Construction company fined £800,000

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A construction company has been fined after a contractor was run over on a large site in Wokingham.

David Cole was the site foreman on a large housing development project, which started in April 2013 and has a completion date of April 2017. He was struck by and pulled under a large bulk powder carrier.

Cole who was contracted to Harlequin Brickwork was walking along the site road at Mulberry Grove toward the rear of a bulk powder (mortar) carrier in December, 2014. The vehicle was located on a T junction having just reversed into it. Cole walked along the nearside of the vehicle as it pulled forward and turned towards the nearside. He was hit by the vehicle and pulled under it.

He suffered serious life threatening injuries. His skin was removed and split on his left arm and leg, he fractured his left hip requiring a pin to be inserted, and fingers on his left hand were broken. His left leg has been left permanently shorter than his right by 20mm.

Reading Crown Court heard the site, run by the Principal Contractor, Crest Nicholson Operations, had failed to plan and manage the workplace transport effectively. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court the incident could have been avoided had they monitored and taken action to ensure workers stayed behind the pedestrian barriers and not walked on the road, and prevented large HGVs reversing 100s of metres at a time.

Crest Nicholson Operations, of Crest House, Pyrcroft Road, Chertsey, pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 36 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £800,000 plus £10,984 costs.

HSE’s inspector John Berezansky said: “David Cole suffered life changing injuries because Crest Nicolson Operations did not properly manage and monitor the workplace transport on their construction site.

“When working with such large delivery vehicles and construction plant, especially on projects where there are lots of pedestrians,  the principal contractor much take responsibility and ensure the health and safety of all those involved.”

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