Construction worker injured by 500 falling scaffold fittings
Monday 26th June 2017
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Weymouth Magistrates' Court was told that employees of Carter Training had been using a mobile crane to lift a stillage of 500 2 kg fittings on a building site in Dorchester, Dorset.
The container turned on its side and the contents emptied on to staff working directly below.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that lifting equipment directly above contractors had put them at risk of harm.
The victim, 44, sustained two fractures to her left shoulder blade, a fracture to her left collar bone, a cut to the back of her head and bruising.
The HSE investigation found the stillage attachment used on the crane was not suitable for transporting large loads.
The principal contractor for the project and property development company Zero C Holdings had not audited the lifting plans and as a result had failed to manage the risks.
There were no clear lines of communication between the two companies and the contractors, the HSE found.
Zero C Holdings pleaded guilty to breaching reg 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 over its failure as the principal contractor to plan, manage and monitor the construction work. It was handed a £145,000 fine.
Carter Training, a provider of courses on construction plant and lifting operations and part of the Carter Group, admitted breaching reg 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations for failing to ensure that the job was planned, supervised and carried out safely. It was fined £18,000.
The companies were each ordered to pay £3,500 costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said: "The worker is very lucky that her injuries were not life threatening. Both Zero C Holdings and Carter Training put a number of workers at risk of harm when they failed to plan or identify the risks of heavy lifting.
"Lifting directly above workers is inherently unsafe and should be avoided wherever possible."
Martin Gutaj has been sentenced to 14 months in prison and disqualified from being a company director for four years. He was found guilty of breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (HSW) Act at the Old Bailey in London on 19 May. Gutaj’s company, Martinisation London, has been fined £1.2m after it was previously convicted of two counts of corporate manslaughter and two breaches of s 2(1) of the HSW Act.
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.
Crane erectors David Newall, 36, and Rhys Barker, 18, died on 21 June at a building site in Dunwoody Way, owned by developer and housebuilder Seddon Homes. Post mortems concluded that both men died from crush injuries. A third man, 45, who was also working on the crane, is recovering from serious injuries in Royal Stoke University Hospital.
The ministry said incidents involving vehicles were the most common cause of worker deaths. From January to May this year, 287 workers were injured in such accidents, six of them fatally. More than 250 workplace inspections will now take place over the next eight weeks in an enforcement crackdown named “Operations Roadrunner”. The MOM said that during the first five months of the year it inspected traffic management systems at more than 400 construction sites, storage yards, warehouses and factories. One in five visits uncovered poor practices.
Father-of-five Shane Wilkinson, 33, was employed as a ground worker at the Conquest Homes building development in Collyweston, Northamptonshire. He had been on the site for just a few days before the accident happened. On 4 September 2014 Wilkinson was standing near the edge of an unshored trench when its wall collapsed, burying him underneath the rubble. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The building on High Street in Ramsgate was owned by Panther VAT (PAL), a subsidiary of property investment company Panther Securities. It was an old textile printing factory with a historic frontage, but PAL had planned to convert it into 20 flats and had contracted sole trader Martin Elmes to undertake the demolition work.