventable incidents and injuries.”

If you have suffered a personal injury in the workplace, call PM Law solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 2965444.