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Waste Management Firm & Owner Prosecuted after Worker is Killed

A waste management firm based in West Sussex, along with its owner, has been prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after one employee died and another was seriously injured as they fell from an excavator.

Nine Meter Fall

In July 2012, Lindsay Campbell, a 66 year old father of ten from Hampshire, was working at South Coast Skips Ltd.’s site on the Rudford Industrial estate in Arundel when the bucket of the excavator he was working in tipped. As a result, he fell nine meters to the concrete floor and died. Another worker, who was also in the bucket fell along with Mr Campbell and suffered serious leg injuries.

Chichester Crown Court heard how no one at the site attempted to stop either man from using the bucket as a device for lifting them both, even though the bucket is not designed for the purpose of lifting people.

Sentencing & Prosecution

South Coast Skips Ltd of Rudford Industrial Estate, Ford, Arundel was fined a total of £65,000 and orderd to pay £25,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974 (HASWA,1974).

South Coast Skips Ltd.’s owner, Mr Kevin Hoare, 65, of Fareham, Hampshire was given a 12 month custodial sentence suspended for 18 months after pleading guilty to section 37 of HASWA, 1974.

Mr Campell’s widow said:

“Since Lindsay was taken away from us in such an unnecessary and horrifying manner, the family has had a terrible time and we have all been affected. We all miss him, more than words can say, but because of his “can do” attitude to life, that we saw every day and that we do not want to let him or his memory down, we have managed to get through it together, day by day. Even after more than two years, I still miss him terribly and the children have told me that they do also.”

Graham Goodenough, HSE inspector, said of the incident:

“This incident resulted in the death of a man who had only just retired and was looking forward to spending time with his children and grandchildren.

“Nobody should ever be lifted in the bucket of an excavator. Neither the bucket nor the excavator have the necessary safety devices nor fail safe devices that would prevent a person falling.

“This company did not have in place the training and supervision and especially the health and safety culture that ensures that nobody would consider undertaking such an obviously unsafe act such as this, and if they did ask nobody would allow it to happen.

“On average 50 people are killed each year by falls from height, so all companies, whatever their size, must have robust systems in place to prevent unsafe lifting practices. When lifting people only equipment specifically designed for this activity should be used”.

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace and you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Source: Health & Safety Executive

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