Construction firms fined after fatality at Devon site

Belinda Liversedge
British Safety Council
17 May 2017
Exeter Crown Court. Photograph Neil Owen / Creative Commons

An employee was crushed to death by a vehicle at a construction site, after it reversed while he was walking alongside it, a court heard last week.

Steve Hoskin Construction Limited (SHCL), which managed the site and its groundwork contractor were both fined for the tragic incident.

Exeter Crown Court heard how John Small, 47, an employee of SHCL was working for Cavanna Homes, the principal contractor of the construction site in Dawlish, Devon. He was fatally crushed by a reversing telescopic material handler on 28 June 2013 after suffering multiple injuries.

HSE’s investigation found there had been no control measures in place to segregate vehicles and pedestrians in the area where the incident happened.

Cavanna Homes and SHCL had both failed to consider the risks in that part of the site.

Cavanna Homes (SW) Limited, of Riviera Park, Nicholson Road Torquay, Devon, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 36(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

Steve Hoskin Construction Limited, of Ten Acres Lane, St Ive Industrial Estate, Pensilva, Liskeard, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said: “Separating pedestrians and vehicles by introducing measures such as walkways with barriers, could have prevented John Small’s death”