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Kier hit with £4.4m safety fine

Kier has been fined £4.4m for 2 incidents during which employees hit overhead energy strains whereas upgrading the M6 in Cheshire.

The security breaches happened in March 2018 and January 2019, as Kier was carrying out smart-motorways work valued at £475m for Highways England.

In keeping with a press release from the Well being and Security Government (HSE), employees first hit overhead energy strains whereas clearing tarmac from the laborious shoulder on an evening shift whereas loading a truck with a digger. The truck struck and severed an 11-kilovolt overhead energy line, which landed within the motorway and in a close-by area.

The agency didn’t instantly inform Scottish Energy in regards to the accident, that means that the cable was re-energised on quite a few events whereas mendacity on the motorway subsequent to reside site visitors, the HSE stated.

Its investigators discovered that Kier had used an “unsuitable” car to hold out the work, despite the fact that it had appropriate autos obtainable. The contractor additionally failed to hold out a task-specific danger evaluation for the work.

Within the second incident, a Kier staff was taking down a motorway barrier with a crane, which struck an overhead cable. That cable was then hit and snapped by an oncoming car.

The HSE discovered that on the second event, the employees have been unaware of the presence of the overhead hazards.

In relation to the primary incident, Kier Infrastructure and Abroad Restricted, of Clippers Quay, Salford, pleaded responsible to breaching Sections 2(1) and three(1) of the Well being and Security at Work and so on. Act 1974.

The agency additionally pleaded responsible to the second incident, for which it was charged with breaching Part 3(1) of the Well being and Security at Work and so on. Act 1974 and Regulation 13(1) of the Building (Design and Administration) Laws 2015.

On prime of the £4.4m advantageous it should pay, Kier was ordered to pay prices of £80,760 by a decide at Manchester Crown Courtroom.

The advantageous is among the many highest ever acquired by a contractor for a well being and security breach. A authorized change that got here into drive in 2016 allowed corporations with turnover of greater than £50m to face a lot bigger penalties than beforehand.

After the listening to, HSE inspector Mike Lisle stated this amounted to a “vital advantageous reflecting the seriousness of the failures right here”.

“The corporate’s failure to plan the work correctly and supply an ample danger evaluation put its employees and people utilizing the motorway in vital hazard,” he added.

Kier has been contacted for remark.