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Construction firm fined after worker seriously injured

HSE prosecution

Company guilty of breaching CDM Regulations after employee struck by concrete pump placing boom

A CONSTRUCTION company has been fined £20,000 plus costs after an employee was struck by the placing boom of a concrete pump, causing serious injuries.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how, on the 5 March 2019, concrete footings were being poured at a site at Ditchling Common, East Sussex. Due to the soft ground, vehicles could not get close to the work, so a concrete pump with a 52m boom was used.

During the pour, the ground beneath one of the pump outriggers collapsed, causing the concrete pipe and boom to strike the employee, dislocating and fracturing his hip, fracturing his spine and tearing ligaments and muscles. He was also later diagnosed with a brain injury.

The employee is still undergoing regular physiotherapy and suffering from post-traumatic stress, but does not know what the long-term effects of the brain and nerve damage will be.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the work had not been properly planned, managed or monitored. Although some work had been done to stabilize the ground in the area where the pump was set up, no checks had been made as to the load that the ground could sustain, and no consideration had been given to the size or type of spreader plates that would be required to support the vehicle outriggers.

Portslade-based Axio (Special Works) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and were fined £20,000, plus a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £5,285.70.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Stephen Green said: ‘The employee’s injuries are life changing and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safeguards had been put in place.’

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