March 4, 2019 | Mark Paradies

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Heavy Equipment isn’t Forgiving and Neither is the UK HSE

The construction of the bridge above cost a life.

Recently, Balfour Beatty was fined £600,000 for the fatal accident on the third Don crossing construction site. The accident occurred in 2016.

What happened? According to reports, a wheeled excavator pinned an employee between the excavator and a fuel tank when moving away from the fuel tank after refueling.

According to an article published by IOSH, since the start of 2016 various divisions of Balfour Beatty have received fines totaling £4,963,000 for health and safety violations.

I’m not sure that fines three years after an accident really change corporate behavior.

Do your employees work around heavy equipment? Even forklifts count. Never forget that heavy equipment is unforgiving. People need to stay out of the swing radius of the equipment and the operator should ensure that everyone is clear prior to moving. Excavators are especially dangerous because of the blind spots in the back when they rotate (or slew as the article calls it).

What Safeguards could be added to help the operator avoid hitting other employees? Seems like installing one of the 360º cameras and monitors that are starting to appear on new cars would be a great addition. Of course, they would be hard to keep clean and undamaged on construction equipment … but it would be a start.

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Accidents, Current Events
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