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HOMES SITE LACKED PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICLE SEGREGATION

Groundworker almost loses foot after being run over by fork lift truck 

Brookvale Homes (SW) Ltd of Somerset has been prosecuted after a ground worker suffered serious injury when he was struck by a fork lift truck. He almost lost his foot in the incident in September 2010.

Paul Daniels, aged 50, was working for CJL Construction Ltd on a Brookvale Homes SW (Ltd) project installing external drainage to a row of terraced properties in Langport, Somerset

Yeovil Magistrates Court heard (3 May) that whilst inspecting the fall of external drain pipes adjacent to a main haul road he was knocked to the ground by a fork lift truck. A wheel ran over his lower right leg, crushing his bones and partially amputating his foot.  There was an obstruction significantly narrowing the width of the carriageway and the space available to the forklift driver.

In addition, HSE investigators found an absence of designated walkways, pavements or restricted vehicle only areas. The location of storage areas and skips resulted in significant vehicle traffic across and around one of the main pedestrian thoroughfares.

Very little consideration given to segregating pedestrians and site vehicles

Brookvale Homes (SW) Ltd, of Yeovil was found guilty of breaching Section Regulation 36 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 in relation to the incident. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £7,576.40 in costs.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE inspector Annette Walker said:

“This was a very serious and preventable incident. Luckily an extensive operation saved Mr Daniels’ foot. However, this was now over a year ago and he has required further operations and treatment and is still unable to return to work.

The law clearly states that construction companies have a duty to organise sites in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can move safely and without risks. However, it is evident that Brookvale Homes (SW) Ltd gave very little consideration to the matter of segregating pedestrians and site vehicles.

The risks from workplace transport should be properly assessed when pedestrians and vehicles such as fork lift trucks work in close proximity. The transport plan needs to be managed effectively at all stages of the construction project and should reflect any significant changes.”

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