News added on 10.12.2018

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Lack of training led to death

A 26-year-old employee died after being struck by liquid concrete. How did the accident happen, and who was responsible?

H had been working for concrete pumping firm Anytime McDaids Ltd (AM Ltd) for two months. He was trying to clear a blockage in a vehicle-mounted concrete pump, but did not follow the manufacturer’s or industry guidance for doing so. The pump ejected liquid concrete, which struck H and killed him.

The HSE’s investigation found that AM Ltd had no system in place to train operators to carry out the work safely, and no arrangements to supervise them. Concrete pumps pose a high risk of death or injury to workers and others in their vicinity because they operate under high pressure, so proper training and supervision are crucial to their safe operation. The lack of adequate training and supervision in this case was found to be due to the neglect of M, the company’s sole director.

AM Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety, so far as is reasonably practicable, of its employees and others under ss.2(1) and 3(1) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £12,000.

M pleaded guilty to his neglect causing his company’s breaches under s.37(1) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £2,600 and ordered to pay costs of over £600.

The employee in this case had not been trained in how to clean out the concrete pump and was not supervised in his work. This failure to train and supervise was traced back to the neglect of the company’s director, who was prosecuted along with his company.

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