July 18, 2018

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In Court

Kier fined £600k after worker suffers life-changing injuries when hit by concrete block

Kier Infrastructure has been fined £600,000 after a seven-tonne concrete block fell on an agency worker on a rail bridge site in Cardiff.

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

The court was told that agency worker Peter Walker, 42, suffered life-changing injuries when a 6.93 tonne block of pre-cast concrete fell on to 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.

On the day of the incident, the concrete units which would form the bridge were due to be delivered. Mr Walker was on a ladder removing lifting chains from one of the blocks when it toppled and crushed his leg between the fallen block and the one beside it.

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.

Investigating the incident, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) found 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.”

Costs of £25,767.97 were also awarded.

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