Construction sites remain of of the most dangerous places to work. One issue that can arise is where workers are injured due to the inadvertent operation of controls in excavator plants.  Given the size and nature of the plant and the risks posed to those working nearby any inadvertent movement can be serious, even fatal.


Anyone involved in a case of this type may benefit from reading the detailed research carried out on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive.

One important aspect of the research is that inadvertent operation happens relatively frequently:

“5.2.2 IOOC occurs reasonably frequently
The findings suggest that there are plenty of opportunities for accidents and near misses.
Operator IOOC incident estimates are likely to be an underestimate given the wide variability in
the data and the finding that some operators claim that IOOC incidents9
do not happen to them
(the latter observation could be attributable to an artefact of the research design, with operators,
for whatever reason, not willing to admit to committing operational errors). Although it is likely
that most IOOC incidents do not result in accidents or near misses, reducing the incidence rate
would result in a lessening of the IOOC accident rate.”

The research may prove useful to anyone involved in pursuing or defending an action based on inadvertent operation, or involved in a prosecution resulting from accident movement of plant.

There is a useful summary from the HSE  and the full report is available online

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