Temporary works are an area where greater focus on safety is required. Some confusion can still exist over who takes responsibility for these areas and risks can sometimes be underestimated.
The case above involved the construction of a foundation for a large steel structure as part of the foundation for a pressure test facility at Claxton Engineering in Great Yarmouth.
An excavation 23 metres long, 3 metres wide and 2 metres deep was filled with a horizontal steel cage estimated to have weighed around 32 tonnes when it was completed. The picture below show the structure before and after its collapse;
A large-scale emergency response was undertaken to rescue the trapped workers. However, Adam Taylor, 28, 41-year-old Peter Johnson and brothers Thomas Hazelton, 26 and Daniel Hazelton, 30, were all pronounced dead at the scene. All of the men were working for Hazegood Construction
If you’d like to find out more about safely managing temporary works then please following this link; https://www.twforum.org.uk/media/70138/tw15.116_rebar_stability_safety_bulletin.pdf or visit the website for more information on safety with temporary works.
HSE Construction Division Head of Operations Annette Hall said:
“Those sentenced today failed the four workers who died. They didn’t carry out their legal duties, leading to the events which caused their deaths.
This was a long term, large scale and complex civil engineering project which needed to be planned, designed, managed and monitored effectively. The tragedy here is that, in the months leading up to the accident, any one of these parties could and should have asked basic questions about building the structure safely.
Such an intervention could have avoided the tragic outcome of this entirely preventable accident.”