Firms Prosecuted Over Machine Crash

Machinery Fall Causes Work Accident

06.08.2010

Two construction firms have been prosecuted over a 44-tonne machine which crashed onto a busy main road in Hull.

A piling machine fell over and rolled across the road, crushing a wall opposite during the evening rush hour, Hull Crown Court was told.

Tower Street was closed for several hours on December 10 2007 until the area was made safe.

Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering Ltd and Multibuild Ltd admitted breaching health and safety laws, the former being a specialist sub-contractor with the responsibility for safely carrying out the work.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which brought the case, found that the main contractor, Multibuild Ltd, was responsible for providing a stone platform for the machine to work from, but failed to design or install it correctly.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Dave Redman commented: "This incident could easily have resulted in disaster, and it is nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed or seriously injured given it occurred during the peak of the evening rush hour.

"It is every company's responsibility to ensure that employees and members of the public are not exposed to danger from heavy construction machinery."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "The construction industry is the industrial sector where a worker is most likely to be injured or killed following a work accident.

"As such, those responsible for the health and safety of both workers and members of the public need to ensure that they take suitable and sufficient steps to protect people.

"As this case demonstrates, sadly, all too often insufficient care is taken an accident at work occurs.

"I therefore welcome the fine imposed."