A waste management company has been fined £190,000 after a contractor died when he fell seven metres while carrying out maintenance work.
The experienced maintenance contractor was part of a team under the control and direction of Wiltshire-based Hills Waste Solutions Limited. He sustained fatal injuries in the fall on November 18, 2020, while working on a mechanical screening and separating plant on the Hills Waste Solutions site in Stephenson Road, Westbury. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Hills Waste Solutions Limited failed to ensure that work at height was properly assessed and planned. The company failed to consider and identify how the necessary work at height could be carried out safely to ensure that the risk of falls was controlled.
Hills Waste Solutions Limited, of Wiltshire House County Park Business Centre, Shrivenham Road, Swindon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £190,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,816, with a victim surcharge of £190 at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court on August 17, 2022.
A plumber who was suspected of having undertaken dangerous gas work while unqualified to do so, was fined for failing to answer questions put to him by a Health and Safety Executive inspector.
In February 2020 Luke Rodgers was alleged to have carried out unlawful gas work to replace a boiler at a house in Tingley, Wakefield. The new boiler was left in such a dangerous condition that a Gas Safe registered engineer who attended the house had to make it safe by disconnecting it from the gas supply.
During a HSE interview under caution, Mr Rodgers claimed to have only been hired to do the installation work up to the point where it would then be connected to the gas supply. He claimed that he had arranged for a friend who was qualified to complete all the gas work. Mr Rodgers also stated that another friend had assisted him with general labouring at the property.
During the interview, Mr Rodgers was unwilling to provide the identity of either people which is an offence as it prevented the inspector from following reasonable lines of enquiry as part of the investigation.
At Huddersfield Magistrates’ Court Luke Rodgers of Chapel Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(e) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £583 and ordered to pay £1,500 in costs at a hearing on August 8, 2022.
A cargo handling company has been fined after an employee was fatally crushed between shipping containers whilst working in a container park in Portsmouth.
On 25 August 2017, Mr Mieczyslaw Tadeusz Siwak, a 34-year-old father-of-one, was working for Portico Shipping Limited (formerly MMD (Shipping Services) Limited) on the night shift in the container park. His job was to connect refrigerated container units to electrical supplies, which his colleague had lifted into position for him using a container stacker vehicle. It was during one of these manoeuvres that Mr Siwak was fatally crushed between two containers. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company routinely failed to provide adequate supervision of operatives and drivers working on the night shift to ensure safe systems of work were followed. This included failure to use safe walkways to segregate pedestrians from vehicles and the safe operation of container stackers by driving with shipping containers in the raised position to allow visibility.
Portico Shipping Limited of Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. At Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court the company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,631.61.
Technology firm Dyson has been fined £1.2m after an employee sustained head and chest injuries when he was struck by a 1.5 tonne milling machine.
The worker at Dyson’s Wiltshire factory was hit while moving the machine, which fell on top of him. He only escaped being crushed under the weight of the machine because it landed on two toolboxes and the handle of another machine. The incident happened on August 27, 2019.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Dyson Technology Limited failed to provide suitable and sufficient information, instruction, and training to those undertaking the task. They also failed to adequately assess the task and devise a safe system of work to ensure the machine was moved safely.
Two employees were moving a large CNC milling machine within the engineering department of Dyson’s site at Tetbury Hill, Malmesbury. The employees lifted the machine using a five-tonne jack and were in the process of replacing two fixed roller skates with several wooden blocks when it fell. One of the employees was struck by the machine and sustained a wound to his head and injuries to his chest.
At Swindon Magistrates’ Court Dyson Technology Limited of Tetbury Hill, Malmesbury, Wiltshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £1.2m and ordered to pay costs of £11,511.
A bus company has been fined £380,000 after one of its employees was crushed between a reversing bus and a stationary vehicle. The employee of Stagecoach Devon Limited was working at the company’s Torquay depot on the morning of 3 October 2019.
Due to space limitations, buses often had to reverse to be able to leave the depot in readiness for the day’s work. The sole banksman, who would direct vehicles, was occupied at the top of the depot where most buses were parked. As a result, it became custom and practice for the bus drivers at the front of the depot to reverse without a banksman, or to assist each other when reversing, despite not being trained as banksmen. The injured employee, who was caught between a reversing bus and a stationary vehicle, suffered compound multiple fractures of his arm requiring six titanium plates and 65 metal staples between his wrist and elbow.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Stagecoach Devon Limited failed to put a suitable and sufficient risk assessment in place. This should have identified the risks inherent in the bus parking layout and action could have been taken to remove the need to reverse or mitigate the risks from reversing. For example, changing the parking layout, providing a sufficient number of trained banksmen for peak times, and improved segregation of vehicles and pedestrians.
At Plymouth Magistrates Court Stagecoach Devon Limited of One Stockport Exchange, 20 Railway Road, Stockport, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £380,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,000.
A carpentry and joinery company has been fined after a man working unsecured on the forks of a fork-lift truck fell 3.5 metres to the ground. On 14 June 2021, the man was working for Staircraft Group Limited at their head office site at Bayton Road Industrial Estate, Exhall, Coventry.
