Site worker killed by high pressure jet of grease

Grant Prior 7 months ago
Share

Specialist hirer Ruislip Plant Ltd has been fined £99,000 after a worker was fatally injured while undertaking maintenance on a piling rig.

Reading Crown Court heard that, on 13 May 2014, Ben Wylie was assisting Ruislip Plant Director Noel Kearney (since deceased) with the maintenance of a high-pressure grease track adjusting mechanism at a construction site in Maidenhead.

During the process, the grease nipple assembly and a stream of high-pressure grease was forcibly ejected from the mechanism and struck Wylie in the shoulder and chest causing fatal injuries.

An HSE investigation found that the components had been forcibly ejected on the previous day and had sustained damage in that event, reducing the pressure at which it would subsequently fail.

Once the fitting had been ejected, it should not have been refitted.

Despite the fittings having been previously ejected and damaged, Kearney attempted to modify and refit the grease nipple and adaptor to the high-pressure system. He then began to re-pressurise the tracks by pumping in grease using a hand operated grease gun.

The pressure built in the system and at a critical point the damaged and modified components were again ejected.

A pressure test with all suitable safeguards was required in these circumstances but there was no safe system of work during which resulted in the modifications to the grease gun bringing Wylie into the danger zone.

Ruislip Plant Ltd of Ruislip, Middlesex pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £99,000 and ordered to pay costs of £116, 973.36.

After the hearing, HSE inspector John Glynn said: “HSE guidance is very specific on how this work should be undertaken and previously ejected or damaged parts must not be reused as they were in this case.

“This incident could have been avoided if Ruislip Plant Ltd had instead undertaken a risk assessment and devised a safe system of work.

“That safe system of work would necessarily have ensured that new parts were used, and that the safety procedure of a pressure test was performed. However, a new component was not used in this incident and the safety procedure was not adhered to.

“That failure to adhere to the correct procedure for pressure testing was directly causative of this incident. No control measures were put in place by Ruislip Plant Limited and that sadly led to the death of Ben Wylie.”

Wylie’s family were supported by campaign group Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK).

His mother Mylene Bensley said: “Ben’s death was not immediate, and I will have the visions of my son standing up after being shot by oil and a piece of equipment and stumbling across a building site saying he felt sick and spewing out blood and then falling down forever etched into my mind, due to the inadequate provision for his safety.

“The information started coming through in graphic minutiae of detail of how Ben died. I took each blow of information because my son had taken the blow that killed him, and I wanted to be there in my mind in any way I could be because I couldn’t be there for his dying moments.

“Ben’s body was returned home on my birthday in a coffin.

“We have suffered for seven years with no government assistance and we have to continue despite anger, deep hurt and insecurity.

“I am so grateful that FACK were so helpful because without their help and support this whole horrible experience would have been so much worse.”

Latest news

Covid impact plunges NG Bailey to £10m operating loss

Firm enters centenary year optimistic about the outlook with £1.2bn order book
7 hours ago

Sisk wins £68m Leeds twin resi towers

Works starts on Lattitude Purple scheme at former Monkbridge Iron and Steelworks site
6 hours ago

Plans in for major overhaul of Surrey pharma campus

New three storey glulam building at heart of campus revamp
5 hours ago

Create Construction goes into administration

£93m-turnover contractor sunk by the impact of the pandemic
13 hours ago

London 21-storey Fleet Street landmark offices approved

Former Daily Express building to be redeveloped as 660,000 sq ft offices
1 day ago

Contractors primed for fresh wave of price increases

Energy costs to drive big heavyside price increases as logistics issues persist into next year
11 hours ago

Muse wins green light for £30m Bradford office scheme

Work to start on landmark One City Park in Bradford next Spring
11 hours ago

Regional levelling-up projects – full list

£5.7bn regional transport settlements and £1.7bn Levelling Up Fund allocations
21 hours ago

Barhale wins £9m south London trunk main

4km water main to be installed between Crooms Hill and the Greenwich Peninsular
1 day ago

Chancellor channels spending boost into regions

Sunak commits to maintaining infrastructure revolution
1 day ago

Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick MD departs

Simon Lafferty rumoured to be heading to another M&E contractor
1 day ago

Castleoak was taking on staff seven days before going under

Collapsed developer and builder employed new supply chain head one week before administration
2 days ago

Henry bags £25m RC frame deal for Barratt London

Barratt plans 1,500 homes at former Nestle factory site in Hayes
2 days ago

Go-ahead for 22,000-seat Southend FC stadium

Worked hoped to start subject to final Government approval early next year
2 days ago

Costain poaches new digital chief from Microsoft

Microsoft digital business transformation chief Matthew Higham joins in December
2 days ago

O’Keefe lands £8m brace of contracts after CVA

Civils specialist winning regular work after striking deal with creditors
2 days ago

Castleoak goes under with loss of more than 100 jobs

Subcontractors seething as care homes specialist goes down
3 days ago

HS2 under fire for use of non-UK approved imported rebar

HS2 claims French fabricator called in because UK rebar firms could not fulfil order
2 days ago

Tolent boss to leave as losses hit £8.3m

Closure of Southern business two years ago continues to hit bottom line
3 days ago

New finance model paves way for Sizewell C nuclear plant

Government acts to put nuclear power station build programme back on track
2 days ago

Builders trade body wants to “deconstruct” CITB

NFB wants skills body replaced because it "cannot deliver on its core mission"
2 days ago

Domis set for Salford tower for upwardly-mobile

30-floor Clippers Quay tower rises from lower co-living studios to luxury penthouse living
3 days ago

Glencar bags 780,000 sq ft Coventry logistics park

Expanding St Albans contractor clinches big job for Bericote Properties
3 days ago

Cladding panels “dislodged” from McAlpine hotel job

Roads closed around £540m Victoria square development
4 days ago

Willmott Dixon wins £14.5m Luton hospital extension

Work starts on new hospital entrance and CT scanning department
2 days ago

Chancellor to detail £7bn spending pledge for local transport

Around £1.5bn will be new cash for Midlands and Northern metro mayors
3 days ago

Weston Homes plans £100m London flats scheme

Firm will build 254 flats at former Dylon factory in Sydenham
4 days ago

New home starts slump 27% amid labour and materials crisis

Third quarter new housing registrations show shift away from apartment living
4 days ago

Liverpool student block developer goes under

Subbies owed millions as Mount Group Student Natex goes into administration
6 days ago

£1.7bn Blue Eden project refloats Swansea tidal energy plan

Vast energy park plan for Swansea waterfront with 150 floating homes
3 days ago

Contractor services