Employee’s death results in £2.6 million fine

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Posted on 06 May 2016

A company has been fined £2.6 million after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed on him.

The deceased 32 year old worker was a sub-contractor working on behalf of Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited. He was working in a trench, laying ducting for new cable for an offshore windfarm that was being built off the coast by Heysham, Lancashire. The trench was dug to a depth of 2.4 metres, without any shoring. He was killed when he became trapped in the trench after it collapsed on him.

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited pleaded guilty after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Balfour Beatty failed to adequately risk assess the works or control the way in which the excavation took place.

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited, pleaded guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulation 31(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £2.6million with £54,000 costs.


  • Ensure a bespoke risk assessment is recorded and significant hazards are communicated to all workers. The work activities needs to be assessed, planned and supervised accordingly.
  • Safe systems of work need to be recorded for work activities that pose a risk to workers

Doyle Clayton can support your business with providing health and safety advice and support. Please contact Sally Beck for further information.

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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