Brake failure leads to fine for construction company after worker injured

Nelson Plant Hire failed to ensure the dumper truck was subject to a regular maintenance regime resulting in a worker being seriously injured.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident in Andover on 11th May 2018, found that during construction operations, the operator of a large Volvo articulated dumper truck was working on a site at the top of a steep slope adjacent to a public road. The operator was reversing the truck to carry out a tipping operation, but the brakes did not function. Consequently, he lost control of the vehicle which careered backwards across a busy A-road and tipped on to its side. The operator’s injuries included multiple fractured ribs and a punctured lung.

The investigation determined that the dumper truck had not been subject to a maintenance regime in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the brakes did not function correctly.

Nelson Plant Hire Ltd of Andover, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER98) for failing to maintain the plant and was fined £10,000 plus ordered to pay costs of £8,826.70

After the hearing, HSE inspector Dominic Goacher commented, “It is essential that construction plant is correctly maintained and all plant operators need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in respect of maintenance. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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