Construction Company Fined After HGV Driver’s Fatal Incident

A Nottinghamshire-based engineering and groundworks contractor has been fined £233,000 for safety violations after a 52-year-old HGV driver was fatally struck by the mast of a piling rig at a construction site in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway.

On January 21, 2021, Gary Dobinson, employed by another company, visited the Hallmeadow development off Elm Road to collect and transport the piling rig owned by Van Elle Limited.

Tragically, as the mast of the rig was being lowered for transportation, it suddenly collapsed and struck Mr. Dobinson. Despite the immediate response from site workers and emergency services, he succumbed to his injuries.

An investigation conducted by Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the piling rig had not been properly maintained to ensure safety. Specifically, the securing lug for one of the mast’s retaining pins was severely corroded, leading to the pin’s displacement and the mast’s collapse.

Van Elle Limited, located on Southwell Lane, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, admitted to breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £233,000 at Dumfries Sheriff Court on June 4, 2024.

HSE inspector James Caren emphasized, “All work equipment should undergo suitable inspection and maintenance to ensure it can be used safely. Construction equipment is exposed to harsh conditions and requires rigorous inspection and maintenance to prevent safety defects.

“The company should have had robust measures in place to maintain the piling rig to ensure it was structurally sound and could be operated safely.”