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Failure to Implement Planned Safe System of Work Led to Excavator Incident

News | 5th Mar 2019

A major engineering company has been fined £600,000 after a worker was killed during work on Aberdeen’s Third Don Crossing Project.

On 13th January 2016, 58 year-old Ian Walker who was working as a supervisor/ganger on the £23m project in Aberdeen and was employed by Balfour Beatty, was crushed by a 14 tonne wheeled excavator.

The excavator which had just been refuelled, was slewing around the site and struck the worker causing catastrophic injuries. Refuelling of plant and equipment was identified as a high risk activity by the principal contractor during an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE principal inspector, Niall Miller, said after the hearing: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the civil engineering company to implement safe systems of work, and to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and control measures followed.”

Although Balfour Beatty had risk assessed the activity and created a document detailing safe operation, it became evident that this was not communicated to individuals working on site.

During the hearing at Aberdeen Sheriff Court between the 4th and 13th January 2016, Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd of Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the planned safe operation of work was implemented and for breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. It was fined £600,000.

Source: BBC News, Firm fined £600,000 over bridge worker death in Aberdeen, 26th February 2019. Read the full article.