Construction site work accident
Two construction companies have been fined a total of £180,000 for serious health and safety breaches after an accident at work which left a worker disabled.
Christopher Feeley was badly injured while working on a new office extension at Sir John Moore Barracks, Winchester, in March 2004.
Mr Feeley was driving a dumper on the site when the front wheels slipped into a small trench.
Another worker used a mini excavator to try and pull him out, but the bucket slipped and hit Mr Feeley on the back, damaging his spine.
Rokbuild Ltd, of Guardian Road, Exeter Business Park, Exeter, has been fined £175,000 plus £26,733 costs at Winchester Crown Court.
RB Contractors, of Uplands Road, Winchester, was also fined £5,000 with £1,000 costs at the same hearing. Both firms pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
HSE construction operations manager Richard Boland said: "The judge felt that Rokbuild's failings were the principle causes of this incident, and that if Rokbuild had properly assessed the competence of their sub-contractor and then arranged for competent supervision, it would have been inconceivable that this incident would have happened."
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Partner David Urpeth at law firm Irwin Mitchell specialises in workplace accidents. He commented: The construction industry accounts for a high proportion of work related accidents. Sadly, as this case demonstrates, many of the accidents result in serious injuries or death. Employers and / or those responsible for site safety must ensure that the health and safety of workers and the public is paramount.
Unfortunately, I have represented many clients where employers and /or those responsible for site safety have failed in their duties.
Anyone who has been injured in a construction site accident should seek legal advice as soon as possible.