A Bodmin dairy farm has been fined more than £60,000 after one of its workers sustained multiple injuries when he fell more than 20 feet through a roof on to a concrete floor. Mike Rossiter, was just 18 when he was airlifted to Derriford hospital in Plymouth after the shed roof he was clearing gutters from gave way. As well as rupturing his spleen and liver, the farm worker also fractured several vertebrae. An additional fracture to his left elbow required surgery and a permanent plate in his arm.
“I was in hospital for two-and-a-half weeks,” he explained.
“I have been left with permanent damage in my arm and no longer have full movement and I’m unable to lift and carry heavy things.
“I recently found the cold weather is making it worse, so I now have to take the weather into account when I am working outside.”
A keen rugby player before the incident, 20-year-old Mr Rossiter, went on to say that despite being back in work and fully-supported by his employer, he still fears for his long-term future in the industry.
“My employer has given me a job that doesn’t involve heavy lifting,” he said.
“I don’t know how much longer I will be able to keep working in the farming industry as a result of my injuries.
“I am hoping this will not be the case as I enjoy what I am doing and would not like to leave the profession.”
Plymouth Magistrates Court heard that employees of C.P. Button Limited were clearing the gutters on the grain and silage pit shed roofs on 13 July 2021. Although they were using crawling boards, Mr Rossiter had stood on a fragile rooflight, which failed under his weight causing him to fall.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to control the risk of falls. They failed to adequately assess the risks and did not have a safe system of work. Wider failings were identified in respect of the information, instruction, training, and supervision provided for the employees involved.
C.P. Button Limited, of St Tudy, Bodmin, Cornwall, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 after failing to ensure so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety and welfare at work of all its employees against the risk of falling when carrying out the planned maintenance task of clearing gutters. The company was fined £63,466 and ordered to pay £4,223.50 in costs at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court on 20 April 2023.
A Scottish civil engineering contractor has been fined £800,000 for safety breaches after a 10-year-old boy died after falling down a manhole on a building site in Glasgow.
Ten-year-old Shea Ryan went out to play with his friends on the evening of 16th July 2020 and got onto the construction site where he was able to enter a manhole within which, he fell. Emergency services and local residents raced to the scene and rescued Shea from the manhole but tragically he died from his injuries. The construction site was part of a surface water management project being carried out adjacent to Glenkirk Drive in the Drumchapel area of Glasgow on behalf of Glasgow City Council.
An investigation by Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that insufficient measures had been taken to prevent children gaining access to the construction site. The HSE investigation also found that R.J. McLeod (Contractors) Limited, the company in charge of the site, had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk of unauthorised persons gaining access to the site, which resulted in a failure to adequately inspect and maintain suitable perimeter fencing, and install other suitable security measures.
R.J. McLeod (Contractors) Limited, of London Road, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £800,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60,000 at Glasgow Sheriff Court on 14 April 2023.
A concrete manufacturer has been fined £1m after a 24-year-old man died at a site in Nottingham. Stewart Ramsay, from Mansfield, was working for Creagh Concrete Products Ltd (CCP) at its Thurgarton Lane site in Hoveringham when he suffered fatal head injuries on 15 March 2017.
Mr Ramsay, known as ‘Stew’, was trying to fix a problem that happened as he and colleagues were using a metal grab to unload Spantherm, a concrete building product, from some trailers. The metal grab shouldn’t have been in use. Mr Ramsay’s head became trapped in the jaws of the grab after a rope connected to the locking lever snapped. Even though the rope was tied in a double-knot, the locking mechanism released the jaws of the grab as Mr Ramsay pulled on it, causing fatal injuries.
Stew’s mother Carol Hansford described him as a ‘one in a million son’.
“I know a lot of people say that, but he really was out of this world,” she said.
“He was an amazing brother, grandson, uncle and nephew.
“The hundreds of friends that came to the crematorium showed how well liked and appreciated he was – it was unbelievable.
“He was just loving, caring, thoughtful and very funny.”
CCP were sentenced at Nottinghamshire Crown Court on 5 April, after they admitted failing to ensure its employees carried out lifting operations safely and without training and information being in place.
“He was such a hardworking person,” Carol added.
“Not only did he work at Creagh, he also working as a doorman on weekends.
“I’ll never forgot that day as long as I live.
“I got a knock at the door as his friends had come to tell me – I collapsed.
“It still doesn’t seem real – it’s like you’re watching a film and not at the end.
“All he did was go to work.
“Things like this shouldn’t happen – it destroys families forever,
“Nobody should have to go through what we have done these past six years.”
An investigation by the Health and Safety executive (HSE) showed that CCP did not have a safe system of work for the use of the grab and had not carried out a risk assessment to identify risks for its use. Both the grab and a fork lift truck being used at the time were in poor condition. Neither should have been in service at the time of the incident. CCP had failed to ensure that these pieces of work equipment had been maintained in an efficient state, efficient working order or in good repair.
Creagh Concrete Products Limited of Hoveringham Nottinghamshire pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in that it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees. The company was fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay costs of £47,521.08.
