Video – Worker fined over site crush incident…

WARNING – This video contains graphic images.

An employee of a skip firm has been sentenced after causing serious injury to a pedestrian.

Southwark Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of the incident which took place on 2 August 2017. The footage showed Mr Daividas Rupeika driving into another excavator at the site in Wimbledon, South West London. He then proceeded to reverse the excavator at speed, resulting in a pedestrian being crushed against a shed wall and sustaining serious injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that Mr Rupeika had not complied with his duty to take reasonable care for himself and others whilst operating the excavator.

Mr Daividas Rupeika of Thompson Crescent, Croydon pleaded not guilty to two charges of breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. One charge related to him deliberately driving his excavator into another which was being driven by a workmate and the second charge related to him driving too fast in the circumstances.

A jury found Mr Rupeika guilty of both counts after a five-day trial. On 16 February 2018 he was sentenced to six months in custody suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Sarah Pearce said: “Employees should take care of themselves and others whilst at work. 23% of those fatally injured at work in the waste industry were struck by a moving vehicle. This incident could so easily have had more severe consequences for all involved. Employees should be aware of the dangers and potential consequences of operating plant in an unsafe manner.”