Balfour Beatty fined after excavator fatality in Aberdeen

BALFOUR Beatty has been fined £600,000 after a worker was killed when he was struck by a wheeled excavator at the Third Don Crossing construction site in Aberdeen.

On January 13 2016, employee Ian Walker was struck on the body by the machine, which was slewing after being refuelled.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that between 4 January 2016 and 13 January 2016, Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited, being a principal contractor, failed to ensure the safe system of work for refuelling of all plant and equipment was fully implemented at the site.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) probe found that refuelling of plant and equipment was identified as a high risk activity by the principal contractor, who had created a task briefing document detailing a safe system of work and had risk assessed the activity. However, HSE said that although these procedures existed in documentary format, the safe system of work and its control measures had not been fully implemented.

Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Niall Miller said, “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the civil engineering company to implement safe systems of work, and to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and control measures followed.”

A statement released by Balfour Beatty said, “Balfour Beatty has offered its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Ian Walker who was tragically killed on 13th January 2016 whilst working on the Third Don Crossing project. The safety of the public and our workforce is always our primary concern. Balfour Beatty immediately took appropriate corrective action to apply the lessons learnt from this tragic incident and shared them across our business.”