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Morgan Sindall sentenced after worker loses hand

A major construction and infrastructure firm, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd, has today been fined after a worker’s hand was severed.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 11 April 2017, a worker was investigating whether a blockage had caused a hydraulic ram to stop working when the ram activated unexpectedly, severing the 27-year-old’s right hand at King’s Troop Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the company had installed and managed a biomass boiler at the barracks but had failed to take appropriate steps to ensure that this dangerous part of the biomass boiler system was sufficiently guarded. 

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd of Kent House, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £11,235.96 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, inspector John Spence said: “This tragic incident was entirely preventable and has caused a permanent and life-changing injury to a young worker.

“Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd failed to implement a safe system of work for clearing blockages in the machine and failed to follow their own policies and procedures as the employee in question was working alone and unsupervised at the time of the incident.

“The onus is on those in control of work equipment to perform their own checks to ensure that all dangerous parts of machinery are appropriately guarded.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case.
  3. Latest HSE press releases.
Updated: 2018-12-24