Construction firm fined after driver is struck by a mast

July 11, 2024

Construction firm fined after driver is struck by a mast

An engineering and groundworks contractor has been fined £233,000 for safety breaches after a driver was killed.

The 52-year-old was struck by the mast of a piling rig at a house build site in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway.

Gary Dobinson, who was employed by another company, was visiting the Hallmeadow development off Elm Road with his lorry to collect and transfer the piling rig owned by Van Elle on 21 January 2021.

Tragically, as the mast of the rig was being lowered in preparation for its transportation, it collapsed and struck Mr Dobinson. Site workers and the emergency services raced to the scene to try to help him, but he sadly died from his injuries.

An investigation by Police Scotland and the HSE found that insufficient measures had been taken to maintain the piling rig in a safe condition prior to the incident. Specifically, the securing lug for one of the mast’s retaining pins was badly corroded and failed, allowing the pin to displace, causing the mast to topple.

Van Elle, of Southwell Lane, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company was fined £233,000.

FleetNews
June 2024

Our Comment

This case illustrates that all work equipment should be subject to suitable inspection and maintenance to ensure that it can be used without risk to the safety of those using it and those in the vicinity.

Construction plant are exposed to harsh conditions and require effective inspection and maintenance regimes to avoid safety defects developing.

William Martin

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