Worker buried alive in site trench horror

Grant Prior 8 years ago
Share

A Dorset contractor has been prosecuted after a worker was buried under a mountain of fallen earth at a building site in Poole.

Kevin Richards, 46, of Weymouth, was checking preparatory work for a basement retaining wall at a property in Lilliput in June 2012 when the unsupported sides of a three metre excavation collapsed.

He was struck from behind and was rapidly engulfed by the sheer volume of the soil.

A colleague who heard the noise used his hands to remove the material and create and airway for Richards.

He suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured left shoulder blade, a double break to his right leg, and two fractured ribs. He was in hospital for more than four weeks.

An HSE investigation found that the excavation at the site, managed by principal contractor Bluebay Properties Ltd, was not supported or suitably battered back.

Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court was told that the site in Blake Hill Crescent was also the home of the firm’s proprietor.

Richards was working for a firm sub-contracted for the basement part of extension works.

The excavation was 150 square metres and three metres in height.

Richards was undertaking final checks on formwork constructed to form a retaining wall as part of the basement.  He was in a narrow space between the formwork and the face of the excavation when the collapse happened without warning.

Bluebay Properties Ltd, of  Lilliput, Poole, pleaded guilty to a safety breach and was fined £ 6,000, ordered to pay £4,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector James Powell said: “This incident should never have happened.  It was only a matter of good fortune that Mr Richards was not killed.  Other workers were also put at risk.

“There is a risk of collapse or partial collapse causing serious injury or death if an excavation is not supported or suitably battered back.  Any collapse has the potential to bury or injure people working in an excavation.

“Whilst Bluebay Properties Ltd had identified collapse as a hazard, they failed to implement control measures to reduce the risk, instead relying on a visual inspection. No ground can be relied upon to stand unsupported in any circumstances.”

Latest news

M1 fraud probe reveals contract management problems

M1 J13-16 investigation finds £320,000 of central barrier scrap metal went ‘missing
19 mins ago

Green light for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

Kier and Mace in bidding revamp project with three storey glulam building at its heart
34 mins ago

Beaumont Morgan Developments goes into administration

Begbies Traynor now in charge of £47m turnover Manchester contractor
24 mins ago

Morgan Sindall hires Crossrail safety director

Carole Bardell-Wise joins infrastructure business as SHEQ Director.
33 mins ago

Roofer dies in six metre plunge through asbestos sheets

Court hears no safety nets were fitted on site
18 hours ago

Subbies stop working for Beaumont Morgan Developments

Manchester based contractor was delivering Fortis Quay for associate development company
1 day ago

Gove threatens ban on cladding suppliers failing to pay for retrofits

Cladding and insulation suppliers now in firing line for cash for £9bn post-Grenfell remediation bill
1 day ago

Bill for £22bn HS2 extension to Manchester goes to Parliament

52-mile extension of HS2 to Manchester via Manchester Airport will support 17,500 construction jobs
24 hours ago

Galliard scoops up trio of sites for schemes worth £265m

Sites in Redbridge, Ipswich and Milton Keynes to be developed
23 hours ago

Plans in for 350-flat Salford student scheme

Developer X1 hopes to start 15-storey building later this year
1 day ago

Green light for Birmingham Paradise landmark hotel

17-storey hotel will be the 'cornerstone' of Phase 2
4 days ago

Structural steel price jumps another £50 a tonne

British Steel blames New Year's price hike on continuing high product costs
4 days ago

Enabling works start at £400m Manchester First Street

Downing to start main construction in March of three resi buildings rising up to 45 storeys
4 days ago

Former BAM Nuttall chief to join Murphy

Adrian Savory to start new role as director of Major Projects division next month
4 days ago

Bouygues set for London Tustin Estate 700-home rebuild

Phased building programme to start towards the end of the year
4 days ago

Safety horror show on housing site leads to director ban

Court hears contractor ignored multiple prohibition and improvement notices
4 days ago

JV North calls up local firms for £250m new home works

Framework for home building projects worth up to £2m
4 days ago

Kier more than halves debts to below £200m

Kier chief reports steady progress in first six months of trading
5 days ago

Barhale boosts funds as it looks to rebuild turnover

Contractor confident as water companies ramp-up spending plans
5 days ago

HS2 labour agency looks to float on AIM

£23m turnover labour supply business looks to raise funds for expansion
5 days ago

Kane scores £29m M&E deal with Willmott Dixon

Off site works to play crucial role in major London estate contract
5 days ago

Graham secures third Audley retirement village

Work starts on Audley Villages site at Scarcroft, West Yorkshire.
5 days ago

Keltbray wins first deal for former nmcn infrastructure arm

Hull waste processing contract for rescued division
6 days ago

50 firms win £750m decarbonisation framework

Fusion21 framework to target 'whole building' works on homes and schools
6 days ago

Balfour Beatty UK construction MD to step down

Tom Edgcumbe to depart after just over a year as MD construction services in England and Wales
6 days ago

Crest Nicholson trebles cladding retrofit provisions to £43m

House builder revises building safety retrofit costs in face of new Government guidance
6 days ago

BAM bags £110m refurb of iconic Covent Garden tower

Landmark Seifert-designed 15-storey Space House to get two extra floors
7 days ago

Winvic to start UK’s largest speculative shed

Ellesmere Port warehouse understood to be worth around £80m
6 days ago

Kier signs deal for £169m Luton hospital revamp

Main construction work to start this month and last until 2024
6 days ago

Willmott Dixon nabs £30m Kirklees police HQ

Work to start within next few weeks on regional police HQ
6 days ago

Contractor services