Portslade construction company fined £20,000 after employee seriously injured at Ditchling Common site

A Portslade construction company has been fined £20,000 after an employee was seriously injured at a site at Ditchling Common, East Sussex.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Axio (Special Works) Limited, of Portslade, appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The court heard how on March 5, last year, concrete footings were being poured at a site at Ditchling Common.

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Due to the soft ground, vehicles could not get close to the work, so a concrete pump with a 52-metre boom was used.

Axio (Special Works) Limited, of Portslade, appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court and was fined £20,000

During the pour, the ground beneath one of the pump outriggers collapsed, causing the concrete pipe and boom to strike the employee, dislocating and fracturing his hip, fracturing his spine and tearing ligaments and muscles, the HSE said.

He was also later diagnosed with a brain injury,

A HSE spokesman said: “He is still undergoing regular physiotherapy, and suffering from post-traumatic stress, but does not know the long-term effects of the brain and nerve damage.

“An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the work had not been properly planned, managed or monitored.

“Although some work had been done to stabilise the ground in the area where the pump was set up, no checks had been made as to the load that the ground could sustain, and no consideration had been given to the size or type of spreader plates that would be required to support the vehicle outriggers.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Stephen Green, said: “The employee’s injuries are life-changing and he could have easily been killed.

“This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safeguards had been put in place.”

Axio (Special Works) Limited was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £5,285.70.