The principal contractor (Crest Nicholson Operations) on a large housing development project in Berkshire was fined after a worker was seriously injured by a heavy goods vehicle.
David Cole was working as a foreman on the Wokingham construction site when on 17th December 2014 he walked along the nearside of the HGV which had reversed into a T junction and then suddenly pulled forward towards the pavement and hit him. Mr Cole was pulled beneath the vehicle and sustained life-changing injuries which included skin being removed from his left arm and left leg and a fractured hip which required pinning. As a result of the injuries and surgery, his left leg is 2cm shorter than his right.
Reading Crown Court was told that the Principal Contractor had failed to plan and manage workplace transport effectively.
The HSE stated that the accident could have been avoided had the company ensured workers stayed behind the pedestrian barriers and did not walk onto the road and prevented HGVs reversing hundreds of metres at once.
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (Revised 2015) were in force and the Principal contractor pleaded guilty to breaching reg 36(1) which states that pedestrians and vehicles must be able to move around a construction site without risks to safety. The penalties included a fine of £800,000 and bill of £10,984 for costs.
The HSE inspector John Berezansky said ‘David Cole suffered life-changing injuries because Crest Nicholson did not properly manage and monitor the workplace transport of their construction site.’
Controlling health and safety risks is not that difficult. It can be achieved with a little effort, needn’t cost a lot and doing it right can make good business sense. If nothing else, there can be benefits from reduced claims for compensation and lower insurance premiums.
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