Dumper truck driver in fatal accident 

The Health & Safety Executive has warned of the dangers of driving dumper trucks onto spoil heaps following the death of a worker on a building site two years ago.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard how Shaun Carter, an employee of Tonic Construction Ltd, was driving a forward tipping dumper on 31 May 2016 onto the top of a spoil heap.

The dumper became stuck on the soil heap’s edge and when Carter jumped off the vehicle it flipped over and struck him, causing serious head injuries from which he died at the scene.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident found it was practice on this and other sites for dumpers to access spoil heaps with no barriers to prevent over-running. To compound the situation, an excavator had removed some of the spoil heap, creating a sheer face.

Tonic Construction Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £200,000, plus a victim surcharge of £170 and ordered to pay costs of £5,565.80.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Sue Adsett said: “Risks associated with the creation of spoil heaps had not been suitably and sufficiently assessed.

“Either the company should have decided on a safer method which avoided the need for the dumper to access spoil heaps, as they have done after the accident, or they should have introduced stricter management arrangements which would have included bunds at a safe distance from the edge.”