A reversing tipper crushed and killed a construction site worker under its rear wheels, Liverpool Crown Court heard last week.
Redrow Homes and WPI Civil Engineering have been fined after the death of scaffolder Henry Jones.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how, on 8 August 2013, 67-year-old Jones was walking across the Redrow Homes construction site in Knotty Ash when he was struck by a reversing tipper.
Jones was crushed under the rear wheels of the vehicle and confirmed dead at the scene. The incident was witnessed by his son, who was also working at the site.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Redrow Homes had made no provision to maintain separation of vehicles and pedestrians in the plot where Jones died. It was heard that the traffic management across the entire site was poorly managed and was an underlying cause of the accident.
The investigation also found that sub-contractor WPI Civil Engineering failed to provide a banksman (a person trained to direct vehicle movement), or have any employees on-site trained as banksmen, and that the vehicle involved was not fit to be used on-site.
Redrow Homes of Ewlowe, Flintshire, pleaded guilty to Section 3(1) and Section 33(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £101,000.
WPI Civil Engineering of King Street Trading Estate, Middlewich, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 33(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jacqueline Western said: “This tragic incident was wholly avoidable. Having safety measures to protect pedestrian workers is a basic and well-recognised principle of good construction management.
“Mr Jones’ death could easily have been prevented if both the principal contractor and the sub-contractor had implemented safe systems of work and ensured that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.”