Quarry blast showers passing cars with rocks

Grant Prior 6 years ago
Share

Two firms have been fined after a quarry explosion sent rocks flying 200 metres into the air and onto a public road, causing damage to waiting cars.

The falling blast debris landed well outside of the designated danger zone during the incident at Brayford Quarry in Brayford on 24 February 2011.

The rocks narrowly avoided striking a workman who had halted traffic whilst the blasting took place.

Frome-based WCD Sleeman and Sons Ltd, who organised the blast, and quarry operator Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd were both prosecuted following the incident.

Barnstaple Magistrates’ Court heard that two cars waiting in the queue on a nearby public road, were hit by flying rock, which dented the bonnet of one and a smashed the windscreen of the other.

HSE inspectors discovered an 8.5kg piece of rock on the other side of the road. Six other smaller pieces of rock were also recovered from the road.

A workman acting as a sentry on the road to manage traffic during the blasting heard the rocks coming through the trees and covered his head with his stop-go board and took cover next to a large van which was waiting on the road.

The driver of the van saw pieces of rock pass over the workman.

WCD Sleeman and Sons Ltd, of Valley View, Vallis Park, Frome, Somerset, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £17,000 in costs after pleading guilty to safety breaches.

Quarry operator Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd of Castle Hill, Maidenhead, Berkshire, was fined £20,000 with £14,000 costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Quarries Regulations 1999.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector of Quarries, Mike Tetley, said: “This was a very serious incident that could easily have led to death or serious injury.

“Blasting operations at quarries are inherently high risk, and these risks must be rigorously controlled by good explosives engineering practice and in accordance with legal requirements.

“Where contractors are involved it is important that appropriate levels of communication and co-operation are in place. It is totally unacceptable for both members of the public and employees to be put at serious risk of being hit by rocks, as happened here in an entirely preventable incident.

“I hope this case sends a clear message to the industry that proper planning and control is required at all times.”

 

Latest news

Council parts company with Kier after road cost row

New contractor hunt starts after dispute over £26m project estimate
1 day ago

Stricken fit-out firm bought out of administration by rival

Dimension shopfitting hit by woes of retail and dining sectors
1 day ago

Killed track workers “unaware” of train until it hit them at 50mph

At least one victim was wearing ear defenders
1 day ago

Piling specialist Van Elle issues another profit warning

Ground engineering giant also dampens hopes of recovery this year
1 day ago

Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

Considerate Constructors Scheme reveals supply chain excellence winners: Full list
1 day ago

Latest winners unveiled for £2bn Severn Trent water work

Barhale/Doosan JV lands another place on AMP7 lots
2 days ago

Further redundancies at failed Welsh contractor

Trade debt owed by Jistcourt due to be revealed next month
2 days ago

Bid race starts for £17m Canterbury link road

Sturry Link Road from A28 to A291 will include a 250m long viaduct
2 days ago

More contractors suspended from Prompt Payment Code

Galliford Try, Ferrovial and Alun Griffiths among firms not paying on time
3 days ago

Track maintenance crash reveals design flaws in rail kit

Driver of road-rail ballast distributor could barely see track
2 days ago

Lendlease names new London construction chief

Promotion for finance head Claire Pettett
3 days ago

“Brexit fatigue” sees surveyors report construction output grow

RICS says fed-up industry just trying to get on with daily life despite the dithering of politicians
2 days ago

Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands

300 construction jobs will be created building 400 bedroom hotel and 279 serviced apartments
2 days ago

Post-Grenfell building and fire safety changes ‘too slow’

MPs slam Government for unacceptable delay in reforming building regulations
2 days ago

Plan to expand Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

Developer Scarborough Properties to drive development of 750,000 sq ft of business space for sport and health
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

Site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
1 year ago

Construction restructure costs Galliford Try £10m

Average group net debt rises to £187m after year of writedowns
3 days ago

Six climate activists arrested at concrete plant

Police chief warns construction companies they will be targeted during week of action
3 days ago

Civils and concrete specialist OHOB delivers £27m profit

O’Halloran & O’Brien builds revenue to £300m after expanding from south east base into the Midlands
3 days ago

Worker killed on Asda extension site

Victim "hit by digger bucket" in site tragedy
4 days ago

Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

New office block in shopping centre will cost over £50m to build
3 days ago

£17m Blackpool hotel project out to bid

Muse invited bids for Talbot Gateway scheme Holiday Inn
4 days ago

Countryside wins £400m London Camden Lock estate rebuilds

Work could start on 700-home estate rebuild late next year
4 days ago

Contractor fined for ignoring site welfare order

Manchester firm failed to provide decent facilities for workers
3 days ago

Murphy suffers £5.8m loss

Revenue up 4.4% to £781m driven by transport and power projects
4 days ago

London Mayor uproots Tulip Tower plan

Sadiq Khan blocks 305m skyscraper plan despite city planners' approval
5 days ago

Third Van Elle board director exits

John Foster, group commercial director, departs six months after joining piling specialist
4 days ago

Hunt starts for partner to deliver £1.5bn Wales schools plan

Welsh Government is looking for partner for new public private schools delivery model
4 days ago

HS2 unveils plans for “people mover” on new viaduct

2.3km route will transport people to Birmingham Airport
4 days ago

Manager merry-go-round causing mayhem for contractors

Construction bosses walk-in to new jobs no matter how poor their track record is
4 days ago

Contractor services