VolkerRail fined £550,000 after trench collapse

Grant Prior 2 years ago
Share

VolkerRail has been fined £550,000 after a worker was injured in a trench collapse.

An ORR photo of the accident site
An ORR photo of the accident site

The infrastructure contractor pleaded guilty to a safety offence after an investigation and prosecution by industry regulator the Office of Rail and Road.

The incident happened on 6 July 2014, when an employee was working in a trench as part of a project carrying out excavation work outside Stafford railway station. The wall of the trench collapsed, burying the worker.

He suffered serious injuries including a broken pelvis and several broken ribs and underwent surgery on his pelvis, stomach and lungs and was placed in an induced coma.

By 2021 he was still in pain and no longer able to work full time.

At the time of the collapse, the excavation was approximately two metres deep and had been constructed without any support to the sides.

In its investigation, ORR found the company did not use temporary works (such as trench supports) to shore up the excavation despite evidence of unstable ground conditions, and expert evidence shows that had they done so the collapse would not have occurred.

ORR also found VolkerRail Ltd. did not adequately brief its construction team on how to complete tasks and was not following its own methods. In addition, poor management meant failings were not corrected and complaints were not fully acted upon.

Sentence was passed by His Honour Judge Smith at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

In his remarks, HH Judge Smith said trench supports had been delivered to site but were not used, and proper consideration was never given to the use of temporary works.

He also said it was clear that some concerns were raised regarding the work, and whilst some steps were taken following these concerns, the methodology was not fully adapted.

Ian Prosser CBE, HM Chief Inspector of Railways at ORR, said: “VolkerRail had opportunities to correct working practices and make the works safer, but these opportunities were missed. The result led to extremely serious injuries to one of its employees.

“Over many years we have worked with industry to ensure that there is a good level of understanding of the regulations when undertaking excavation work. It is important that companies working on the railways maintain relentless focus on managing risks to protect their staff.”

Latest news

More Osborne companies file administration notices

Three more divisions lodge notices with court
6 hours ago

McLaren wins multi-storey urban logistics contract

South London win with British Land is pioneering urban logistics hub
5 hours ago

Big social housing schemes at risk over funding uncertainty

Housing associations warn uncertainty over public funding beyond 2026 is curbing new schemes
5 hours ago

Kier wins Worcestershire town centre renewal

Firm secures Bromsgrove commercial and cultural hub project
5 hours ago

BAM signs Kent school contract at £42m

Sevenoaks school rebuild signed off at £8m more than first estimates
5 hours ago

RG Group signs £121m Newcastle rental homes job

Developer Olympian Homes advances 519 flats plan at Pottery Lane site
3 days ago

Geoffrey Osborne files administration notice

Contractor in talks to save parts of the business
3 days ago

Winners named for £260m Manchester Uni framework

B&K, Henry Bros, Graham, Robertson and Vinci among new line-up
3 days ago

Shed specialist Benniman rides out market lull

Worcestershire warehouse builder says industrial and logistics work is picking up again
3 days ago

Another contractor cleared after high profile immigration raid

Adana Construction employees were working legally on site swooped on by Home Office
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe wants to meet new London suppliers

Contractor holding Meet the Buyer event in London: Register now
3 days ago

McAlpine signs £500m Broadgate dual towers deal

Work to start on iconic 36-storey and 21-storey towers
4 days ago

Worker rescued from collapsed four metre deep trench

Fire crews take six hours to save trapped builder near Blackwall Tunnel
4 days ago

Gove puts another major building scheme on hold

Secretary of State starts another planning fight after M&S defeat
5 days ago

Greenwich University tenders £300m framework

Up to five firms will carry out upgrade and newbuild work at three campuses
4 days ago

Work starts on Manchester 26-storey Obsidian tower

Contractor Domis starts Salboy's 10th Manchester scheme in seven years
4 days ago

Race for £1.3bn West Midlands social homes framework

The Community Housing Group reboots tender race for new build housing
4 days ago

Delancey submits £400m King’s Cross lab plans

200,000 sq ft lab/office project will be built above railway and tube tunnels just 4.5m below
5 days ago

Winners revealed for £150m fire safety framework

New deal will help organisations comply with the Building Safety Act
4 days ago

Sellar plans £500m City tower next to Walkie-Talkie

Consultation starts on London 60 Gracechurch Street tower
5 days ago

Severfield ends year on high with record order book

Orders top £500m with strong future pipeline of opportunities ahead
5 days ago

Second senior director exits National Highways

Commercial director Malcolm Dare set to move on to new role
5 days ago

New scheme fuels London lab building boom

Plans in for 160,000 sq ft Whitechapel scheme near Royal London hospital
5 days ago

Contract race starts for next £155m section of A9 dualling

Prior Information Notice published for Tay Crossing to Ballinluig stretch
6 days ago

£55m Sheffield build-to-rent scheme approved

Demolition to start later this year for 158-flat Sheffield Garden project
6 days ago

London back as most expensive place to build in world

Capital leapfrogs Geneva to top costliest construction rankings
6 days ago

Gas supplier Regent to buy TClarke for £90m

£491m turnover listed building services specialist to be sold
6 days ago

Steel contractor Billington launches into bridge market

Steelwork firm hires staff from failed architectural and bridge specialist SH Structures
6 days ago

McGee employees benefit from rise in profits

Pre-tax profit doubles boosting payouts for Employee Ownership Trust
6 days ago

Lendlease veteran is latest new McAlpine director

Paul Sims joins as Operations Director after 40 years at rival contractor
7 days ago

Contractor services