Balfour Beatty fined £600k over crush death as ‘documentary’ controls ignored

Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering has been fined £600,000 after pleading guilty to failing to implement  control measures that existed only in “documentary format”, but could have prevented the death of a worker who was crushed by a 14 tonne wheeled excavator.

Ian Walker, a supervisor/ganger on Aberdeen’s Third Don Crossing, was killed in a collision with the vehicle on 13 January 2016 following an identified “high risk activity” – refuelling.

Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering was the principal contractor on the £23m project, which involves building a new bridge and approach roads; Walker was employed by Balfour Beatty Employment.

According to informatiofrom Balfour Beatty published shortly after the event, the incident happened after the excavator had been refuelled from a static tank on the site.

“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”.