Driver dies after being crushed by concrete blocks

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A driver was crushed to death by falling concrete blocks at a construction site in South Lanarkshire the house builder was fined £333,000 after being found guilty.

The driver Conor Joseph Morgan had been delivering materials to a site in High Blantrye which was being run and operated by Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited when the incident happened on 19 April 2017.

The driver was a driver working for Regen Waste Limited the 45-year-old, was crushed as the concrete blocks were being unloaded from the articulated flatbed trailer using an excavator with pallet fork attachment but the attached forks were to long for the pallet.

The length of the pallet forks fitted to the excavator exceeded the width of the pallet being unloaded and as the pallet was being lifted the forks caught a second pallet of concrete blocks causing them to topple from the edge of the trailer and onto Morgan.

An HSE investigation found that Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited as the principal contractor on site should have ensured there was a safe system of work for the unloading of the delivery vehicle and that the correct equipment was used.

It also found Regen Waste Ltd had not carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk for the drivers delivering to remote sites not under its control.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court, Avant Homes (Scotland) Limited of Edinburgh pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £333,000.

Regen Waste Limited of Newry, County Down also pleaded guilty and was fined £23,000.

Speaking after the case HSE principal inspector Graeme McMinn said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by a failure of the principal contractor to implement a safe system of work. The employer also failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk.”

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”