Glasgow & West Scotland

Builder jailed for killing employee with digger in Blantyre

Industrial estate in Blantyre Image copyright Google
Image caption The incident happened at an industrial estate in Blantyre

A builder has been jailed for killing an employee with a digger.

Robert Harvey was operating the machine when Nicholas Hall was crushed against a wall by the excavator bucket, causing fatal injuries.

Harvey, of Glasgow, who the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found was not appropriately trained to use the excavator, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety legislation.

He was jailed for 10 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

The court heard Harvey's company, Front Row Builders, was building a vehicle wash bay for Peter Lawless Road Planing at an industrial estate in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, on 7 May 2016.

Harvey was using the digger to lower cement and blocks into the excavation pit for the three men working there, including Mr Hall, to use in building a wall.

He tipped the bucket to empty the mortar contents and shouted to Mr Hall to "scrape the rest out with a shovel".

Mr Hall was pinned against the wall by the excavator bucket and died of blunt force injuries to his chest and abdomen.

A HSE investigation found Harvey was operating the excavator without appropriate training or certification and had failed to carry out a sufficient risk assessment.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Helen Diamond said: "Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

"If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the death of this worker could have been prevented."