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Construction Firm Fined Over Excavation Safety Failings

Incident ‘Demonstrates Need For Proper Planning On Projects’


By Rob Dixon

BBS Construction has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs after one of its workers suffered a serious hip injury when the face of an excavation collapsed on top of him.

The unnamed employee also injured his left knee in the incident which occurred during work to build a new science block at Benenden School for Girls in January 2011 and was unable to work for several months following the work accident.

BBS Construction was contracted to deliver the project and the injured worker was excavating a basement to support the building. However, concrete to fox posts for a supporting wall were overpoured and the excess had to be chipped away – the issue which caused the collapse.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the risks of breaking the excess concrete were not properly assessed, while an inspector also found that a waste water drain had been installed less than half a metre from the face of the excavation.

Maidstone Magistrates’ Court was told this may have weakened the earth around the basement.

Sally Rissbrook, a lawyer and expert in accident at work claims at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The assessment of all potential risks in a project is a vital part of ensuring that workers can be kept safe from any possible harm.

“The importance of doing this has been demonstrated by this case which, like many we are involved in, shows the terrible consequences that safety failings can have on workers.

“The construction industry is a particularly dangerous sector where people can face numerous risks if preventative steps are not taken. It is vital that construction firms learn important lessons from this case to ensure others do not face similar issues in the future.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Falling Object claims