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Suspended sentence for director after excavator death

A West Sussex waste management firm and its owner have been prosecuted after one worker died and another was left seriously injured when they fell from the bucket of an excavator.

South Coast Skips was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000 while director Kevin Hoare was given a 12-month custodial sentence suspended for 18 months.

Worker Lindsay Campbell (pictured) died after falling nine metres from an excavator bucket in which he and an agency worker, who suffered severe leg injuries, were working at Rudford industrial estate in Arundel.

Campbell was running an electric cable to power a waste screening machine in July 2012 along the shed and asked to be lifted in the bucket. 

Health and Safety Executive inspector, Graham Goodenough said: “Nobody should ever be lifted in the bucket of an excavator. Neither the bucket nor the excavator have the necessary safety devices nor fail-safe devices that would prevent a person falling.

“This company did not have in place the training and supervision and especially the health and safety culture that ensures that nobody would consider undertaking such an obviously unsafe act such as this, and if they did ask nobody would allow it to happen.

“On average 50 people are killed each year by falls from height, so all companies, whatever their size, must have robust systems in place to prevent unsafe lifting practices. When lifting people only equipment specifically designed for this activity should be used.”

Chichester Crown Court heard that Campbell had been working for Hoare despite recently retiring.

South Coast Skips pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act was fined £65,000 while Kevin Hoare, 65, of Fareham, Hampshire pleaded guilty to a breach of section 37.

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