Worker crushed between excavator quick-hitch and mobile crusher feed hopper side plate
LEITHS (Scotland) Ltd have been fined £130,000 after an employee was struck by an excavator and fatally crushed.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard how, in May 2017, a mobile crusher was being prepared for use following transportation from another quarry to Leiths’s Kishorn Quarry, near Strathcarron, in Wester-Ross, Scotland, when Pawel Kocik was struck by a quick-hitch on the dipper arm of an excavator and crushed between the quick-hitch and the side of the crusher’s feed hopper.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to employees had not been made and that a safe system of work was not in place for erecting the hinged crusher feed hopper side plates. Work at height in the feeder had not been properly assessed and insufficient information, instruction, and training for the tasks had been provided.
Leiths (Scotland) pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £130,000. The Crown accepted that the failings detailed in the charge did not cause the death of the employee and the plea came before the court on a non-causal basis.
Mike Tetley, HM Specialist Inspector of Quarries, said: ‘This case should serve as a reminder of the need for employers and quarry operators, as duty holders, to review their activities to ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk has been made and recorded, and that the necessary equipment and controls are in place and sufficient information, instruction, and training has been provided, especially when excavators are being used as lifting equipment.’