• 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

    OWNER RESPONSE TO HSE INSPECTION ENDED IN COURT

    Police uphold HSE right to inspect without threats, aggression or abuse

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 24th February 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

    CONTRACTOR FAILED TO REPLACE MISSING PROTECTION

    Painter and decorator fractured hip in fall from landing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2020

    RISK OF DERMATITIS SUFFICIENT FOR PROSECUTION

    Company failed to implement controls and surveillance required by COSHH

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2020

    COSHH FAILINGS CAUSE ASTHMA AND PROVE COSTLY

    Uncontrolled exposure to isocyanates during paint spraying operations

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2020

    POLICE EMPLOYEE SHOCKED BY DATA CABLE WORK

    South Wales Force fined over electric shock from ceiling void cable

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2020

    COLLAPSE OF PUMP SET TRAPPED WORKMAN

    Unsafe system of work transferring from pallet to a raised platform

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 18th February 2020

    MODIFIED PODIUM STEPS CAUSE FALL FROM HEIGHT

    Firm failed to select and correctly assemble with necessary training

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th February 2020

    SCHOOL LACKED SAFE SYSTEM FOR ROOF RETRIEVAL

    Workman fell from roof whilst retrieving shoe of pupil

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th February 2020

    ARM OF WORKMAN AMPUTATED IN CONVEYOR

    Major construction materials supplier fined heavily over unsafe system

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th February 2020

    CONCRETE BLOCK PLANT GUARDING BREACHED

    Sections of machinery perimeter safety fencing missing for months

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 11th February 2020

    FATAL FUEL TANK EXPLOSION DURING CUTTING

    Companies failed to meet known, established and clear standards

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 10th February 2020

    FIRMS FINED HEAVILY OVER STUDENT FIRE RISK

    Senior fire officers found “blatant disregard” for law and resident safety

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd February 2020

    ROOFER SURVIVED OVER 6M FALL FROM ROOF EDGE

    Replacement of asbestos cement roof lacked proper planning

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 3rd February 2020

    CLIENT & BUILDER ACCOUNT FOR ASBESTOS FAILINGS

    Asbestos survey identified ACMs which were removed without controls

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th January 2020

    UNSAFE USE OF SKIP LIFTER CAUSED FATALITY

    Fork lift being lifted on to vehicle fell when winch wire failed under load

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th January 2020

    HSE CONVICTIONS DATABASE LATEST UPDATE

    hselogo1View current online HSE register of prosecution convictions and notices

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th January 2020

    OVERHEAD CABLE STRUCK BY TIPPER TRUCK

    Company failed to report strike to HSE and take action on earlier incident

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th January 2020

    CAMBRIDGE COLLEGE ASBESTOS BLUNDERS

    Survey absent and asbestos awareness training not provided

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 30th January 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

    CONTRACTS MANAGER HANDED TWO YEAR PRISON TERM

    Safety fall arrest netting would have saved life of deceased workman

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2020

    WORKER FATALLY INJURED BY CONCRETE BEAM

    Lifting operation not properly planned, managed and supervised

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 15th January 2020

    TREE FELLING OPERATIONS LACKED DEFINED COMMS

    Workman struck by falling tree inside “normal” exclusion zone

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    CONTRACTOR ARRESTED OVER WELFARE FAILINGS

    Recalcitrant sole trader failed to attend court hearing

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020

    MAJOR DEMOLITION CONTRACTOR FINED £500,000

    Collapse of concrete slab caused death of worker and excavator fall

    Read the rest of this article »

    Posted on 14th January 2020
  • Higher Safety Higher Safety Chipmunk Data Chipmunk Data