Construction companies fined combined £120,000 after man suffers serious injuries

Two construction companies have been fined a combined total of £120,000 after a groundworker suffered horrific injuries when heavy drainage pipes fell on top of him.

Anthony Pennell was rushed to Royal Stoke University Hospital having sustained several fractures to both sides of his pelvis, as well as a fractured vertebrae and bleed on the spine, following the incident at a site in Fradley Park, Lichfield on 3 September 2019.

Mr. Pennell, who was 32 at the time, spent nine days in hospital before he was able to be discharged to his home in Cleethorpes.

HSE enforcement lawyer Nathan Cook, told Telford Magistrates’ Court how Mr Pennell, an employee of R O Donnell Plant & Civil Ltd, sustained his injuries. The pipes, each weighing around 160 kg, had been suspended on the forks of a telehandler while being moved to a different area of the site.

The investigation by HSE found both Mr Pennell’s employer and the principal contractor (Readie Construction Ltd) failed to ensure the operation was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.  The investigation also identified issues in relation to the level of knowledge and experience of those involved in the lifting operations, and in the companies’ overall management and coordination of the telehandler usage between contractors.

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