Rodney Stephen Bishop
Court Summary - at a glance
- Ensure a geotechnical inspection of the site was obtained to ascertain the cohesion and stability of the soil before commencing excavation; and
- Ensure that adequate precautions against trench face collapse, such as using shoring or trench shields, were taken.
On 14 May 2014, Mr Bishop was operating an excavator to dig a trench so that pipe work could be installed for an effluent pond on a farm. An employee was required to go into the trench to carry out work. The excavated trench was more than 1.5 metres deep, and its sides had not been protected against collapse. A foreman from another construction company on site warned the defendant of the risks in failing to take those steps, but was ignored.
On 27 May 2014, the victim was working with Mr Bishop preparing for installation of a tank at another farm. Mr Bishop had dug a 4 metre deep trench with an excavator, so that pipe work could be installed. The excavation had not been protected from collapse by shoring, sloping or battering. The victim was standing in the trench when approximately 5 cubic metres of soil from the trench face collapsed and buried him. Despite immediate rescue efforts, the victim died at the scene.