Company Condemned for Excavator Driver's Death - Rock Crushing

Criminal prosecution of a company that violated the provisions of the legislation on safety and health at work

CAB69DE7 528D 47A1 9C52 78B01B7454F2

The Department of Labor Inspection of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance, within the framework of its competence, promoted the criminal prosecution of the company "Gennadios Theologu & Sons (Construction) Ltd" which violated the provisions of the legislation on safety and health at work.

As a result of this prosecution, the District Court of Paphos sentenced the company "Gennadios Theologu & Sons (Construction) Ltd", which is active, among other things, in limestone mining for the purpose of producing aggregates, to a total fine of €23.000 for the following violations of the Minimum Safety and Health Standards at Work (Opencast or Underground Mining) Regulations and the Mining and Quarries Regulations, which caused the fatal injury of its employee and endangered persons at work, as well as other persons:

(a) Failure to take appropriate measures for the design, construction and maintenance of the work area with proper support and configuration of steps (structures) and vertical work face to avoid the risk of a rock mass landslide, resulting in the driver / operator of a crawler excavator to be fatally injured by the landslide and falling into the cab of the said excavator by part of the rock mass, which fell from the adjacent vertical face of rock (limestone) mining operations.

(b) Failing to ensure that the safety and health document is revised in a timely manner so that it includes the recording, labeling and assessment of all hazards to which persons are exposed or may be exposed at work in the limestone quarry, and the safety and health measures that had to be taken.

(c) Failure to ensure that all limestone mining operations are supervised by a person qualified and competent for the purpose.

(d) Failure before commencing or resuming work to check excavation and exploitation faces that were close to the site or traffic routes to ensure that there are no lumps or loose rock in the work area.

(e) Failure to appoint a proper manager to provide for the safety of people working above and below ground resulting in a fatal accident where the canopy of a crawler excavator was crushed by a large volume of rock and the operator of the said excavator was injured deadly.

(f) Failing to mine the material on the upper part of the high face of the slope created for the purpose of reducing it, but carrying out re-mining operations on the lower part of that face, resulting in the creation of further dangerous conditions in relation to the safety of the face of the slope resulting in a large volume of rock being detached from its natural position and crushing a machine (excavator) fatally injuring its driver / operator.

(g) Failure to appoint a sufficient number of trained personnel to carry out the quarrying operations safely.

(h) Failure to take the necessary measures so that the workers do not work in an unsafe position, i.e. do not work on the lower part of the face of the slope, which was considered dangerous, with the result that the workers are exposed to the risk of injury and the driver/ machine operator (excavator) to be fatally injured when he was crushed by a large volume of rock that had become dislodged from its natural position.