Crane accident probe launched

The compound set up for the sewage outfall pipe work taking place near Newburn Bridge
The compound set up for the sewage outfall pipe work taking place near Newburn Bridge

AN investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding an incident which saw a worker hit by a crane while carrying out improvements to an outfall pipe.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has now been made aware of the incident which took place while work was being carried out to replace the outfall pipe off Mainsforth Terrace, close to Newburn Bridge, in Hartlepool.

A 59-year-old sub-contractor was hit across the back by a boom from a crane on the site at around 10.45am on Sunday.

He was airlifted by the Great North Air Ambulance to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

Today a HSE spokeswoman said: “We can now confirm that the HSE is aware of the incident and are making preliminary inquiries.”

The man had been working for North Shields-based Southbay Civils on behalf of engineering group Costain, who are carrying out renewal of the outfall pipe near Seaton Carew for Northumbrian Water.

The Hartlepool Mail reported yesterday that Hartlepool’s Coastguard team and the RNLI inshore lifeboat, along with the RNLI’s doctor, were called to the scene after the boom from a crane swung and hit the man in the back, causing him to fall a short distance into the sea.

The Great North Air Ambulance was called to the scene before rushing the man to hospital with a suspected back injury.

Yesterday a spokesman for Northumbrian Water said the man had been sitting up in his hospital bed and chatting to people.

He added that the incident happened while timber piles were being driven on to the beach and work was immediately suspended, with the HSE informed.

Southbay Civils did not wish to comment when contacted by the Mail.

Work on the £800,000 scheme began in mid-August to renew and repair part of the 800ft-long 4ft-diameter pipeline.

The work, which involves repairing of piles and timber supports where necessary, is scheduled to be complete by the end of next month.