Van Elle Ltd to pay £43,000 after accident on M1 widening job

A Nottinghamshire engineering contractor has been fined £12,900 plus £29,660 costs after a worker suffered horrific head injuries following a crash in the excavator he was piloting.

The worker, who’s name has not been released, was not wearing his seatbelt and was thrown over the steering column and through the open front screen, hitting his head on the front excavator blade.

A magistrate in Mansfield found his employer, Van Elle Ltd, of Kirkby Lane, Pinxton, Nottinghamshire, had not given the worker adequate training.

As well as driving without a seatbelt, Mansfield magistrates were told he was driving through the site with the excavator boom at an unsafe height.

The worker suffered severe head injuries, after the accident during widening work on the M1 motorway, and was in a coma for two weeks. He has since returned to the company but has been left with reduced function in his left arm and leg for which he receives ongoing physiotherapy.

HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said: “This worker has been left with life-changing injuries. These injuries were wholly preventable had the company ensured the driver had adequate training in safe travel positions for manoeuvring the excavator on the construction project.”

“They failed to take into account his lack of training for the particular task; there was a risk of striking overhead restrictions from when the journey started with the boom in the elevated position.”

Van Elle Ltd pleaded guilty to o breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.