Construction worker injured when sheet pile falls from excavator

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Britcon (UK) Ltd was fined £ 570,000 for breach of safety after an employee was struck by a load falling from an excavator

The Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that Britcon (UK) Ltd had been appointed as a contractor to build a pressure tank as part of a renewal and refurbishment project at the McCain’s Foods site ( GB) Limited at Havers Hill in Scarborough. Part of the process was to remove the sheet piles from the ground.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that on March 21, 2018, Stephen Gouldthorpe, 66, was helping clean the sheet piles as they were being removed from the anti-hammer pit by a Doosan DX 225 LC3 360 degree excavator.

The excavator had an attachment known as the EMV 300 Pile Attachment installed to remove the sheet piles from the ground. The power shovel was removing a seven-meter sheet pile weighing approximately 190 kg towards a disposal area when a safety chain slipped, knocking the pile down and hitting Stephen.

Stephen suffered a fractured left tibia, fibula and ankle, a fractured right collarbone, seven fractured ribs, lung contusion and fractured vertebrae.

Britcon (UK) Ltd of Midland Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN16 1DQ pleaded guilty to violating section 3 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1974 etc.

The company was fined £ 570,000 and costs £ 40,054.68.

Correction of safe working practices was not carried out

HSE Inspector Paul Thompson said: “There was insufficient supervision and communication during lifting operations. There was no specific exclusion zone in place and workers had to approach the sheet pile to clean it.

“This incident could have been avoided so easily by simply applying the correct controls and safe work practices.”


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