Firms sentenced after four killed in site excavation tragedy

Grant Prior 2 years ago
Share

Two firms have been fined a total of £700,000 and a director given a suspended prison sentence after four workers were killed at an excavation site in Norfolk.

The partially-built steel reinforcement structure after it collapsed

The Old Bailey heard that on 21 January 2011 the men were constructing a large steel structure as part of the foundation for a large Pressure Test Facility (PTF) at Claxton Engineering Services in Great Yarmouth.

The structure – which weighed several tonnes – collapsed on top of the group.

A large-scale emergency response took place to try and rescue the trapped workers. Adam Taylor, 28, 41-year-old Peter Johnson and brothers Thomas Hazelton, 26 and Daniel Hazelton, 30, were all pronounced dead at the scene.

The excavation for the horizontal PTF was more than 23m long, 3m wide and 2m deep. The horizontal steel cage being constructed would have weighed about 32 tonnes when completed.

The group were working for Hazegood Construction Ltd. Daniel Hazelton was an employee, while the other three were self-employed contractors.

Encompass Project Management Ltd was the principal contractor, with Hazegood operating as a contractor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The same structure before the incident

An HSE investigation found serious flaws in the planning, management and monitoring of this complex project on the part of Claxton as well as Encompass and its company director David Groucott.

Claxton Engineering Services Ltd of Norwich pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,000.

Encompass Project Management Ltd of Thetford, Norfolk pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £50,000.

Groucott of Diss, Norfolk also pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was sentenced to a seven and a half month custodial sentence, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work within 12 months, and also ordered to pay costs of £7,500.

Charges against Hazegood Construction Ltd were ordered to lie on file.

HSE Construction Division Head of Operations Annette Hall said: “Those sentenced today failed the four workers who died. They didn’t carry out their legal duties, leading to the events which caused their deaths.

“This was a long term, large scale and complex civil engineering project which needed to be planned, designed, managed and monitored effectively.

“The tragedy here is that, in the months leading up to the accident, any one of these parties could and should have asked basic questions about building the structure safely. Such an intervention could have avoided the tragic outcome of this entirely preventable accident.”

Latest news

Construction braced for freelance tax disruption

Self-employed professionals face major contractor move back to PAYE
1 hour ago

Rain halts BAM’s Carlisle flood defence job until Spring

Wet weather in August and September blamed for pause on £25m scheme
1 hour ago

Bristol student tower block trio approved

Work expected to start at Temple Island midway through next year
2 hours ago

Atkins names ex-HS2 ops boss as UK chief executive

Richard Robinson will lead Atkins UK's 10,000 strong team
19 hours ago

Procurement bodies team up for new consultants framework

North West and Southern framework groups call up multi-disciplinary consultants
2 hours ago

Materials giant sees brick and block sales weaken

Bison precast business hit by contract delays
2 hours ago

Wates kicks off York council house building programme

£27m Lowfield Green scheme will see 140 homes built
2 hours ago

L&G commits to £750m affordable homes investment

Affordable homes division hires former Capco director to deliver 3,500-home pipeline
18 hours ago

ISG names new UK construction chief

Zoe Price promoted to chief operating officer for construction
1 day ago

Interserve set for £36m Walsall hospital A&E upgrade

Work to start in April next year at Walsall Manor Hospital
1 day ago

London council to overhaul £370m housing upkeep

Lambeth council to give residents say in policing delivery by contractors
1 day ago

Carpenter falls through gap in safety deck

Badly installed safety system did not cover whole work area
1 day ago

Fusion21 launches £250m energy efficiency framework race

Firms installing PV panels, cladding and LED lighting called up for new framework
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

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

Construction safety test cheats caught in police raids

Crooked test centres in answers for cash scandal
4 days ago

Demolition giants land places on £50m framework

Housing Association Notting Hill Genesis confirms eight winners
4 days ago

Green light for £79m “Mancunian” tower

Planners approve major city centre regeneration scheme
4 days ago

FEC starts £470m Isle of Dogs twin tower project

JRL starts piling work on 65 and 35-storey hotel and flats project
5 days ago

£200m Lancashire waste incinerator approved

Heysham Gateway energy recovery facility will create 350 construction jobs
4 days ago

Common prequal standard adopted for HS2 subcontract bids

Main works civils contractors adopt new PQQ system to cut supply chain costs
5 days ago

Westridge to restart stalled Brighton Dome revamp

Contractor wins race to replace Britain's oldest builder on £21m renovation job
5 days ago

Laing O’Rourke returns to profit

Britain's biggest private contractor returns a £33m profit after stemming losses in Canada
5 days ago

Vast Elizabeth House London scheme to start next year

HB Reavis gets planning go-ahead for 1.2m sq ft project beside Waterloo Station
6 days ago

Digger driver jailed after builder crushed by excavator bucket

Ten month sentence after worker killed in trench
5 days ago

Winvic margin falls as revenue jumps 29% to £628m

Pre-tax profit drops a third to £20m as shed builder boosts workforce for growth
4 days ago

Interserve signs off £13m Oldham cultural hub deal

Firm lands heritage and art centre project where Gilbert Ash held a pre-construction services agreement
6 days ago

William Birch lands York housing scheme from local charity

Construction to start later this year on apartments for visually impaired people
5 days ago

Winner picked for £250m ‘Harrods of Bayswater’ job

London's Whiteleys shopping centre to be redeveloped
6 days ago

No win no fee service launched for construction disputes

New service to create "level playing field" for smaller contractors considering adjudication claims
6 days ago

Alun Griffiths lands £85m Cornish link road

Construction could start next year on St Austell scheme
6 days ago

Contractor services