David Cole was a site foreman on a large housing development project in Wokingham, which started in April 2013 and has a completion date of April 2017. On 7th December 2014 he was struck by, and pulled under, a large bulk powder carrier.
Mr Cole, who was contracted to Harlequin Brickwork Ltd, was walking along the site road at Mulberry Grove toward the rear of a bulk powder (mortar) carrier that had just reversed into a T junction. Mr Cole walked along the nearside of the vehicle as it pulled forward and turned towards the nearside. He was hit by the vehicle and pulled under it.
He suffered life threatening injuries. His skin was removed and split on his left arm and leg, he fractured his left hip requiring a pin to be inserted, and fingers on his left hand were broken. His left leg has been left permanently shorter than his right by 20mm.
Reading Crown Court heard that Crest Nicholson Operations Ltd, as principal contractor, had failed to plan and manage the workplace transport effectively. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) told the court the incident could have been avoided had they monitored and taken action to ensure workers stayed behind the pedestrian barriers and not walked on the road, and prevented large HGVs reversing hundreds of metres at a time.
Crest Nicholson Operations Ltd., of Crest House, Pyrcroft Road, Chertsey, Surrey, pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 36 (1) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £800,000 plus £10,984 costs.
HSE inspector John Berezansky said: “David Cole suffered life changing injuries because Crest Nicolson Operations Limited did not properly manage and monitor the workplace transport on their construction site. When working with such large delivery vehicles and construction plant, especially on projects where there are lots of pedestrians, the principal contractor much take responsibility and ensure the health and safety of all those involved.”