Loader overturns and topples down quarry

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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A quarry operator has been fined £30,000 after a 30-tonne wheel loader vehicle overturned and slid almost 16ft down a sand stockpile.

Humberside Aggregates and Excavations Ltd, of Newport Road, North Cave, East Yorkshire, was also ordered to pay £10,590 in costs after pleading guilty to three separate breaches of the Quarries Regulations.

Beverly Magistrates Court heard that an employee, who does not wish to be identified, was being trained as a wheel loader operator at North Cave Quarry.

On 30 October 2009, he was transporting sand from a stockpile when the access ramp edge he was driving on gave way, which caused the machine to overturn and plunge almost 16ft because there were no edge protection barriers in place.

The trainee lost consciousness, suffered concussion and was hospitalised for two days.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Humberside Aggregates and Excavations for failing to assess, identify and minimise potential risk, and for ultimately failing to protect the worker.

Following the hearing HSE inspector Richard Noble said: “This accident could have been avoided had sufficient edge protection been put in place at minimal cost, which has been the standard within the quarrying industry for many years.

“Quarrying remains one of the most dangerous industries to work in. Since 2000 more than 3,000 workers have suffered an injury reportable to HSE and 24 people have been killed.

“Workplace transport is the industries biggest cause of fatal accidents within the industry, and that is why the industry and HSE work together in a joint advisory committee to introduce good practices for quarry operators.

“We are working very hard to reduce these accidents and fatalities. HSE produce much guidance on how to avoid them, so the reasons why this accident occurred are inexcusable.”

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