Essex firm fined over death of worker at Port of Felixstowe

PUBLISHED: 12:19 25 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:19 25 May 2019

A firm has been fined after the death of a worker at the Port of Felixstowe Picture: TERRY PLUMMER

A firm has been fined after the death of a worker at the Port of Felixstowe Picture: TERRY PLUMMER

(c) copyright

An Essex firm has been fined following the death of a concrete worker at the Port of Felixstowe in 2015.

Garry Louis, 55, from Claydon, died after a flexible hose pumping concrete become momentarily blocked and then cleared under the pressure, causing it to violently whip round, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

RW Hill (Felixstowe) Ltd was employed as the main contractor working to replace the Berth 7 roadway at the port's Trinity Terminal and had sub-contracted a specialist concrete pumping contractor and a concrete laying contractor to carry out the work.

Mr Louis, who worked for the concrete laying sub-contractor, died following the incident and another worker suffered cuts and bruising.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) led investigation found that R.W Hill (Felixstowe) Limited had failed to effectively plan and manage the safe pumping of concrete, in that an exclusion zone around the flexible concrete hose was not enforced,

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The HSE investigation also found that the firm did not adequately supervise, instruct or provide suitable information to sub-contractors and failed to monitor the pumping operations to ensure the safety of workers.

THe company, which is based in Lodge Lane, Grays in Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 15(2) and 15(8) of the Construction, (design and Management) Regulations of 2015 at Chelmsford Crown Court and was fined £15,000.

It was also ordered to pay costs of £13,833.60.

HSE inspector Glyn Davies, speaking after the case, said: This tragic incident could easily have been prevented had to the company involved acted to identify and manage the well-documented risks involved in concrete pumping by the implementation of suitable safe systems of work.

"As this case sadly demonstrates, poorly managed concrete pumping operations can and do kill construction workers when industry safety guidance is not followed.

"HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards."

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