Company fined £10k after trench collapse

A BUILDING company has been fined thousands of pounds after a employee suffered ‘life changing injuries’ whilst on site.

Former England kick-boxer Zac Davis, 36, was hit by a slab of concrete and buried up to his waist following a trench collapse on a building site in Bardney.

His employer, Phil Watson Civil Engineering Ltd, of Shirebrook, Mansfield, was fined £10,000 by Lincoln Magistrates Court on Wednesday for breaching Regulation 31(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Act 2007.

Mr Davis, of Billinghay, was laying pipes in a trench on the site in August last year when part of the wall collapsed, leaving him with a shattered pelvis and fractured hip.

As a result of his injuries, Mr Davis had to undergo 10 hours of surgery and 10 months on is still unable to work and has had to give up his kick-boxing career.

Tony Mitchell, speaking for the Health and Safety Executive, said that the trench he was working in was not properly supported, and that the company had not considered the effect the wet weather would have on the ground.

Chris Foulkes, representing the company, said that they had since reviewed their Health and Safety approach to their work, and will offer Mr Davis a supervisory role when he is fit to return to work.

The court was asked to consider the company’s current financial status when imposing the fine as they had lost over £160,000 in 2010/2011.

Magistrates’ chairman Mrs Honey said: “I believe there was a failure to ensure the safety of the employees at the site.

“Unfortunately there was a rare lapse in health and safety and it had major life-changing consequences.”

Phil Watson Civil Engineering Ltd was also fined £2,141 in legal costs and a £15 victim surcharge. A civil claim between the company and Mr Davis is still ongoing.

Mr Mitchell added: “Mr Davis does not bear the company much malice and they are keeping a job open for him. But he can’t do the job he was trained to do, nor will he be able to kick-box any more.”