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    VISITING ENGINEER CRUSHED BY SCAFFOLD TUBES

    Principal contractor “signed off” contractor storage arrangements

    A Principal Contractor and a contractor have been prosecuted after a structural engineer received serious crush injuries when a bundle of scaffold tubes (weight approx one tonne) rolled onto his legs whilst he was visiting a client’s London construction site in September 2015.

    Southwark Crown Court heard how the visiting engineer, accompanied by two managers, approached four bundles of scaffold tube where one of the bundles was stacked on top of three others.

    The top bundle was disturbed and fell onto the lower legs of the engineer. It took several attempts to free him from under the bundle and he suffered fractures to both ankles and a number of fractures on his right leg.

    The scaffold bundles were delivered earlier that day to scaffolding firm PHD Modular Access Services Ltd. St George City Ltd was the Principal Contractor for the site, where demolition activities were taking place within a very confined footprint.

    Risk assessment specified segregation required

    HSE investigators found that PHD failed to ensure that control measures specified in their risk assessment (material storage area to be fully segregated using physical barriers) were in place to prevent access by unauthorised persons.

    St George City had “signed off” on PHD’s storage requirements and should have been conscious of the practical difficulties concerning deliveries and storage due to the confined nature of the site.

    On the day of the incident, St George site management became aware that the scaffold materials had not been segregated but no action was taken.

    • PHD Modular Access Services Ltd – of Oxford Road, Denham, Uxbridge pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,777.99.
    • St George City Limited – part of the Berkeley Group, of Berkeley House, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of 7830.79.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Gabriella Dimitrov said:

    “The contractors knew that it was a congested site with large demolition machines tracking around and as such required careful planning with regards to material arrivals and storage. This incident could have been easily prevented had suitable barriers been provided.”

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