Sand was being discharged by an articulated tipper truck into the receiving hopper at a Readymix plant. Due to the restricted size of the hopper, only part of the load could be tipped. It is difficult to judge the amount of sand tipped, as it can surge. While the vehicle was tipping off the second part of the load, the hopper supports suddenly gave way and the hopper fell into the pit below, crushing the conveyor structure beneath.
- The plant is 51 years old and initially designed for a 17 year service life; it is thought that the hopper was the original
- Deliveries to site were changed to articulated tipper trucks 3 to 4 years ago; however, the hopper was originally designed for Rigid 8-wheel trucks.
- A structural survey had recently been carried out, where repairs had been highlighted to be completed within 3 months, and the removal of platework was recommended to allow investigation and repair of corrosion and checks on the hopper support brackets.
- The design of the support brackets meant if it became detached the hopper could fall away unsupported.