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Quarry fall lands Tarmac in court

TARMAC have been fined £10,000 after a teenage trespasser was seriously injured at Cornelly Quarry, near Bridgend, in May 2008.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after the 15-year-old boy, who had easily gained access to the site, fell around 50ft and suffered a broken elbow, fractured wrist and chipped pelvis.

At Cardiff Crown Court last week, Tarmac Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 16 of The Quarries Regulations 1999. They were fined £10,000 an ordered to pay costs of £6,930.

The HSE’s investigation revealed that a dense, impenetrable hedge running between the boundary of Cornelly Quarry and Heol y Splot had been removed in preparation for expansion of the quarry, but, because work had been delayed, it had been temporarily replaced by two lines of earth banks which the injured youth, along with others, had easily been able to climb.

HSE Inspector Alan Strawbridge said: ‘The youth clearly should not have been trespassing in the first place, but quarry owners are more than aware of the dangers posed by their sites and have a duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent trespassers gaining access.

‘In this case, the earth banks were not sufficient and, while they were only temporary, there should have been more robust measures in place.

‘There are some clear messages arising from this case. Quarry owners and managers need to fully risk assess the dangers of their sites and take proper measures to manage those risks.

‘Additionally, there is a message to the public that quarries are not leisure amenities and trespassing can result in serious injury. In this case the boy was lucky as a 50ft fall would usually result in more serious injuries and potentially prove fatal.’

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