Trench Collapse, injured worker and £2M in fines

With all the publicity that surrounded the trench collapse in September 2008, which killed a geotechnical engineer and resulted in the first prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, it is disappointing to still be seeing HSE bulletins containing prosecutions for trench collapses.  The most recent being after a worker’s leg was broken in a trench collapse, which according to the HSE’s press release  the HSE found“insufficient measures were taken to protect those working in trench, and a series of safety errors had led to the collapse.”  The HSE Inspector  for the case went on to say…

 It is inevitable that at some time an unsupported trench will collapse , for this reason safe systems of work, should be in place in order to protect persons who work in trenches. We could easily have been dealing with a fatal incident.”

To read more about the lessons that could be learnt from this incident please go to and for information on planning and safely undertaking excavation work please click here.