A leading international infrastructure firm has been handed a £2.6 million fine after an employee was killed when a trench collapsed on him.
Sub-contractor James Sim was working on behalf of Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited when the incident occurred on 14 April 2010 in Lancashire. The 32 year old from Barry, South Wales, was laying the ducting for a cable in a 2.4 meter deep trench, without any shoring. The trench collapsed, trapping Mr Sim and he was killed.
Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited recently pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
After the hearing, Chris Hatton, an inspector for HSE said:
“The level of this fine should serve as a warning to industry not to ignore health and safety matters.
“Balfour Beatty failed to adequately assess, plan and supervise the work being undertaken. Trench collapses are easy to prevent, and it is disappointing that James’ life was lost in such a tragic way.
“The family has shown great patience and support throughout this investigation which is a credit to both them and James’ memory.”
After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulation 31(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited, of Park Square Newton, Chambers Road, Chapeltown, Sheffield was fined £2.6 million. The company was also ordered to wear £54,000.
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Source: Health & Safety Executive