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Firm fined £120,000 after worker crushed by bulldozer
A FIRM has been ordered to pay almost £150,000 after a worker was crushed to death while trying to recover a bulldozer which had become trapped in mud.
Representatives from Dredging International UK admitted failing to protect Robert Mayne as he worked at the London Gateway Port, in Thurrock.
Sub-contractor Mr Mayne, known as Noel, called a colleague for help after his bulldozer become bogged down in waterlogged ground at 4am on April 23, 2011.
As the pair used an excavator to free the bulldozer, Mr Mayne became trapped between the two machines and plunged into three feet of water beneath him.
A post-mortem examination found he died because his chest had been severely crushed.
The court heard Dredging International UK did not have a risk assessment in place and the on-duty site manager could not be contacted during the emergency.
Adam Vaitilingham, defending, said they expected contractors Laing O’Rourke to have health and safety measures in place, but accepted it was their responsibility to check.
He added: “There was a simple misjudgement on that day.
“There was a system in place among the workers for rescuing the operation when bulldozers got stuck. The same method had been used many times before and was not considered dangerous.
“All bulldozers now have a rope attached to them which workers can release out of the window to help when they get mired, rather than them having to step outside their cab.”
Judge Ian Graham ordered the firm to pay a £120,000 fine, £26,473 in costs and a standard £120 victim surcharge.
He said: “Mr Mayne was recovered from water, but it was the force of the bulldozer which killed him there and then.
“It’s a tragic loss of life for a man described as a skilled and excellent worker and it’s a loss of life Dredging International UK accepts was unnecessary and its responsibility.”
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