A CONTRACTOR has been fined £34,000 over a workplace accident which led to a man losing his foot.
Hovington Limited was brought before the courts for safety breaches after a worker was struck by a falling piece of plant machinery while working on a construction site in Rotherham.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that, on February 4, 2019, groundworkers, including the injured man, were working at Arconic Forging and Extrusions, off Sheffield Road, Templeborough.
They were breaking out ground using a 13-tonne excavator with a hydraulic breaker, as part of work to install new drainage.
At one point, the breaker became detached from the machinery and fell, narrowly missing one worker but landing on another’s right foot.
The court heard last Thursday that the man had suffered injuries which led to amputation of his right leg below the knee.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that Hovington had failed to ensure that a safe method of work was in place when working in the vicinity of an excavator.
It found there was no defined segregation between people and plant, and no use of a vehicle plant marshal to ensure the machine was isolated before pedestrians entered the working zone of the excavator.
The company had also failed to implement a dedicated bucket changing area for the changing of attachments to minimise the risk of them falling onto workers.
Hovington, of Chichester Street, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £34,000 with £1,935.84 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Trisha Elvy said: “This incident could have easily resulted in a fatality and could have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.
“There should be suitable, defined safe systems of work so that persons who need to work in close proximity to excavators can do so safely.”