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Worker crushed due to insufficient planning, task management and control measures

A landscaping services company was sentenced today after a worker was seriously injured when a retaining wall collapsed into a trench. 

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard how, an employee of Award Winning Greenfingers Limited was undertaking groundworks to install a new timber retaining structure in the rear garden of a property at Beamish, County Durham.

While excavating a trench in front of an existing blockwork wall, a section of the wall collapsed and fell onto the worker, trapping him underneath. As a result, he sustained a complex fracture to his pelvis which required surgery and he has not been able to return to work since the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to properly plan and manage the installation of the timber structure, and had not put sufficient control measures in place to prevent the collapse of the existing blockwork wall.

Award Winning Greenfingers Limited of Saltwell View, Gateshead pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 19 (1) of The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1048.86 and a victim surcharge of £220.