Digger accident company told to pay £1,500 plus costs

A London-based construction firm has pleaded guilty to safety breaches after an employee broke his back when he was struck by the bucket of a digger in an on-site accident.

An employee of RMC Building & Civil Engineering was working at the Longleat Estate in Warminster, Wiltshire, when the accident occurred on January 16 last year.

Peter McGrellis, aged 48, was one of three employees using a digger bucket to push wooden fencing posts into the ground, but when one post split the bucket struck him, causing injuries including a broken vertebra.

The Health and Safety Executive brought a prosecution against RMC, of Greenford, after investigations revealed it had failed to plan, manage and monitor the work.

RMC pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company was fined £1,500 and orderd to pay £1,117 at a hearing at Swindon Magistates Court this week.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Ian Whittles said the use of excavator vehicles in the way that had happened at Longleat was dangerous and known to cause injury.

“The serious failure of RMC Building & Civil Engineering in not managing this job properly led to this avoidable incident and unfortunately Mr McGrellis suffered as a result,” he said

The HSE said McGrellis had spent more than a week in hospital after the accident and had not fully recovered.