HSE says simple risk planning would have prevented the accident and cost nothing

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has urged the industry to plan work more carefully to reduce risk following the prosecution of two firms over a fatal accident.

UCS Civils of Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, and Pochin Concrete Pumping of Middlewich in Cheshire were each fined £40,000 following the incident, in which 41-year-old construction worker Michael Broughton was killed while pouring concrete.

In December 2003, a suspended hose whipped violently when a concrete pump was restarted on an office site at Redhouse Interchange in Doncaster, fatally injuring Broughton and throwing another man some distance.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Rob Cooper said: “This case highlights the need to fully consider all the risks involved when planning work and putting in place measures to control the risk.

“The precautions that should have been adopted were as simple as to ensure that no one stood close to the end of the flexible delivery hose until concrete was flowing smoothly from it - something which would have not added any significant cost or time to the work.”

Since the accident, industry body the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has published a code of practice for the safe use of concrete pumps. The HSE said that all contractors and machine operators should now be familiar with the guidance.

UCS Civils and Pochin Concrete Pumping were ordered to pay costs of £31,600 and £45,000 respectively.