Construction worker crushed to death in jaws of grabber

Grant Prior 7 years ago
Share

A construction worker died from massive crush injuries when his head became trapped in the jaws of a grab machine being wrongly used to move a pallet of cement bags.

Steven Allen, 23 from Keighley, was part of a team working for contractor JN Bentley on a project for Bradford Council in Manningham in March 2007.

Moving the 30 or so cement bags was the last job before the weekend when tragedy struck.

Bradford Crown Court heard this week that workers used a block grab attached to an excavator to move the load.

As they did, the bags fell two metres to the ground, but the pallet remained in the jaws of the block grab.

The pallet pivoted and Allen took hold of it to pull it free.

As the pallet came away, the jaws dropped and clamped on his head, causing severe injuries. He died the following day.

The court was told that the grab was being used against manufacturer’s instructions and was not suitable for the job.

Block grabs are designed to lift and move rectangular loads strapped together such as packs of bricks.

The company had also failed to implement a safe system for lifting and transporting the bags of cement.

J N Bentley had pleaded guilty to safety breaches at an earlier hearing. The firm was fined £106,250 and ordered to pay costs of £90,000.

HSE Principal Inspector, Dave Redman, said: “The firm made a fundamental error by using a block grab to lift and move pallets and this resulted in the tragic death of a young man.

“This use was very clearly advised against by the manufacturers and the risks should have been understood by the company.

“Nevertheless, they allowed machinery to be used on their site which was totally unsuitable for the task.

“No assessment was made regarding the use of the grab and no instructions were given to the men who were operating it.

“Planning to make sure that work is carried out safely is not a formality or a tick-box exercise but is crucial to identifying and controlling risks.”

Victim Steven Allen

Latest news

O’Rourke finally seals UK construction finance deal

Latest accounts reveal pre-tax losses of £43.6m
15 hours ago

McAleer & Rushe gets go-ahead for two Maldron hotels

New Birmingham and Glasgow hotels will cost £85m to build
3 hours ago

Two Portsmouth ‘Grenfell’ tower blocks to be torn down

City council to decide fate of 18-storey blocks of flats after weak concrete uncovered
7 hours ago

60 jobs axed as Leicester M&E specialist collapses

East Midlands Electrical Installations enters administration
8 hours ago

Telford Homes to start 260 London rental homes scheme

House builder forward funds £100m Equipment Works scheme in Walthamstow
7 hours ago

April start for Balfour £55m Plymouth link road

Forder Valley Link Road project given £22m of Government funding
16 hours ago

Amey Rail appoints former Carillion MD as new chief

Andy Joy promoted to head expanding rail business
22 hours ago

Carroll Build wins £15m refurb of old people’s tower

1960s Merseyside tower block to be converted into care home
8 hours ago

Galliford Try bags £275m Ealing council HQ scheme

Mixed-use West London scheme also includes a library and 470 homes
23 hours ago

Amey in talks to exit Birmingham highways PFI

City council and Amey reported to be close to agreeing PFI exit settlement
21 hours ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
10 months ago

£5.5bn spent on HS2 before any construction started

One tenth of budget spent - agency staff earning £128,000 a year
1 day ago

Battle starts for £5bn London major works framework

Over 23 firms aim to retain places on London council framework for five years
1 day ago

Plans in for UK’s largest modular council homes project

United Living will erect 28-home offsite scheme in Leeds
1 day ago

Worker killed in 14 metre fall through temporary platform

Rydon and subcontractor fined total of £860,000 after fatal plunge
1 day ago

Aberdeen bypass to fully open on Tuesday

Last section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route finally accepted by Transport Scotland
1 day ago

Briggs & Forrester targets M&E fast fit-out sector

Group CEO Paul Burton plans further expansion in next two years
1 day ago

Laing O’Rourke director killed in car crash on way to work

Tributes to Caroline Blackman who died early on Wednesday morning en route to Hinkley
4 days ago

Kier cutting jobs on Highways England contract

More than 100 workers facing redundancy across Midlands Area 9
4 days ago

Buckingham confirmed for £120m Swansea arena

Six months of pre-construction work to now get underway
4 days ago

Two North West smart motorway projects delayed

Costain and Galliford Try jobs put back by more than a year
4 days ago

Lendlease wins £8bn Thamesmead development

Morgan Sindall beaten in race for 11,500 home site
4 days ago

Government pledges £80m for Dawlish sea wall project

South Devon railway sea wall will be rebuilt and increased in height by 2.5m
4 days ago

30 jobs lost as Yorkshire precast firm collapses

Rippon-based Ebor Concretes placed in administration
4 days ago

Go-ahead for 200-home Cardiff build-to-rent scheme

Work to start on central Cardiff scheme this summer
5 days ago

Balfour renews £220m London Tube track upkeep

Four-year term will start in April with option to extend by six years
5 days ago

Bouygues paid £21m not to build Garden Bridge

Transport for London documents detail £53.5m wasted on doomed crossing
6 days ago

Government signs off £250m for major housing projects

Deal to release £157m for housing infrastructure in Cumbria and Devon
5 days ago

Beetham Tower owner faces £4m reclad bill

Owner will have to foot remedial facade works bill in wake of Carillion collapse
5 days ago

WYG profit warning sees share price crash 40%

Consultant back in talks with lenders over breaching banking covenants
6 days ago

Contractor services