A joinery firm in South East London has been fined £20,000 for failing to control its employees’ exposure to wood dust. F&E Joinery Limited, in Herne Hill, was inspected in May 2022 as part of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) campaign targeting woodworking businesses due to the significant health risks associated with exposure to wood dust, including the risk of developing occupational asthma. During the visit the inspector identified multiple failings related to control of exposure to wood dust, including excessive levels of settled dust around the site. The inspection found some of the company’s machines had been disconnected from the local exhaust ventilation (LEV) system, which is used to extract wood dust at source during machining of wood. There was no way to connect other machines to the system. LEV significantly reduces the amount of wood dust that becomes airborne and inhaled when machined. There was also no evidence that settled wood dust was being cleaned up.
The company had been served with an enforcement notice relating to their control of wood dust on two previous occasions spanning over ten years.
On 21 April 2023, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, F & E Joinery Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (as amended) Regulations 2002 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.
A company in Cornwall has been fined after putting its employees at risk of exposure to ionising radiation over a ten-year period. In 2009, Terrill Bros. (Founders) Limited’s external Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) identified failings in the access controls and warning systems at the company’s foundry on Guildford Road, Hayle, Cornwall. In the ten years following, the company received further RPA visits, reports and advice, yet remedial action was not taken. The company’s failure to address these issues continued until the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an unannounced inspection of the foundry in February 2019.
A HSE investigation found the door to the company’s industrial radiography enclosure did not have adequate interlocks nor was there a suitable trapped key system to prevent access. There were also no pre-exposure warning systems or automatic and failsafe warning lights in place. Employees at Terrill Bros. (Founders) Limited were put at risk of exposure to high dose rates of ionising radiation by the company’s reliance on administrative controls, rather than installing industry standard engineering controls.
Terrill Bros. (Founders) Limited, of Guildford Road, Hayle, Cornwall, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017, and Regulation 8(1) of the preceding Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999. The company was fined £33,750 and ordered to pay costs of £47,601 at Truro Crown Court on 14 April 2023.
Two construction companies have been sentenced after a worker was hospitalised for nearly two weeks after being struck by a 124kg panel. The man was working as a lift supervisor at a construction site at Eskdale Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle, on 22 January 2020. He had been using a tower crane to lift a structured insulated panel (SIP). During the lifting operation, the SIP struck steelwork and fell on top of the worker. He spent 13 days in hospital following the incident after fracturing his collarbone, shoulder blade, left ankle and left rib.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Tolent Construction Limited, the principal contractor, had failed to properly plan, manage and monitor the construction phase. This resulted in a failure to ensure a suitable and sufficient lift plan was in place for the lifting of individual SIPs. Most importantly, the lift plan failed to stipulate how the individual SIPs were to be safely lifted and failed to consider proximity hazards or how the SIPs would be adequately controlled during the lifting operation.
HSE’s investigation also identified Clad Build UK Limited (trading as SIP Build UK), as the contractor responsible for the design, supply and installation of the SIPs. Clad Build UK Limited failed to plan, manage and monitor the work or to provide the necessary information and instruction to workers on how to prepare the SIPs for lifting. Clad Build UK Limited also failed to ensure effective supervision and monitoring of work being undertaken by a sub-contractor working under its control and to comply with requests for information from the principal contractor.
Tolent Construction Limited of Grey Street, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £8,468.50 in costs at Newcastle Crown Court on 17 April 2023.
Clad Build UK Limited of Foxbridge Way, Normanton Industrial Estate, Normanton, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £45,000 in costs at Newcastle Crown Court on 17 April 2023.
A Lancashire trucking company has been fined £30,000 after a mechanic died while repairing a forklift truck. Joseph Robinson, a mechanic at E. Jackson (Chatburn) Limited, was working with a new employee as they attempted to fix a steering fault on a forklift truck at the firm’s site at Salthill Industrial Estate in Clitheroe on 13 October 2020. While doing this, Mr Robinson, 39, told the new employee, who was driving the forklift truck, to move the vehicle forwards. However, the forklift truck reversed and trapped Mr Robinson against a trailer. The 39-year-old, who was from Clitheroe, was taken to hospital with severe head injuries following the incident and placed in an induced coma. He died the following day on 14 October 2020. On 15 October 2020, Mr Robinson’s body was taken for organ donation, with a total of eight individuals receiving his donated organs.
Mr Robinson’s mother, Sue Robinson, said in her VPS: “Joe was a much-loved son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. He was a hero in our eyes, honest, hardworking, loyal and generous of spirit as evidenced by his request that in the event of his death that his organs be donated. Joe was always going to be a mechanic. As a little boy he loved to take things apart, see how they worked and put them back together, so on leaving school that was the profession that he chose to follow.
“As his parents, we have always been and always will be so very proud of the boy he was and the man he became, we grieve for him profoundly and miss him in every way each and every day. His premature death robbed him of any opportunity of ever becoming a husband, a father or indeed growing into an old man and in turn robbed us, his family, of taking part in that journey.
