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Principal contractor fined over £800k after worker hit by a falling expanded polystyrene block

A construction company has been fined more than £800,000 after a worker suffered three fractured vertebrae when he was hit on the head by a large expanded polystyrene block when it slipped from an excavator bucket.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how workers were constructing a piling platform at Redhill Station in Surrey from expanded polystyrene blocks when one of the blocks slipped from an excavator bucket whilst being lowered into place, hitting the worker Andrew Stewart.  Mr Stewart is still suffering the effects of the injury and is likely to be on pain medication for the foreseeable future.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the lifting operation had not used appropriate lifting accessories to transport the load and had simply trapped the load with the bucket against the dipping arm of the excavator.

Bam Nuttall Limited of St James House Knoll Rd, Camberley pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Company has been fined £833,333.33, plus ordered to pay full costs of £5,478.22, as well as the victim surcharge of £170.