Worker buried in three metre deep trench collapse

Grant Prior 5 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

Landsec eyes £825m Glasgow Buchanan Galleries rebuild

Glasgow's mammoth shopping mall could be demolished for mixed-use city quarter
6 hours ago

Mace lands £300m London court and police complex

Main construction works to start on Fleet Street site this autumn
9 hours ago

Balfour Beatty names new investment arm chief

Leo Quinn promotes former major projects finance director Gavin Russell
9 hours ago

Spanish giant lands deal to build £683m waste power plant

New plant will turn black bin bag waste into electricity
10 hours ago

M1 fraud probe exposes contract management problems

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

Beaumont Morgan Developments goes into administration

Begbies Traynor now in charge of £47m turnover Manchester contractor
16 hours ago

Green light for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

Kier and Mace bidding for revamp project with three storey glulam building at its heart
16 hours ago

Morgan Sindall hires Crossrail safety director

Carole Bardell-Wise joins infrastructure business as SHEQ Director.
16 hours ago

Galliford Try bags £28m Dover inland border control facility

Major inland border facility to be built alongside the A2 outside of Dover
15 hours ago

Plans go in for £280m Leeds Whitehall Riverside scheme

Major office and flats scheme to be built next to River Aire
15 hours ago

Roofer dies in six metre plunge through asbestos sheets

Court hears no safety nets were fitted on site
1 day ago

Subbies stop working for Beaumont Morgan Developments

Manchester based contractor was delivering Fortis Quay for associate development company
2 days 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
2 days 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
2 days ago

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

Sites in Redbridge, Ipswich and Milton Keynes to be developed
2 days ago

Plans in for 350-flat Salford student scheme

Developer X1 hopes to start 15-storey building later this year
2 days ago

Green light for Birmingham Paradise landmark hotel

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

Structural steel price jumps another £50 a tonne

British Steel blames New Year's price hike on continuing high product costs
5 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
5 days ago

Former BAM Nuttall chief to join Murphy

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

Bouygues set for London Tustin Estate 700-home rebuild

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

Safety horror show on housing site leads to director ban

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

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

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

Kier more than halves debts to below £200m

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

Barhale boosts funds as it looks to rebuild turnover

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

HS2 labour agency looks to float on AIM

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

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

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

Graham secures third Audley retirement village

Work starts on Audley Villages site at Scarcroft, West Yorkshire.
6 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
7 days ago

Contractor services