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Company fined £120,000 after builders caught being lifted in digger bucket

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

Company fined £120,000 after builders caught being lifted in digger bucket

A building company has been fined £120,000 after a couple of its workers were seen using a digger to fit a stone to a new house.

The pair of builders were spotted sitting in the digger's bucket as they attempted to attach the huge piece of stone.

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In case you're wondering what this actually looks like, luckily, someone caught it on camera.

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The snap shows the two unidentified workmen perched precariously on top of the digger as they both try to force the stone into place.

If that wasn't bad enough, neither of them is wearing a helmet, even though they're raised about 20ft in the air. So it would be quite the fall.

The two workers were seen perched on top of a digger. Credit: HSE
The two workers were seen perched on top of a digger. Credit: HSE
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According to a report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the incident happened on a new housing development in Littleborough, Greater Manchester, back in 2021.

It was released by the HSE to demonstrate how poorly procedures were being followed at The Villas site.

Inspectors noted that they found a number of of 'repeated breaches' during several visits between November 2018 and August 2021.

The gated community is made up of a handful of luxury properties, which went on the market for around £700,000.

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As well as the incident above, the site was also issued a notice by inspectors over its inadequate scaffolding.

The developer was also issued improvement notices over insecure fencing and a lack of welfare facilities.

Inspectors said: "Repeated breaches were found including a lack of sufficient welfare, unsuitable controls for work at height and inadequate protection from silica dust exposure."

Health and Safety inspectors spotted the builders sitting in the digger while working on a new development. Credit: Andrew Paterson/Alamy
Health and Safety inspectors spotted the builders sitting in the digger while working on a new development. Credit: Andrew Paterson/Alamy
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Addressing the case, HSE Inspector Mike Lisle said it was vital that all workplaces, especially those which pose greater risks to employees, should pay special attention to health and safety regulations.

"This proactive prosecution demonstrates that HSE will not hesitate to take proactive enforcement action against those that continuously fall below the required standards and demonstrate persistent poor health and safety," he said.

"Health and safety should be an integral part of any business, not an afterthought, and having a clear health and safety policy and construction phase plan in place, before work commences, can assist with ensuring this.

Following the investigation, Rochdale firm Hoyle Developments Limited pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws.

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And during a hearing at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court, the company was slapped with a £120,000 fine and and ordered to pay £3,165.15 in costs.

Featured Image Credit: HSE

Topics: UK News

Dominic Smithers
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