• Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data

    DIDCOT FATAL COLLAPSE: INVESTIGATION UPDATE

    Police and HSE still seeking to understand why boiler house collapsed

    On 23rd February 2016 the collapse of a structure during demolition of the former power station in Didcot, Oxfordshire led to the death of four workers on the site. A joint investigation with HSE is currently being led by Thames Valley Police (TVP).

    TVP has now updated the Oxfordshire Coroner at a pre-inquest review at Oxford Coroner’s Court on 31st January 2018. The force continues to work with HSE to investigate the circumstances surrounding the collapse which led to the deaths of Michael Collings, Ken Cresswell, Christopher Huxtable and John Shaw and injuries to a number of other men.

    Potential criminal offences under investigation

    Following the pre-inquest review Senior TVP Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Craig Kirby said:

    “We continue to carry out a thorough investigation in order to obtain answers for the affected families and friends who lost their loved ones, and those who were injured following the partial collapse at Didcot. This is an extremely wide scale and hugely complex investigation.

    To date over 1900 witness statements have been taken by the investigative team, and a number of interviews have been conducted under caution in line with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984). These interviews have taken a significant length of time, and further interviews will need to be undertaken.

    The joint TVP and HSE investigative team continue to meet regularly with a specialist dedicated prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to ensure that all lines of enquiry are being appropriately and robustly explored. At this time it is not possible for us to put a timeframe on the completion of the investigation however an initial file was submitted to the CPS at the end of December for investigative advice.

    On-site recovery of evidence continues to be a key line of enquiry, to understand why the boiler house collapsed.

    Clearance of boilers one and two has been completed, and independent contractors continue to clear boilers three and four. This work is expected to be completed by spring 2018. The site remains a crime scene with a 24/7 police scene guard. A TVP and HSE evidence recovery team continue to work on site.”

    TVP stress that the force and HSE are committed to carrying out a thorough investigation to ascertain if any criminal or health and safety related offences have taken place and to “obtain justice for the families and all those affected.”

    Industry-wide practices need to be challenged

    The update provided by TVP to HM Coroner has been followed by a statement from James Howard, Director, Coleman & Company as follows:

    “We have heard today from Thames Valley Police, at a briefing to the Oxfordshire Senior Coroner, the current status of their investigation into the deaths of our 4 colleagues at Didcot Power Station in February 2016.

    Before I comment on the statement read out by the Police I want to take a moment to say again to the families of our deceased colleagues how deeply sorry we are for their loss and the hurt they continue to experience.

    The loss of Chris, John, Kenny and Mick has been felt deeply by everyone at Coleman and Company and this tragic accident has had a profound effect on the health and well-being of many of us over the past 2 years.

    From the outset, the team here at Coleman’s have actively and openly co-operated with both the Police and Health & Safety Executive.

    That collaboration continues – after all, we share a common desire to understand the cause of the collapse, provide justice for the families, and learn lessons for the industry.

    As part of the investigation process we have received a formal disclosure from the Police that seeks to support their position that all possible breaches of health and safety legislation, including Corporate Manslaughter, remain under investigation.

    Our investigation team and legal advisors share a view that the disclosure provided by the police so far gives no grounds to suggest that we or any of our employees have acted in a way which would associate us with a manslaughter investigation.

    What is more, it is clear that Thames Valley Police and the HSE have not yet crystalized a view on the cause of the collapse. Given the size, complexity and nature of the investigation this is, perhaps, understandable but we share in the frustration and disappointment that this has created, and continues to create, for all those affected.

    At the time of the accident we pledged to share the learning from this tragedy as soon as possible, in the interests of both the families and the wider demolition community. With that in mind, we commissioned our own investigations which, in our view, clearly show why and how units 1 and 2 of the boiler house collapsed. We believe the findings highlight industry-wide practices that need to be challenged and reviewed.

    We now consider it essential to share this learning as a matter of urgency, so that immediate steps can be taken within the industry to prevent future loss of life and so that the families can begin to understand what caused this dreadful accident.

