Two construction companies have recently been fined £700,000 after four workers were killed on site.
The incident occurred at an excavation site in Norfolk where the men were working on a steel structure. This construction weighed several tonnes and was forming the foundation for a large pressure test facility at Claxton Engineering Services. Unfortunately, this heavy structure collapsed, falling on top of the workers.
Emergency services rushed to the scene to try and rescue the construction workers. Unfortunately though, this was without success and the four workers were pronounced dead at the scene. A Health and Safety Executive investigation took place after the incident in 2011 and found serious issues with the planning, managing and monitoring of the project.
Six years on from the incident, Claxton Engineering Service Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching construction design and management regulations. They were ordered to pay £100,000 in costs and a further £500,000 in fines.
Alongside this, Encompass Project Management Ltd also pleaded guilty. This time, to breaching section three of the Health and Safety Act. They were ordered to pay £50,000 in costs and fined a further £200,000.
Encompass’ director, David Groucott, also pleaded guilty and was given a custodial sentence of seven and a half months. This was then suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay costs of £7,500 and complete two hundred hours of unpaid community service.
The HSE head of operations for the division stated: “this was a long-term, large-scale and complex civil engineering project which needed to be planned, designed, managed and monitored effectively.”
“The tragedy here is that, in the months leading up to the accident, any one of these parties could and should have asked basic questions about building the structure safely.”
“Such an intervention could have avoided the tragic outcome of this entirely preventable accident.”
Overall, construction workers safety is under question at the moment by those within the industry. One group of builders were recently recovered from a building they were working on when the roof collapsed on them. Take a look at the full story here.
Despite this though, according to recent reports, the number of health and safety officers is to be cut by 25%! This has therefore led to a warning being issued about the safety and security of our workers on site.
But what do you think of this? Should more be done on site to protect its workers? Let us know in the comments below.