Be Warned – Meddle at Your Peril

In a recent case, two employers, a Principal Contractor and a Contractor, were fined after a worker was killed when operating a pile driver.
Why was the Principal Contractor prosecuted and fined I ask? As usual, the Principal Contractor got themselves involved in the work methods of the contractor
When pile driving the contractor’s worker modified the pile driver WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRINCIPAL CONTRACTORS SUPERVISOR (shades of Multiplex). Following the modification the pile driver operator was killed. Just a note though – The reasons for convicting included that the Principal Contractor’s supervisor was employed without the skills, knowledge and experience required to effectively identify and manage the risk of safety to the worker when operating the pile driver. This is not correct, as the Principal Contractor was entitled to rely on the contractor to manage the risks of pile driving without their oversight but the decision to convict and fine the PC was overall correct.
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