Engineering firm fined £75,000 over health and safety failings

An engineering company found to have breached the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 has been fined £75,000 in Court.

Derbyshire-based RMB Contractors found itself facing legal action after an employee sustained fatal injuries while working on a building site in Sheffield in December 2014.

According to reports, employee Mr Darren Richardson was crushed between two vehicles while trying to clear out a trench in preparation for the laying of a concrete slab.

The 42-year-old reportedly became trapped between an excavator and a digger at a time when the 21-tonne excavator was reversing into the trench, the Court heard.

Following an investigation led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), RMB Contractors found itself in Court, where the company pleaded guilty to breaching one section of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

It was fined £75,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £24,482.

Commenting on the case, HSE Inspector Medani Close, said: “Back-to-back plant activities should be avoided as both pedestrians and vehicles could be put at a higher risk of coming into contact with each other.

“If the two separate work activities cannot be avoided then the area should be safeguarded and effectively managed with segregation in place, for example using fencing or barriers to delineate the ‘no go’ areas for pedestrians.”

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Donna Martin

Donna Martin

Partner at Mackrell Turner Garrett
Donna Martin is a Partner in the Employment team at Mackrell Turner Garrett’s London office. She advises both employers and employees on a full range of contentious and non-contentious issues. As an employment law expert, Donna has significant experience in drafting employment contracts and handbooks, advising on grievance and disciplinary procedures and preparatory work prior to tribunals, including advising on the advantages and disadvantages of settling cases.