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    CONCRETE PUMP FLAILING LINE CAUSED DEATH

    Hose whipped violently when blockage cleared under pressure

    An Essex-based company has been fined following the death of concrete worker at a dockside apron-upgrade project on the Port of Felixstowe in August 2015.

    Chelmsford Crown Court heard the defendant was the main contractor working to replace the Berth 7 roadway at the Trinity Terminal of the port. A specialist concrete pumping contractor was engaged to pump the concrete and a concrete laying contractor to lay the concrete.

    A flexible delivery hose through which concrete was being pumped became momentarily blocked. The hose cleared under pressure, causing it to violently “whip round”. An employee of the concrete laying sub-contractor died and another worker suffered cuts and bruising.

    Exclusion zone not enforced

    HSE investigators found that the company failed to effectively plan and manage the safe pumping of concrete, in that an exclusion zone around the flexible delivery hose was not enforced.

    The investigation also found the company did not adequately supervise, instruct nor did it provide suitable information to sub-contractors, and failed to monitor the pumping operations to ensure the ongoing safety of workers.

    • R. W. Hill (Felixstowe) Limited – of Lodge Lane, Grays, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 15(2) and 15(8) of the Construction, (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,883.60.

    Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Glyn Davies said:

    “This tragic incident could easily have been prevented had the company involved acted to identify and manage the well-documented risks involved in concrete pumping by the implementation of suitable safe systems of work.

    As this case sadly demonstrates, poorly managed concrete pumping operations can and do kill construction workers when industry safety guidance is not followed. HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

     

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