Page last updated at 12:25 GMT, Sunday, 17 January 2010

Firm fined over Gloucestershire man's digger death

Housebuilding generic
Builders must operate vehicle safety systems, the court heard

A construction company has been fined £80,000 after a workman employed by them died when his head was struck by the arm of a digger he was operating.

Macob Administration Ltd of Bridgend admitted two Health and Safety Act breaches.

Lance Taylor, 23, of Thornbury, south Gloucestershire, died in February 2005 after he leaned from the digger and accidentally nudged a lever.

Gloucester Crown Court heard he had not been trained to operate such machinery.

Mr Taylor, a dumper driver, had been working on the construction of the Abbeymead housing development in Gloucester when the accident happened.

He was operating the digger to help out while its driver was absent, the court heard.

System needed

Judge William Hart ordered that Macob contributed £29,000 towards prosecution costs, but gave the firm a year to pay after hearing of how the downturn had affected their finances.

A Macob spokeswoman said: "The company is deeply sorry for the tragic events of 11 February 2005 and offers its full condolences to the family and friends of Lance Taylor.

"During the intervening years the company has sought to ensure so far as possible that a similar incident could not occur again."

Commenting after the case, the Health and Safety Executive's Martin Lee said: "It is imperative that on any construction site using plant and machinery there are systems in place to control access to the vehicles.

"Construction site managers need to know which workers on site are qualified to operate the machinery and that their control systems are working effectively."

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