Tolent fined after worker seriously injured by 124kg steel panel on Newcastle construction site
Two companies have been sentenced after a worker was hospitalised for nearly two weeks after being struck by steel panel at a construction site in Newcastle.
A judge said Tolent Construction Limited would have been fined £1million for breaching regulations after the man was seriously injured when a 124kg panel fell on top of him. The fine was reduced to £1,000 because the company is in administration.
The man was working as a lift supervisor at a construction site at Eskdale Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle, on 22 January 2020.
He had been using a tower crane to lift a structured insulated panel (SIP). During the lifting operation, the SIP steelwork, weighing 124kg panel, fell on top of the worker.
The employee, who has not been publicly named, spent 13 days in hospital following the incident after fracturing his collarbone, left shoulder blade, left ankle and left rib.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found Tolent Construction Limited, the principal contractor, had failed to properly plan, manage and monitor the construction phase.
In a statement, HSE said: "This resulted in a failure to ensure a suitable and sufficient lift plan was in place for the lifting of individual SIPs. Most importantly, the lift plan failed to stipulate how the individual SIPs were to be safely lifted and failed to consider proximity hazards or how the SIPs would be adequately controlled during the lifting operation."
HSE’s investigation also identified Clad Build UK Limited (trading as SIP Build UK), as the contractor responsible for the design, supply and installation of the SIPs.
It said the company had failed to "plan, manage and monitor" the work and also failed to supervise and monitor the work being carried out by a sub-contractor.
Tolent Construction Limited, of Grey Street, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
The company was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £8,468.50 in costs at Newcastle Crown Court on 17 April 2023.
James Wood KC said the company would have been fined £1m if the company was not in administration.
Clad Build UK Limited, of Foxbridge Way, Normanton Industrial Estate, Normanton, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £45,000 in costs at Newcastle Crown Court on 17 April 2023.
HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith said: “HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.
"This case should raise awareness of the dangers of failing to properly plan and safely carry out this type of lifting operation.
"SIPs are increasingly used in the construction industry and all contractors should be aware of the need to suitably plan, manage and monitor their safe installation.”
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