Learning From Another Construction Firm's Mistakes

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Turner Construction Ltd, a construction company located in Penkridge, Stafford, UK, has been fined due to an employee suffering an injury in an incident involving the toppling of a dumper truck. As the US’s most dangerous industry, the importance of construction health and safety awareness cannot be undervalued, and Turner Construction Ltd was shown to have failed in terms of adhering to the health and safety standards that are required of them. Although the incident happened in the UK, it can teach American firms a very important lesson too! So, let’s take a look… 

The accident occurred when the ten-tonne dumper truck overturned while driving and landed in an open excavation. The incident resulted in the driver sustaining crush injuries to his wrist. During the hearing, Peterborough Magistrates’ Court concluded that the company had made a number of health and safety failings. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that was prosecuting the accident stated that the whole ordeal could have been prevented with ease if the company had implemented the simple safety measures that are required of them. 

So, where did Turner Construction Ltd fall short? They failed to adequately train the driver of the dumper truck, they did not have a safe system of work implemented, nor did they have a plan for a safe working system, and they did not put any preventative measures in place, such as stop blocks, which would have stopped any vehicle from falling into the excavation. You can find plenty more on training, such as who offers paid truck driver training? online. This is one of the biggest mistakes the company made.

The Health and Safety Executive who was investigating and prosecuting on the Turner Construction Ltd case, stated that if construction work is planned, monitored, and managed correctly – in a way that ensures safety measures are adhered to from the start – then these accidents can be prevented. She cited the example of utilising stop blocks around the excavation edges so that the dumper truck did not fall into it. 

The company admitted the charges they faced, which were cited as a breach of Regulation 9 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, as well as Regulation 13 (2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007. They were fined £14,000 in total for the incident - £7,000 for each regulation breach, and they were ordered to pay £1607 in terms of prosecution costs. 

Turner Construction Ltd are not the only company that have suffered fines at the hands of HSE over the past few weeks, as Chesham Care Ltd, a provider of rehabilitation and nursing services, was also fined for multiple safety failings. The company engaged in construction works, and admitted unsafe working practices, which include failing to put up relevant warning signs, failing to lock the site securely, not recording demolition arrangements, and failing to remove asbestos materials from the site for several months. They were ordered to pay £35,000 in total for multiple breaches of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007, and in £1321.60 in the form of costs. 

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