Groundworker shatters leg in piling horror

Grant Prior 3 years ago
Share

A Grimsby contractor has been fined and ordered to pay an injured worker compensation after his leg was shattered in a piling accident at a new school science block.

Groundworker Jamie North, 49, from Grimsby, sustained multiple leg fractures during the pile cropping work at Caistor Grammar School, Lincolnshire in March 2013.

North required two operations and had a steel frame and screws fixed on his leg.

He also developed a blood clot which required further treatment after a 21-day stay in hospital.

He was off work for a year and is still undergoing treatment on his ankle. He can no longer work in the construction industry.

An HSE investigation found that Topcon Construction Ltd failed to ensure that work equipment used for cropping piles was used only in suitable conditions, and failed to dismantle a reinforced concrete pile in a manner to prevent danger.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard that North was working on the construction of the new school building which required the installation of pre-cast concrete driven foundation piles.

The six-metre long piles were driven into the ground using a piling rig, in an upright position, until they were set.

The excess part of the piles, which extends out of the ground, was then to be cropped using a hydraulic pile cropper.

HSE found the pile cropper hired by Topcon was only suitable for piles with a single, steel reinforcing bar running through the length of a pile.

Another cropping machine, a power cropper, had been recommended for the school construction job by the hire company but the advice had been disregarded.

Magistrates were told the pile cropper being used was not powerful enough to cut through the concrete and four steel bars so was used to nibble the concrete away to expose the steel bars, which were then cut through with a disc cutter.

The piles were then pushed to the ground in an uncontrolled manner.

As North was guiding the cropper over one pile, a colleague pushed another pile over but he had not cut through one of the bars. The pile twisted and fell onto North.

Topcon Construction Ltd of Louth Road, Grimsby, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,980 in costs after pleading guilty to safety breaches.

Topcon must also pay North compensation of £10,000 for his injuries.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Waring said: “Topcon Construction Ltd failed to heed two warnings that the pile cropper they had ordered was not suitable for the job, hence the need to adopt the high-risk ‘tree-felling’ method of pushing the piles over.

“They should have foreseen that the felling of piles, in an area that workers could wander into, presented a high risk of injury.

“Mr North suffered very serious leg injuries in an incident that could have been prevented, had the work been better planned and managed.”

Latest news

Carillion woes hit King’s Cross office project

Hunt on for a new contractor to deliver 11-storey office scheme
21 hours ago

Persimmon chairman resigns after bonus controversy

House builder admits £100m+ bonus plan should have been capped
21 hours ago

Green light for 1,300 homes at Nestlé factory

Barratt London to build 1,300 homes at former factory site in on outskirts of west London
21 hours ago

Galliford Try lands £54m Manchester Airport project

Contractor wins second taxiway project on £1bn airport upgrade
21 hours ago

Czech facade specialist starts £60m London job

Sipral starts Canary Wharf residential twin towers for Ecoworld Ballymore jv
1 day ago

McLaren gets start date for £58m Banbury shopping centre

Construction to begin in February on Castle Quay expansion
21 hours ago

Winners named for £400m infrastructure consultancy

Costain and Mace among line-up for Crown Commercial Services infrastructure framework
1 day ago

Contractor in court after workers exposed to silica dust

Safety inspectors find workers dry cutting bricks in a basement
21 hours ago

Betting Spy: David Moyes – an apology

The West Ham boss is working his magic and the Irons are a good bet away at stuttering Stoke
1 day ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
2 months ago

Crossrail site protest as Balfour lays off 50 sparks

Contractor insists redundancies are unconnected to £5,000-a-head finishing bonus demands
3 days ago

Interserve seals £180m lending deal for extra headroom

Debbie White seals deal for more time to restructure business
2 days ago

Severfield lands steelwork package for Google HQ

Specialist to start work in June for main contractor Lendlease at King's Cross site
2 days ago

Kier secures £138m London health deal

Kier P22 work haul soars to £400m
2 days ago

Scape research reveals need for huge school building push

Procurement body calls for national school building strategy
2 days ago

Carillion wins another £11.6m rail electrification deal

Network Rail awards station upgrade deal on Glasgow to Edinburgh route
3 days ago

Galliford Try wins £24m M49 junction

Work to start on new junction at Avonmouth in the New Year
2 days ago

Costain director joins pipe-lining specialist

Tim Bowen takes the helm at Aquam to deliver ambitious expansion plan
3 days ago

Highways England to trial self healing roads

Sunflower oil capsules in asphalt could save £260m a year
3 days ago

Tarmac swaps quarries for Breedon concrete plants

Tarmac offloads four quarries for 27 Breedon ready-mixed concrete plants
3 days ago

Mace wins £140m London School of Economics project

Work to start on Marshall building once McGee completes demolition in the spring
3 days ago

Construction start date for £350m Tower Hamlets site

Planning go-ahead for Galliard Homes and Lindhill at Ailsa Wharf
4 days ago

Specialist Mick George moves into housebuilding

Civils contractor forms joint venture to target housing market
3 days ago

Fusion21 launches £150m sprinkler supplier panel

Local authorities and housing associations call for post-Grenfell preferred supplier list
3 days ago

Ardmore wins £77m Stratford hotel contract

Two-year build programme gets underway at the 18-storey Gantry development
4 days ago

Lovell to start £30m Doncaster Lakeside scheme

Eastern division boasts £100m forward order book from string of schemes
3 days ago

Balfour Beatty on track for 2-3% margin by late 2018

Leo Quinn confident of paying down borrowings as they fall due in 2018
4 days ago

Skanska and Multiplex eye £100m City fringe office job

Aldgate Developments prepares to start £100m phase 2 office complex
4 days ago

Speller Metcalfe wins “non-confrontational” £16m contract

Contractor to start revamp of Derby Silk Mill next year using innovative procurement model
4 days ago

Plans for new £80m library at University of Bristol

Design team appointed as construction set to start in summer of 2019
4 days ago

Contractor services