Worker buried in three metre deep trench collapse

Grant Prior 2 years ago
Share

A Fife-based construction company has been fined after a worker had to be dug out of a trench that collapsed onto him.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard the 43-year-old employee of Wallace Roofing and Building Limited suffered a broken shoulder and collarbone as well as punctures to both of his lungs and fractures to all but two of his ribs.

Emergency services helped the rescue operation following the incident in September 2011 at a house renovation in Falkland.

A trench was being dug with an excavator to help connect the drainage system of the old property with a new extension.

When the workers came across a boulder preventing them from further digging, the excavator was used to try and move the rock.

The injured man, who was in the trench laying the new piping, was trying to help guide the excavator.

During this operation one of the trench walls, nine feet deep, subsided, burying the worker under the dislodged earth.

Workers immediately started digging the soil away from the man’s head to allow him to breathe. He remained partially buried in the trench until the emergency services arrived and dug him free. He remained in hospital for almost three weeks.

An HSE investigation found that the trench had not been supported or ‘stepped back’, to control the risk of the trench collapsing.

Inspectors also found that nobody had formal health and safety training for managing a construction site and that work involving the excavated trench had not been risk assessed.

As a result, workers were given instructions through verbal briefings rather than detailed, mapped out planning.

Wallace Roofing and Building Limited, of Fife, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £14,000.

Speaking after sentence, HSE Inspector Ritchie McCrae said: “The risks associated with collapsing excavation walls are well known, as are the necessary control measures which could easily have been employed.

“On this occasion, the company failed to identify the risk and consequently there was a total absence of any control measure which would have prevented this incident from occurring.

“The injured worker sustained serious, permanent injury and is extremely lucky to still be alive.”

Latest news

Serious Fraud Office launches probe into North West sites

Series of addresses searched over suspected fraud on developments in Liverpool and Manchester
1 day ago

Summer site start for £200m Birmingham mixed use scheme

Colmore Tang to build Connaught Square scheme featuring 27-storey tower
14 hours ago

Hitachi halts construction work at Wylfa nuclear site

Japanese giant fails to strike funding deal with UK government
1 day ago

Build-to-rent home construction jumps 40%

Number of rental homes in planning jumps 10% to over 60,000
14 hours ago

BAM wins £320m Scotland and North East railways deal

AmcoGiffen, Story Contracting and QTS also secure framework places
1 day ago

Galliard and O’Shea team up for £130m Nine Elms scheme

Plan for over 260 homes on one of seven plots at former Royal Mail site
1 day ago

20 consultants win £100m Homes England framework

Aecom, Atkins, Jacobs, Mace and WSP make new multi-disciplinary framework
1 day ago

Buyer deposits repaid as Manchester’s tallest tower axed

54-floor St John's Place residential tower pulled in face of cooling demand
2 days ago

Billionaire Warren Buffett targets UK construction insurance

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance enters market as contractors struggle for cover
2 days ago

Skilled trades pay rates hit £1000-a-week in Midlands

Self employed workers enjoyed wage rises of 6.7% last year
2 days ago

Kier boss leaves to become Rydon construction head

Mark Norris leaves operations director role at Kier after 13 months
2 days ago

Go-ahead for £60m Nottingham HMRC hub

Bowmer & Kirkland believed to be in line to build Unity Square offices
2 days ago

Crooked bookkeeper stole £100k from cladding contractor

Court hears how mother and daughter used company cash to fund their lifestyles
2 days ago

£50m stands approved for Lords cricket ground

Builder ISG to start in August on new Edrich and Compton stands
2 days ago

Roof trusses fall on labourer

Darlington Council fined for poor site management
2 days ago

Union demands “period dignity” on construction sites

Multiplex first contractor to sign-up with campaign for better site toilets
3 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

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

Van Elle profit warning after “challenging” quarter

Lower margin contracts drag down performance as restructuring continues
3 days ago

Balfour boss in Brexit blast at Chancellor

Leo Quinn highlights construction's fears in conference call with ministers
3 days ago

Wates wins £90m post-Grenfell reclad job

Work to start this summer on five tower blocks at North London's Chalcots Estate
3 days ago

Construction forecasters bet on delayed soft Brexit

Crystal ball gazers believe UK will avoid workload fall with sluggish growth in 2019
3 days ago

Plan for £300m Lincolnshire power station

Czech power firm plans energy from waste plant next to South Humber Bank power station
3 days ago

Fitzgerald returns Bovis Homes to record profits

Margins restored and completions up 3% after 18-month turnaround
3 days ago

Late payment bill boosts calls for project bank accounts

Second reading due as MP fights to protect subcontractors from Carillion-style collapses
3 days ago

Plant hire giant Hawk falls into administration

Administrators pledge to keep kit working on site as they look for a buyer
4 days ago

HS2 forces firms to use least polluting trucks and plant

Rail project raises bar to exceed London emission standards
4 days ago

Watkin Jones hits record profits as pipeline grows

Firm enjoys three-year pipeline of 24 student rooms and build to rent sites
4 days ago

South Eastern Electrical went down owing £4m to suppliers

Contracts sold by administrators to associated company SEE Rail
4 days ago

Carey wins £16m Stratford Waterfront civils package

Cladding and mechanical packages will come up for bid in next three months
4 days ago

Mace confirmed for £350m Paddington Cube

Erith, Keltbray, J Coffey and Getjar chase basement contract
4 days ago

Contractor services