Site worker crushed by excavator

James Rourke was just 22 when he was killed on site in 2019

James Rourke was just weeks out of university when he was run over by an excavator at Sarazen Gardens in Brampton, near Huntingdon, on 18th November 2019.

The 22-year-old site engineer had been attaching warning signs to fencing around the site when he was hit.

James Rourke, from Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex, had only been with Materials Movement Limited for a few weeks, having joined after graduating from the University of Birmingham with a degree in geology that summer.

Materials Movement had been hired to undertake ground clearance works at Sarazens Gardens in preparation for a new housing development.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the company had failed to plan and manage the work. It also failed to ensure that work was planned and managed to eliminate any chance of people working near the excavator.

Materials Movement Limited, of Baldock, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £133,330 and ordered to pay £8,500 in costs at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on 22nd March 2024.

HSE inspector Martin Paren said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man.  This death could have easily been prevented if his employer had properly planned, instructed, and supervised the work.

“Our thoughts today are with the family of James, who should have been protected from such harm at work – because of the failings of Materials Movement Ltd he was not.”

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