Kier fined £600,000 following concrete block building site injury

17 July 2018

Kier Infrastructure was today fined £600,000 after being convicted of one offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.

Sentence was passed by District Judge Brown sitting at Newport Magistrates’ Court, after Kier pleaded Guilty to the offence  on 2 July.

The court had heard that agency worker Peter Walker, 42, suffered life-changing injuries when a 6.93 tonne block of pre-cast concrete fell on his leg on 15 August 2016.

Mr Walker had started work at the Maerdy Bridge, Cardiff site, where Kier was principal contractor on a Network Rail project to build two bridges, a few days before the accident.

District Judge Brown heard that on the day of the accident the concrete units that would form the bridge were being relocated on the site. Mr Walker was on a ladder removing lifting chains from a block when it toppled over and his leg was crushed between the fallen unit and the one behind it.

The Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) investigation into the incident revealed that Mr Walker’s injuries could have been prevented if Kier had provided adequate supervision for the job.

Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways, said:

"Mr Walker suffered devastating injuries in this incident and we are pleased that the severity of the sentence indicates how seriously it is taken by the court.

"We are absolutely committed to protecting the health and safety of workers and, as this prosecution demonstrates, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action when it is necessary."

Notes to editors

  1. Costs of £25,767.97 were also awarded.
  2. ORR's recent prosecutions:
    1. London and Southeastern and Wettons were fined a total of £3.6million in November 2017 after a previous prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.
    2. Network Rail Infrastructure Limited was fined £733,000 in March 2018 after being prosecuted for contravention of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 following the derailment of a freight train.
    3. BAM Nuttall and McNealy Brown were fined a total of £965,000 in April 2018 after being prosecuted under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
    4. South Devon Railway Trust was fined £40,000 in May 2018 after being prosecuted under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
  3. The Office of Rail and Road is the UK’s rail regulator and strategic roads monitor for England. Follow us @railandroad.