A railway infrastructure company was found to have failed to prevent danger to workers undertaking excavation work beside a railway after a worker was buried by a collapsing trench.
The worker suffered serious injuries including a broken pelvis and several broken ribs. Following this, he was placed into an induced coma to have surgery on his pelvis, stomach, and lungs. Since the surgery he still suffers with pain and can no longer work full time.
The investigation found that the trench was approximately 2m deep with no temporary support structures in place for safety despite evidence of unstable ground conditions. It was proven that had they been in place, the collapse would not have happened. It was also found that the company failed to brief the construction team correctly and safely whilst the management team failed to act upon complaints or adapt the correct methodology.
The company was fined £550,000 after pleading guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974 after the investigation and prosecution concluded by ORR.