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Kier pleads guilty after leg crushed by concrete block

Kier Infrastructure has pleaded guilty to a safety offence after a worker’s leg was crushed by a concrete block.

Peter Walker suffered life-changing injuries when a 6.9-tonne block of precast concrete fell on his leg as he worked on a Network Rail bridge replacement project in Newport, south Wales, on 15 August 2016.

Mr Walker, who was employed via an agency, was on a ladder removing lifting chains from the block of concrete when it fell, crushing his leg on the block behind it.

An investigation by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) found the accident could have been prevented if Kier had provided adequate supervision.

Kier pleaded guilty to the charge at Newport Magistrates Court and will be sentenced on 17 July.

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways, said: “Mr Walker suffered devastating injuries in this incident and we are pleased that the guilty plea recognises the seriousness of the offence.

“We are absolutely committed to protecting the health and safety of passengers and railway staff and, as this and previous prosecutions demonstrate, will not hesitate to take enforcement action or prosecute when appropriate.”

A Kier spokesperson said: “We confirm that Kier has pleaded guilty to a Health and Safety at Work act offence in relation to an incident that occurred during 2016.

“As these legal proceedings are ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited was found guilty of failing to discharge its duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was therefore guilty of an offence contrary to Section 33(1)((a) of the Act.

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