Worker’s legs broken in collision on building site

Excavator which reversed into Barnsley construction worker Malcolm Littledyke
Excavator which reversed into Barnsley construction worker Malcolm Littledyke
Have your say

A CONSTRUCTION worker had both his legs broken when a 22-tonne excavator reversed over him on a building site.

Malcom Littledyke, aged 58, of Barnsley, was crushed when the excavator backed into him as he erected boundary fencing on a site in Leeds in June 2008.

The firm he was working for, Jack Lunn (Construction) Ltd and building contractor Fastsource Ltd, both based in Leeds, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive over the incident and both fined £8,000 with £6,338.50 costs after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches during a hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Littledyke, who was wearing a high-visibility vest, was struck despite the excavator having a banksman guiding its movement around the building site.

As the excavator struck him he fell to the ground and the machine then ran over both his legs just below the knee.

He needed two operations to set broken bones, a 10-hour muscle graft operation and skin graft procedures.

Inspector Sarah Lee, of the Health and Safety Executive, said: “Workplace transport incidents are one of the biggest killers in the construction industry and this case could easily have been fatal.

“The danger of collisions between heavy plant and pedestrians on construction sites is well known in the industry and the need for vehicles to reverse should be avoided.

“This incident was entirely preventable. If the simple precaution of segregation of vehicles and pedestrians had been put in place by Jack Lunn Ltd or they had suspended vehicle movements while fencing was being erected, this worker would not have suffered such appalling injuries.”