Excavator driver hits colleague while talking on mobileBeat The Cowboy Builder
An excavator driver has been prosecuted after he struck another worker on the head with the bucket on a digger.
An HSE investigation found that Gary Draper was using his mobile phone while operating the excavator vehicle on a site in Milton Keynes and had not noticed his colleague.
Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard that Draper had been operating the excavator at the Middleton site on 8 December 2012, working alongside a colleague who was driving the site dumper truck.
The operation involved Draper excavating and dumping material into the truck for transport to another location at the site.
The court heard that the driver of the dumper truck, who does not wish to be named, had returned to the excavation site to await the next load of material.
Draper had been using his mobile phone and, not realising his colleague had returned, rotated the upper body of the excavator causing the metal bucket to strike the driver on the side of his head.
The worker sustained multiple fractures to his jaw as well as a punctured and collapsed lung.
He was hospitalised for ten days and did not return to work until 14 months later, and will require further surgery on his jaw.
Gary Draper, of Rushden, Northants, was ordered to pay compensation of £2,500 to the injured worker, and costs of £1,554 after pleading guilty to a single safety breach.
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