Recently, a construction worker suffered serious injuries when tonnes of soil buried him in the ground. The worker sustained a broken collar and shoulder bone, fractured all but two of his ribs and punctured both of his lungs.

The incident took place on site whilst a trench was being dug by an excavator. And when workers came across a boulder that prevented them from continuing work, they attempted to remove it. However, one worker was stood in the trench laying piping and trying to guide the excavator.

Unfortunately, whilst attempting to move the obstacle, one of the trench walls collapsed, burying the worker. Emergency services rushed to the scene though and managed to dig the man free, racing him to the hospital.

After an investigation by the HSE though, it was soon found that the trench walls had not been supported. Alongside this, they also found that none of the workers had any formal training in regards to health and safety either. Instead, workers were given verbal briefings in replacement of mapped, detailed plans.

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In court, the company Wallace Roofing and Building Limited pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations. They were consequently fined £14,000.

A HSE inspector stated: “the risks associated with collapsing excavation walls are well known, as are the necessary control measures which could easily have been employed.”

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“On this occasion, the company failed to identify the risk and consequently there was a total absence of any control measure which would have prevented this incident from occurring.”

“The injured worker sustained serious, permanent injury and is extremely lucky to still be alive.”

So what do you think of this? Do you know of any similar stories? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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