Building contractor fined after poor planning delays MEWP rescue
Thursday 22nd June 2017
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Gateshead-based contractor Pyeroy, whose services include scaffolding and containment systems and building and construction, failed to properly plan the MEWP work in restricted overhead areas.
The company's failure to train employees for emergencies also led to a delay in the rescue of the operator who was trapped between a roof beam and the MEWP's controls.
Plymouth Magistrates' Court heard on 16 June that Keith Stevens, 57, was using the MEWP to dismantle temporary roofing at the naval base when the accident happened on 21 October 2013.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Stevens, who died of a pre-existing heart condition, had been trapped between a beam in the roofing and the MEWP controls where he was found by colleagues.
Pyeroy had not provided its employees with suitable training in the emergency lowering procedure for the MEWP nor had it carried out practice drills. This failure resulted in a delay in lowering Stevens to the ground.
Pyeroy of St Omers Road, Western Riverside Route, Gateshead pleaded guilty to breaching reg 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. In addition to the fine, the contractor was also ordered to pay costs of £14,388.
HSE inspector Helena Allum said that if the company had trained other employees to use the MEWP in emergencies, Stevens would have been lowered to the ground more quickly.
Samuel Harrington, a 58-year-old builder, was found not guilty on 2 June at St Albans Crown Court after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had charged him with a s 3 offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.The HSE had brought the charge in 2016 after a two-year investigation into an incident at a property conversion on Upton Road on 31 May 2012, which was owned by Meadows WR.
The incident, which took place in September 2014, occurred only a year after a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection identified poor work at height standards at the same site, and work was stopped until improvements were made. The HSE had found numerous openings in the first floor, through which anyone working in the building could have fallen several metres. Training for site workers was also found to be inadequate.
Taunton Magistrates’ Court heard this week that 26-year-old Ryan Sartin was repairing a roof at Home Farm, Shepton Beauchamp in Somerset on 23 June 2016 when the incident happened.T Broom Construction of Pine Park Road, Honiton, Devon pleaded guilty to breaching reg 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was also ordered to pay costs of £1,016.
The Old Bailey was told that Claxton Engineering Services, an engineering and service company that operates in the oil and gas industry, hired Encompass Project Management to construct a large pressure test facility (PTF) at its headquarters in Great Yarmouth for the high-pressure testing of pipes.Encompass contracted Hazegood Construction to complete the groundworks and build the steel reinforcing cage.
Sukhdev Kundi was working on a stepladder on the first floor of the property when the incident happened on 30 May 2012. As he was pulling cables, he fell off the ladder and through an opening, landing 4 m below.Kundi broke his spine in three places and was paralysed from the chest down. He spent three months in a coma and a total of 12 months in hospital. He died in May 2015, with the cause of death being respiratory failure due to a collapsed lung and pneumonia alongside his spinal injuries and paraplegia.
The court replaced Norman McKenzie’s suspended sentence with a custodial one which, it said, would act as a warning to the construction industry that offenders of gross negligence who put workers’ lives at risk would be sent to prison. Portadown farm owner Ivan Reilly had contracted McKenzie to assist with the construction of a three-bay farm shed at his premises.