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Construction Workers are at Risk of Injury

The construction industry is a major source of work in the UK, and employs around 6% of the UK workforce; however, it can also be one of the most dangers sectors to work in.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that every year in the construction sector, 3% of workers suffer from an illness they believe to be work-related, and a further 3% suffer as a result of work-related injury.

HSE Investigations

The HSE is frequently called upon to investigation incidents in construction workplaces where workers have sustained an injury.

In one such case, the HSE conducted an investigation after a worker suffered crush injuries when he was hit and then run over by an excavator.

The 45-year-old was working for a demolition company that had been contracted to demolish a school in Ellesmere Port to make way for a new leisure centre.

At the time of the incident, he was standing in an area where a skip wagon and a 40 tonne excavator were manoeuvring. He was hit by the excavator, which knocked him to the ground where its tracks ran over his left foot.

The worker was severely affected by his injuries. He has undergone several operations to rebuild his foot, but is still in constant pain and is unable to work.

Failings by Employer

The HSE prosecuted the company after is investigation found that inadequate arrangements were in place to ensure pedestrians and vehicles were separated on the site. It also found that there was insufficient control of workers.

The company pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £40,000 with £7,246 costs.

“This was an entirely foreseeable incident which could have been avoided,” commented HSE Inspector Deborah Walker, speaking after the court hearing. “The company failed to properly plan for the duration of the works putting pedestrians at risk.”

In a second incident, the HSE carried out an investigation into an incident on a construction site where a joiner was injured after falling from a height of around four metres.

He had been working under the control of the principal contractor on a new property development in Northumberland. He was undertaking an unplanned activity to fit a weather vane to a roof when he fell backwards from the scaffold to the uneven ground below, suffering a fractured vertebra and a large cut to the back of his head.

The HSE found that scaffolding on site had been altered by workers not trained to do so, leaving it without adequate edge protection to prevent a person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury. It concluded that the company had failed to plan, manage and monitor the installation of the weather vane.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 13(1) the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £800.

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If you have suffered a work-related injury and would like to find out about making a personal injury claim, then contact our expert personal injury lawyers today.

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