What Can Go Wrong Without Proper Plant Training

pc138 excavator courses

At the Diggerland Plant Training School we take great care in making sure that all of our attendees are trained to the highest standard of operational safety. We won’t pass a student until we are absolutely confident that they have achieved our high standards of plant machinery knowledge to operate in the real world.

We know that this may seem strict to some, but there is a very good reason why we set our standards so high. There are consequences for getting it wrong on a real life site. Sometimes that can be a fine. Other times it can mean much worse. Here are four case studies of what has happened when machine operators were untrained or poorly trained. This is what we want you to avoid happening to you.

The Northumberland Telehandler

On a building development in Sandhoe in Northumberland, an untrained worker was operating a telehandler in order to move roof trusses onto the roof of the development. A number of things were highlighted with being wrong with the way the operator worked. 

The 39 year old operator had positioned the telehandler across a slope, and on one of the lifts he extended the boom too far. This caused the telehandler to tilt and fall on one side. The operator was also not wearing the seatbelt in the machine. As a result, he was thrown against the side window and onto the controls. He spent time in hospital and was off work for a long time. Some of his injuries will remain with him for life.

The employer, a man from Gateshead, was fined nearly £7,000 for several breaches of Health and Safety laws and was heavily criticised by the court judge and the Health and Safety Executive.

Mini Digger – Mega Fine and Injury

In 2017 in County Antrim in Northern Ireland a night shift worker for a waste management company was helping to unload waste onto a conveyor belt. A shift supervisor was operating a mini digger in the process, during which the victim was crushed between the rear of the refuse truck and the mini digger. He suffered injuries including fractured ribs, punctured lung and lacerations to his liver.

When this matter went to court it was determined that the shift supervisor had not been trained in the use of the mini digger. There was insufficient supervision and there was inadequate segregation between the vehicles and any pedestrians.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland stated that loading and unloading activities are high risk and that adequate safeguards need to be in place to protect everyone who could be affected. They further said that this accident was entirely foreseeable and was avoidable with proper control measures in place.

The waste management company was fined £25,000 and had to pay a further £1,725.60 in costs. 

Untrained Workers, And an Excavator Operator – Deadly Consequences

Unfortunately there are times when more than just a fine or life changing injuries are the consequence of using plant machinery without proper training. This next case really highlights what can happen.

The unfortunate incident took place in 2014 at a site in Grosvenor Square in London. During a demolition job, the victim had been working with an excavator and with others to burn through reinforced steel bars using propane lances to assist the excavator worker to remove the slabs. 

At one point it was noted to the supervisor that the structure had become unsafe and demolition was halted. Unfortunately, the supervisor ordered the removal of props supporting the remaining slab. The 360 excavator moved back onto the slab after the props were removed. The victim, the excavator and its operator fell with the slab. The victim died at the scene and the 360 excavator operator suffered major injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive found a number of issues with the work. Poor supervision, lack of safety equipment use, and workers untrained in operation of their machinery all contributed to the accident. The construction firm were fined £500,000 and were ordered to pay a further £66,236.22 in costs.

A Takeaway

You can see just how serious the consequences are of not being properly trained for the job you are doing. The outcome can be devastating for so many. Companies can go bust paying fines, people can suffer life altering injuries, or people can, in the worst case scenario, die from mistakes. There is a ripple effect of these outcomes too. Family and friends of the victims can also suffer.

This is why we hold ourselves to the very highest standard of plant training. You know when you or your workers receive certification from us that they have received the best training you can get. Our certification means more than just a signature on a piece of paper. It can mean the difference between life and death.

Contact the Team Today

Our main training site is based in Kent, local for anyone in the South East and surrounding areas. We can also operate in Devon, Durham and Yorkshire as well. If you’re not local to any of these areas we can also arrange for our instructors to teach on an external site, at a time and date to suit the company or operators.

If you’re looking to book onto any of our upcoming NPORS training course dates, we have instructors on hand to assist.

Get in touch with a member of the team today by emailing us if you have any questions, or want to reserve your space on a course. Alternatively, you can give us a call on: 01634 295355 to discuss our excavator courses in detail.

We will also post our latest upcoming course dates on our social media channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok so make sure you’re following us.