BAM Nuttall has been fined £140,000 after a worker lost a leg when it was crushed by a six-tonne beam during work to replace a bridge in south London. - See more at: https://old-sm.britsafe.org/bam-nuttall-fined-%C2%A3140k-after-worker-loses-leg#sthash.lwKbSq65.dpuf
Southwark Crown Court was told that on 27 December 2010 subcontracted workers from Balfour Beatty Rail were preparing to lift the L-shaped steel and concrete beam by crane from a railway wagon into its new position on the bridge. However, as it was unsecured it toppled over, crushing the worker’s legs just above the ankle against the floor of the rail wagon. He suffered severe injuries which led to one leg being amputated.
The civil engineering giant was the main contractor on a Network Rail project to demolish and replace Pouparts Bridge near Clapham Junction and had sub-contracted the lifting elements of the work to the Balfour Beatty subsidiary.
An investigation by the Office for Rail Regulation found BAM Nuttall had failed to assess the risks associated with loading and unloading the beams, and had not planned the activity appropriately. The company also did not provide information about the potential instability of the concrete beam to the workers carrying out the loading and unloading activities.
“BAM Nuttall has a duty of care to protect its employees and sub-contractors from being harmed while working on their construction sites,” said Tom Wake, ORR's principal inspector of railways – South East.
“ORR's investigation found that BAM Nuttall had not adequately planned, managed or monitored the loading, securing and unloading of these large and heavy beams. The company also failed to communicate the potential dangers to construction workers responsible for handling the beams.”
BAM Nuttall Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. On top of the £140,000 fined, the company was ordered to pay prosecution costs of £42,700.
Wake added: “These serious failings are not acceptable conduct from a company in charge of high risk construction sites across Britain's railways. The safety of workers at rail construction sites is a top priority for the regulator. ORR inspectors are out on the railway network, monitoring rail and construction companies such as BAM Nuttall, to ensure safety is not compromised.”
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