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Court Summary - at a glance
It was reasonably practicable for the Defendant to:
- Install a firm, level surface (such as a concrete or tarmac pad) for containers to be placed on to be loaded, minimising them being deformed when loaded and minimising the need to use the excavator to close the container doors;
- Undertake a comprehensive, detailed risk assessment to identify the risks and consider alternative methods for undertaking the work to eliminate or minimise the risk associated with using the excavators;
- Ensure that a Safe System of Work was developed, implemented, communicated, monitored, documented, enforced and regularly reviewed that included:
- An appropriate exclusion zone, that was monitored and enforced, and was in place separating workers from operational mobile plant;
- A safe operating procedure for container closing;
- A secondary safety device, such as a security chain, was in place to secure the grapple of any excavator used in this process.
The victim and the excavator operator were attempting to close the doors of a loaded container. The victim was on foot in close vicinity to the moving excavator. The excavator was moving to assist, when the grapple attachment released, hitting the victim and crushing him against the container.
The victim was taken to hospital, where he subsequently passed away as a result of blunt force trauma."