The biggest construction fines in 2022
Nobody likes to think about what can go seriously wrong in the workplace. But as a tradesperson, you’ll be no stranger to the fact that your line of work comes with risks. Let’s take a look at some sobering health and safety stats, and learn how construction had the most workplace fatalities in 2022, with 123 deaths reported.
Last year (2022), the construction industry accounted for one-quarter of all workplace fatalities, with a fatal injury rate of 1.63 per 100,000 employees, almost twice as high as that of industries like manufacturing, shipping, or warehouse work.
Falling from height is the most common form of accident being reported accounting for half of all fatalities. This and being struck by a moving vehicle are the most dangerous factors concerning the construction industry.
Today, we want to discuss some of the worst accidents and fines seen in 2022, their pay-outs, and why you should ensure that your business has sufficient insurance in place so that you never find yourself unprotected while going about your job.
The biggest trade-related fines in 2022
Falling asleep on the job
S&S Quality Building Contractors Ltd, a construction and building services company in Essex, was the subject of an investigation after HSE received complaints of people sleeping on the job site.
Following these reports, further inspections exposed various hazards, including unsuitable fire control and more. Due to these risks, the regulator revealed that S&S had neglected to address safety concerns, which led to a sizable punishment.
The company was told to pay an eye-watering £600,000 in addition to £37,000 in fees.
Severe burns result in massive fines.
While working for Cleveland Potash Ltd, two workers at the Boulby Mine experienced severe burns on two different occasions.
Arc flashes from the power had occurred between 2016 and 2019 and were, according to the Boulby mine, avoidable.
The Loftus-based company received significant fines of £3.6 million pounds and £185,000 in court costs. The company had been found liable due to a vacuum cleaner nozzle being accidentally dropped into a live, 11,000-volt chamber and then after a contractor was struck by 415 volts while checking and testing an electrical system.
Taking a ride in the digger bucket
A Greater Manchester construction company received a fine of £120,000 for using a digger irresponsibly during the construction of a new build. Two Hoyle Developments Limited employees were caught and pictured positioning a stone on the home's roof while being lifted in a digger's bucket.
It was reported that between 2018 and 2021, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors paid four visits to the firm's sites and uncovered evidence of repeated health and safety regulations violations.
The absence of scaffolding on-site, insufficient welfare measures and insecure fencing were among the other points raised when visiting the projects.
Gas leak results in a multi-million pay-out
Sadly, an unmaintained gas leak led to an explosion that tore through a house, tragically killing the homeowner.
After an inquiry determined that a gas build-up beneath the property caused the explosion, Northern Gas Networks was ultimately held responsible. The company was fined a monumental £5 million and had to pay an extra £91,500 in added costs imposed on the business.
An electrician falls to his death during work
While repairing an overhead travelling crane, an electrician died after falling from a height. He dropped eight metres to the ground after he crossed the crane and fell through a broken access panel. Previous complaints had been made about the crane's walkway, which led to improvements being made; however, sadly, the walkway/ panels had not been tested sufficiently to bear enough load.
In the end, Cleveland Bridge UK was fined £1.5 million plus a further £29,000 due to negligence and breaking several health and safety regulations.
Health and Safety related injuries in 2022
The Health and Safety Executive released data for all workplace accidents in 2022. It found that in total, 1.8 million instances of work-related health occurred between 2021 and 2022, including 123 fatalities. On top of these statistics were reports of job-related stress, depression, and anxiety totalling 0.9 million.
Regarding muscular and skeletal injuries, construction was the sector with the second-highest incidence rate, with a total of 477,000 accidents and 7.3 million working days being lost to ailments.
The more specific affected areas included:
- Back (42%)
- Neck or upper body (37%)
- Legs (21%)
Construction was found to have significantly more non-fatal injuries than other industries, with the likes of lung disease cases being reported due to asbestos exposure.
Injuries that occurred most frequently in all sectors were:
- Slips, trips and falls (30%)
- Lifting, carrying, or handling (18%)
- Hit by moving objects (11%).
- Falling from height (8%)
As these injuries are more common in the building industry, we can only stress site safety's important role and how exploring your business's insurance needs is an absolute must. Without the correct cover, you may risk severe financial penalties (as shown in the examples above).
Find out everything you need to know about Rhino Trade Insurance and what cover options we can tailor for you.
How can companies prevent accidents on construction sites?
- Provide instruction and training and carefully plan all tasks at height.
- To avoid falls, use the proper equipment and regularly inspect it.
- Keep floors clear of obstructions, dry, well-lit, and clean to prevent trips and slips.
- Clean up after chemical spills and conduct thorough cleaning after business hours.
- Provide all relevant PPE.
- Take out a comprehensive insurance policy.
Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?
Why not call Rhino Trade Insurance on 0116 243 7904 if you have been pondering your trade insurance options? Our experts can answer any questions you have, and we can offer you a comprehensive package at a price you can afford.
We cover various trade sectors, some of which you can find here:
We also offer specialist tradesman insurance for handymen and women, carpet fitters, glaziers, tilers, plasterers and many more trades.
If you'd like to learn more about the cover choices available to you for your line of work, why not visit our website or read our helpful blog? From there, you can use our straightforward webshop to quickly obtain a quote.