Construction firm fined £20k after worker hit by concrete pump boom

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Construction company, Axio (Special Works) Limited has been fined £20,000 after an employee was seriously injured when he was struck by a concrete pump

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how on the 5 March 2019, concrete footings were being poured at a site at Ditchling Common, East Sussex. As the ground was soft, vehicles could not get close to the work, so a concrete pump with a 52-metre boom was used.

During the pour, the ground beneath one of the concrete pump outriggers collapsed, causing the concrete pipe and boom to strike the employee, dislocating and fracturing his hip, fracturing his spine and tearing ligaments and muscles.

He was also later diagnosed with a brain injury.

The injured worker is still undergoing regular physiotherapy, and suffering from post-traumatic stress, but does not know the long-term effects of the brain and nerve damage.

HSE investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the work had not been properly planned, managed or monitored.

Although some work had been done to stabilise the ground in the area where the concrete pump was set up, no checks had been made as to the load that the ground could sustain, and no consideration had been given to the size or type of spreader plates that would be required to support the vehicle outriggers.

Axio (Special Works) pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £20,000, plus a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £5,285.70.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Green, said: “The employees injuries are life-changing and he could have easily been killed.

“This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safeguards had been put in place.”

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