“To lose a child is every parent’s worst nightmare and the shock and devastation we felt at his sudden death was both mind numbing and paralysing in its intensity. As a family we will never truly recover from losing Joe. All our futures are dictated by that one catastrophic day. We constantly mourn him and will continue to do so. We miss his cheeky humour, his one liner quips, his happy smiling face, his unconditional love and support.”
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the forklift truck was over 30-years-old and had not been maintained nor subjected to a Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) examination for some years. No principles of working with vehicles at the site had been put in place such as designating a safe repair area or separating pedestrians and vehicles. Had E. Jackson (Chatburn) Limited properly maintained the forklift truck and provided the driver with appropriate training this incident could have been prevented.
E. Jackson (Chatburn) Limited, of Downham Road, Chatburn, Clitheroe, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,712.80 at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on 11 April 2023.
An unlicensed asbestos removal company has been fined £80k after its director was jailed last month after failing to ensure the safe removal of the dangerous product.In September 2021 at an address in Stockport, Asbestos Boss Limited removed an asbestos insulating board ceiling from a domestic integral garage with little to no control measures in place. The asbestos waste was then dumped at the property of the resident, littering the road and pavement with asbestos material.
Asbestos Boss Limited and its director/manager, Daniel Luke Cockcroft, advertised as a licensed asbestos removal company and removed licensable material from domestic properties.
The joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Stockport Trading Standards revealed a number of similar cases of licensed work being done across the country. There were little to no precautions taken and so their own workers, as well as anybody at the premises they were working on, were at serious risk of exposure to asbestos. It was also discovered that Asbestos Boss Limited provided fake air test certificates and waste transfer notes to customers and had also falsified asbestos training certificates and insurance documents. The company and Daniel Cockcroft also breached a prohibition notice on several occasions.
The additional sites identified by Stockport Trading Standards proved that Asbestos Boss had breached the Prohibition Notice and caused additional spread and exposure. One such case was the removal of asbestos insulating board from 20 service cupboards which Asbestos Boss charged £3,000 for their illegal work. The work was of such poor quality, it has resulted in the site owners receiving remedial quotes from licensed contractors in the region of £50-£64,000 to make them safe.
At Manchester Magistrate’s Court on 10 March, Company director Daniel Luke Cockcroft of Darnes Avenue, Halifax, pleaded guilty to all charges and was immediately imprisoned for 10 months and ordered to pay victim compensation.
At the same hearing in March, Asbestos Boss Limited of Old Gloucester Street, London was found guilty of breaching regulations 8(1) and 11(1)(a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. They were also found guilty of one charge relating to the failure to comply with a prohibition notice at two separate addresses which prevented them from working with licensed asbestos materials. The company was also sentenced in relation to their conviction for fraud in relation to falsifying training certificates, a business insurance document and unauthorised use of trade association logos. This gave the impression that the business was credible and that workers were adequately trained and competent in relation to asbestos removal.
In the sentencing hearing held on 12 April, the company failed to attend or offer any mitigation and was sentenced to pay a fine of £80,000 as well as compensating the victims for the full costs of the work paid for at the time. This combined compensation order totalled around £10,000.
A man has been jailed after a worker fell from the roof of a commercial property in North London and died a week later.
Patrick McCarthy (trading as All Care Home Improvements) was given a 14-month custodial sentence after the death of Mr Andrei-Ionel Hutanu in 2019. No scaffolding or other measures had been put in place to prevent falls from the roof.
Harrow Crown Court heard how 33-year-old Mr Hutanu and another man were working at the rear of commercial premises in Neasden on 19 August 2019. While his co-worker had been instructed to remove building materials from a flat roof, Mr Hutanu had been instructed to carry out repair work on a tiled pitched roof. He was working on it from a roofing ladder when he fell approximately 16-feet onto a concrete alleyway below.
He fractured his neck and sustained other serious head injuries in the fall and despite being taken by air ambulance to St Marys Hospital in Paddington, he sadly died a week later, on 26 August 2019.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found 37-year-old McCarthy had failed to take any steps to prevent falls from height by failing to install scaffolding around the perimeter of the building or flat roof where both men were working.
Mr Patrick McCarthy (trading as All Care Home Improvements) of Bashley Road, Ealing, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He received a 14 -month custodial sentence at a hearing on 4 April 2023.
A manufacturing company has been fined £600,000 after a worker’s leg was crushed by a forklift truck.
The man was working for AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Limited when the incident occurred at the firm’s Birmingham site on Bordesley Green Road on 8 May 2018.
He had been walking across a pedestrian crossing at the site when a forklift truck, being driven by another worker, collided with him, crushing his leg and ankle. The driver did not slow down while approaching the pedestrian crossing and his vision was restricted as the forklift truck was carrying multiple intermediate bulk containers (IBCs).
The injured worker required surgery and skin grafts following the incident.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Limited failed to provide an adequate risk assessment nor a safe system of work. There was also a lack of appropriate supervision. This led to the adoption and development of an unsafe custom and practice on site.
AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings Limited, of Wexham Road, Slough, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,188.60 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 3 April 2023.
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