A major construction company has been fined for safety failings after a worker was critically injured when he was run over by a nine tonne dumper truck.
David Windsor, 62, of St George, Bristol, suffered life changing injuries, including severe brain injury, in the incident at a building site at Mount Wise, Devonport, on 7 October 2010.
He also sustained facial fractures, serious injuries to right arm, fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis, leg fractures and foot injuries all on his right side where the dumper ran over him. The injuries were life changing. He spent two weeks in intensive care, a month in a high dependency unit and was finally discharged home from a brain injury rehabilitation unit in April, 2011 – more than six months later.
Oxfordshire-based JB Leadbitter was sentenced today (19 September) after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to adequately manage and control workplace transport.
Plymouth Crown Court heard that Mr Windsor, a delivery driver, was delivering a mortar silo to the Leadbitter site, a former MoD property where 159 new homes were being built.
He was wearing high-visibility clothing, but was hit by the dumper as he was crossing the site to return to his lorry.
HSE established that there was no segregated, defined area provided for people on foot like Mr Windsor. JB Leadbitter, as the the principal contractor for the site, had not produced or put in place a suitable traffic management plan to ensure the separation of vehicles and pedestrians using the roadway at the site.
JB Leadbitter and Co Ltd, of Grange Court, Abingdon Science Park, Abingdon, in Oxfordshire, was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay full costs of around £100,000.
HSE Inspector Jonathan Harris, speaking after the hearing, said: “This terrible incident has left Mr Windsor with significant and lasting injuries and could easily have led to his death. It is unlikely he will be able to return to work again.
“Simple forethought and planning could have avoided this happening. JB Leadbitter failed to identify risks to site workers and visitors, such as delivery drivers, in their construction phase plan and made no provision for segregating site vehicles and pedestrians at the top end of the site. Other workers on this large site were frequently exposed to serious risks as a result of this lack of planning.
“Workplace transport incidents are the second most common cause of serious and fatal incidents in the construction industry, yet they could easily be avoided by having proper plans in place and provision for pedestrians on site.”
On average, seven workers are killed every year as a result of collisions with vehicles or mobile plant on construction sites. A further 93 are seriously injured.
Further information about managing traffic on building sites can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/vehiclestrafficmanagement.htm
Notes to Editors
1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
2. Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
3. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.