A civil engineering contractor has been fined £600,000 after a construction worker was fatally injured in a “tragic and wholly avoidable incident” during a major project.
Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited, based in Canary Wharf, London, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday (25th February 2019) where they pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 in relation to the incident, which occurred on 13th January 2016 at a construction site for the Third Don Crossing in Aberdeen.
The court heard how an employee of Balfour Beatty Group Employment Limited was struck on the body by a wheeled excavator, which was slewing after being refuelled.
As the Principal Contractor working on the construction project, Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited was responsible for ensuring that there was a safe system of work for refuelling of all plant and equipment and that this was fully implemented and adhered to at all times at the site.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), acknowledged that the company had identified the refuelling of plant and equipment as a high risk activity, had created a task briefing document which detailed a safe system of work and had risk assessed the activity. Sadly, however, they had not ensured that the safe system of work and related control measures that had been documented in procedures had been fully implemented at the site, and this failing led to the death of the worker.
Commenting on the case, HSE Principal Inspector Niall Miller said: “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.”
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