Construction News

Sat December 04 2021

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Untrained concrete pump operator killed trying to clear blockage

5 Dec 18 A concrete pumping company and its sole director have been fined after an employee was struck and killed by concrete.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how on 13th February 2017 Kevin Hoare was attempting to clear a blockage in a truck-mounted concrete pump at Cranbook Road in Wimbledon. The pump suddenly ejected concrete, which struck and killed Mr Hoare.

He was 26 years old, from County Clare, and had started work with the concrete firm Anytime McDaids Ltd two months before.

An eyewitness was quoted at the time saying: “It appeared that a ball used to clean out concrete pumps had become wedged in the pipe, causing a build-up of pressure that resulted in it flying out of the pump with force.”

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive found that Anytime McDaids had no system to train operators to carry out the work safely, or arrangements to supervise them. The company failed to ensure the safety, so far as is reasonably practicable, of its employees and of others who may be affected by their work due to the lack of adequate training and supervision.

The court heard that the failings of the company were due to the neglect of Laurence McDaid, the sole director.

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Anytime McDaids Limited of Greenford, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,102.81.

Laurence McDaid of Tooban, Burnfoot, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £2,600 and ordered to pay costs of £636.99.

HSE inspector James Goldfinch said after the hearing: “Concrete pumps have great potential to be dangerous when operated by those without suitable training, as they operate under high pressures.

“All employers should ensure that equipment which can kill or cause harm to employees and nearby members of the public are operated by suitably trained and supervised workers. Company directors like Mr McDaid have a responsibility to ensure their company works in compliance with health and safety legislation, part of which is to ensure their employees are provided with adequate training and supervision.

“In this case a young worker, having only been employed by the company for two months, was not provided with adequate training and supervision, which led to the unsafe operation of the pump and ultimately his tragic death”.

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