Director prosecuted and jailed as employee

Workman fatally injured when crushed between bucket and wall

The employee and director of a construction company has been handed a 10-month custodial sentenced after an employee, Nicholas Hall, was crushed to death by the bucket of an excavator he was operating.

Mr Hall was pinned against the wall of an excavation pit for a vehicle wash bay under construction in Blantyre during May 2016.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that a wall was being built within an excavation. The excavator was being operated to lower cement and blocks into the excavation for three other men to use.

The bucket was tipped to empty mortar and Mr Hall was instructed to “scrape the rest out with a shovel”. Whilst he was doing so he was pinned against the wall by the excavator bucket.


He died of blunt force injuries to his chest and abdomen.

Safe methods of working required

HSE investigators found that Robert Harvey, the operator and employee of the company, failed to undertake a sufficient assessment of the risks to those who had been instructed to work with him.

He operated a long reach excavator without receiving the appropriate training or certification and instructed Nicholas Hall, who was working within the excavation, to remove mortar from the bucket.

  • Robert Harvey – of Reston Drive, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) and Section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974, and was given a 10 month custodial sentence.

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.”