    We will therefore shortly be writing to the TVP and HSE investigation team, together with the Oxfordshire Senior Coroner, setting out our position and providing access to the preliminary findings from our investigations.

    Thereafter, we are keen to engage with the families and the wider demolition industry at the earliest possible opportunity.”

    Latest Construction Health and Safety News

    CONSTRUCTION SAFETY NEWS – END OF NEW CONTENT

    The addition of content on this website ceased on 17th April 2020.

    Material posted before this date can be found by clicking on our SEARCH NEWS DATABASE function.

    Posted on 3rd May 2020

    CDM REGULATIONS 2015: GUIDES AND TEMPLATES

    Summary of our advice and tools to aid CDM 2015 compliance

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st April 2020

    HSE WARN OF NEED FOR RPE FACE FIT TEST AND CHECK

    Incorrectly fitted RPE will not protect the wearer from dangers to health

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 16th April 2020

    CORONA VIRUS: LATEST SITE OPERATING PROCEDURES

    Industry Bodies publish risk management guidance Version 3

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th April 2020

    TOWER CRANE OUT OF SERVICE SAFETY ALERT

    Important advice from Construction Plant-hire Association and HSE

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th March 2020

    HSE PLAN AND CONSTRUCTION PRIORITIES 2020/21

    Appointed CDM 2015 Principal Designers remain focus of HSE inspections

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th March 2020

    COVID-19 ADVICE & GUIDANCE FOR CONSTRUCTION

    BuildUK support industry with advice, guidance and information

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th March 2020

    HSE TARGETING WELDING FUME CANCER RISK

    Inspections to enforce improved controls required by new risk evidence

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th February 2020

    HSE TO OVERSEE NEW BUILDING SAFETY REGIME

    Government to deliver biggest change in building safety for a generation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 21st January 2020

    FESTIVE GREETINGS TO ALL OUR READERS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 20th December 2019

    SELECTED NEWS POSTED RECENTLY ON TWITTER

    PP Construction Safety logo and link to home page [1]Links to other construction health and safety related news reports

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th November 2019

    HSE LOOK TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES FOR CDM SUPPORT

    Council Inspectors focus on CDM client duties – asbestos, fragility and RCS

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    HSE WELDING FUME REVISED GUIDANCE PUBLISHED

    New research evidence on cancer link prompts revision on welding fume

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th November 2019

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

    CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th October 2019

    HSE RISK REDUCTION THROUGH DESIGN AWARD

    Regulator seeks to promote hazard avoidance and risk minimisation

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th October 2019

    HSE START PROJECT HEALTH RISK INTERVENTIONS

    Regulator set to check health risks assessed and controls in place

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th September 2019

    AIF NATIONAL WORKING AT HEIGHT CONFERENCE

    HSE Construction Head to speak at Access Industry Forum conference

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd September 2019

    NEW HSE HAVS CALCULATOR TO HELP CONTROL RISK

    New calculator includes “cautious estimates” for common tools

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd September 2019

    IMPROVING CDM DESIGNER HAZARD AWARENESS

    Research explores power of “multi-media digital tool” for design hazards

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    DEMOLITION FEDERATION ON RECENT INCIDENTS

    NFDC ‘statement of awareness’ follows unplanned collapses

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    RAISING COMPETENCE AND MAKING BUILDINGS SAFER

    Life-safety-critical disciplines urged to act on Interim Report

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    BUILDING WORKS COMPROMISED GAS SAFETY

    Company and director fined after work created risk to residents

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 27th August 2019

    HSE SPEAK AT ACCESS INDUSTRY CONFERENCE 2019

    AIF National Working at Height Conference November 2019

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 6th August 2019

    STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

    CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd July 2019

    CONSIDERING TEMP WORKS IN PERMANENT DESIGN

    Useful overview for civil and structural engineers on contemporary practice

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 23rd July 2019
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data