Worker crushed during energy plant construction

Grant Prior 4 years ago
Share

Three construction companies have been fined after a worker was crushed by a falling section of conveyor at a plant in Sleaford.

The incident happened during construction of the Sleaford Renewable Energy plant on 14 February 2013 when the 4.5 tonne conveyor section overturned during installation.

It trapped Michael Doyle, a 49-year-old employee of Derby-based Shaw Group UK Ltd, who suffered multiple injuries including four cracked vertebrae, broken ribs, a punctured lung and broken ankle.

He has not returned to work since.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard that Shaw Group UK Ltd had been subcontracted to install a boiler and associated equipment , including a conveyor system to carry large straw bales, by Burmeister and Wain Energy (BWE).

BWE was one of two Danish companies, the other being Burmeister and Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), that had formed a consortium to design and build the centre, which burns straw and wood to create electricity.

Shaw Group UK Ltd had already lifted three conveyor sections on to a slope leading up to the boiler by craning them on to a platform at the bottom of the slope.

Skates were bolted to the front and rear legs which helped keep the section of conveyor on rails as it was dragged up the slope by manual winches set up at the top.

In order to fix the sections of conveyor in place workers needed to remove the skates and used jacks to raise the legs enough to take the skates off and then lower the legs down onto the rail.

This was carried out successfully on the first three sections but as the jacks were released, on the lower legs of the fourth and final section, one side lowered faster than the other and the conveyor swung towards two workers before violently swinging the other way and turning on its side, trapping Doyle underneath.

An HSE investigation identified safety failings by all three companies.

Shaw Group UK Ltd had produced a risk assessment and a plan for the installation but it did not consider removal of the skates from the legs of the conveyor sections or the manual winching of the load up the slope.

The document had been sent to BWE for checking but the company did not pick up on the omission.

The lifting operation using jacks was not carried out safely and none of the three defendants was managing or monitoring the work in a way that would ensure its safety.

The investigation also found that BWSC failed in its responsibility as principal contractor to ensure work was properly assessed and co-ordinated between the many contractors on site.

Shaw Group UK Ltd, of Derby, was fined a total of £17,350 and ordered to pay costs of £1,710 after pleading guilty to safety regulations.

Burmeister and Wain Scandinavian Contractor, of Allerød, Denmark, was fined £4,670 and ordered to pay costs of £1,710 while Burmeister and Wain Energy, of Kgs Lyngby, Denmark, was fined £5,350 and ordered to pay costs of £1,710.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Giles said: “This was a large site with multiple contractors and up to 300 people working at any one time.

“Although there was a series of site rules set out in a construction phase plan, BWSC’s management of the site was poor as each of the main contractors ran their own areas of the site as they desired and were able to set additional rules.

“This led to different procedures being followed and a lack of control over temporary works.

“The failure to ensure work was carried out safely on the slope was symptomatic of more general failures which were the responsibility of  principal contractor BWSC in setting the rules, procedures and checks needed to manage a large site. These failures put all the workers on site at risk.

“BWE specified the use of skates for installing the conveyor system but removing them required adequate risk assessment.

“Although the company had read the assessment and method statement produced by Shaw Group it made no comment on it and did not approve it before it was implemented. BWE should have picked up on that document’s failures and asked Shaw Group to re-evaluate before work was allowed to begin.

“Shaw Group UK Ltd’s risk assessment was flawed, and its management and monitoring of the task was not sufficient to identify potential problems and stop the work in the four days before Mr Doyle was hurt.

“The actual method of work followed by its employees was unsafe and led to Mr Doyle’s injuries when the load overturned.”

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