The employee was working from an unsecured stillage on the forks of a fork-lift truck in order to clean office windows at height. The stillage tipped and the employee fell 3.5 metres to the ground. As a result of the incident, he sustained a broken leg and an injury to his elbow.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to identify that using a stillage to lift someone on the forks of a forklift truck, a method that they had used before, was unsafe. There was a lack of training for employees on the dangers of working at height without the proper equipment and there were no systems of work or risk assessments in place.
At Redditch Magistrates’ Court Staircraft Group Limited, of Bayton Road Industrial Estate, Exhall, Coventry pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1974 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,477.93.
A civil engineering firm has been fined £600K for safety breaches after a seven-year-old child became trapped and suffocated on a construction site.
Seven-year-old Conley Thompson went missing from home on the morning of 26 July 2015 and was found the next morning by workers at the construction site at Bank End Road, Worsborough, in South Yorkshire. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Conley had become trapped in a drainage pipe, which had been fixed into the ground in preparation for the installation of fencing posts. Tragically, he had suffocated before being found the next morning when work restarted on site.
Howard Civil Engineering Ltd of Howard House Limewood Approach Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 13(4)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £600K and ordered to pay £42,952.88 in costs at Sheffield Crown Court today.
A mining company has been fined after two electricians suffered severe burns in separate incidents. The owners of Boulby Mine in Saltburn-by-the-Sea were fined £3.6 million and ordered to pay costs of £185,000 after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Cleveland Potash Limited (CPL) own the mine, which extracts organic fertiliser known as Polyhalite. Teesside Crown Court heard that on the 3 August 2016 a contract electrician received serious burns from an 11,000-volt electrical system. He unknowingly had placed a vacuum cleaner nozzle into a live electrical chamber. He had to be air lifted to Newcastle hospital specialist burns unit, where he was placed in an induced coma for 10 days.
On the 12 February 2019, another electrical contractor made contact with a live conductor on a 415-volt electrical system during electrical testing works, and received serious burns. He was hospitalised for six days.
The HSE found deficiencies from the owner of the mine in risk assessment, planning of works, and shortfalls in providing warnings about which parts of the electrical systems the two electricians were working on remained live.
Cleveland Potash Limited (CPL) of Boulby Mine, Loftus, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Cleveland pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and two counts of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
A manufacturer of articulated vehicle trailers has been fined £400,000 after a worker became trapped under a hydraulic ram. The man, who was working at Fruehauf Ltd, in Houghton Road, Grantham, Lincolnshire, which is now in administration, suffered a fractured back in the incident on 14 January 2020.
The man was undertaking work to strengthen the chassis of a vehicle, which involved removing and refitting the hydraulic ram which would lift the trailer of the vehicle. The ram had been returned to the vehicle and was poorly supported with pieces of steel and wood, and clamped underneath using G-clamps in an attempt to stop it from tipping forwards. The ram fell forwards trapping the man underneath. He is now unable to work in the heavy fabrication industry due to the life-changing nature of his injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the risk assessment undertaken for the work was not detailed and did not identify specific risks relating to the task and the control measures required to reduce those risks. Incorrect equipment was used and a safe system of work was not created and, instead, a poor working method was only agreed between those doing the work.
Fruehauf Limited which is now registered to an address on Town Quay, Southamption, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £400,000 and ordered to pay HSE costs of £3472.40 at a hearing on August 3 2022.
A man who was in control of a construction site in Scotland has been fined for not allowing two HSE inspectors access to the site to deal with unsafe work activity. In 2021 multiple concerns about unsafe work at a construction site in Irvine had been sent to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). On 16 March 2021, two HSE inspectors attended the construction site and observed unsafe work at height taking place on a steel structure.
The inspectors tried to gain entry to the site, but the gates were locked. They spoke to the person in control of the site, Baldev Singh Basra, but he refused to unlock the gates and let them in. Despite explaining the powers to enter a premise given to HSE inspectors as part of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Mr Singh Basra still refused entry to the site.
After officers from Police Scotland attended and gained entry to the site, the HSE inspectors were able to take enforcement action to stop the unsafe work. Two workers were then found to be on the roof of the structure with no safe means of getting down. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service attended the site and rescued the workers from the structure.
At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court, Baldev Singh Basra of Loach Avenue, Irvine pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for contravening a requirement of an inspector – namely refusing entry to a premise where unsafe work was taking place. He was fined £1,500.
A flooring retail company has been fined £300,000 after a self-employed contractor died after falling 4m through an asbestos cement roof panel.
In March 2019 Lukman Hakim had been appointed by Taylor Grange (Retail) Limited, trading as Floors Today, to carry out repair works to the fragile roof at the company’s showroom in Leicester. Mr Hakim accessed the roof to check the progress of two workers when it gave way causing him to fall approximately 4m to the concrete floor of the showroom below. Access on to the roof was provided by an unsecured and unfooted ladder which did not extend sufficiently to offer a handhold. Workers were then required to traverse the full width of the roof to carry out the repair work. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the client company failed to follow its own contractor selection procedures.
As a result, they appointed a contractor who did not have the skills, knowledge and experience required to plan and carry out the work using established control measures and safe working practices. Consequently, all three men engaged in the work were exposed to a risk of falling a distance liable to cause personal injury while accessing the roof via the unsecured ladder or while walking across unprotected fragile roof panels. People inside the building, including customers, were also at risk of being struck in the event of a person or object (such as a tool) falling through the roof.
Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that Taylor Grange (Retail) Limited, formerly of Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, Birmingham, are now in liquidation and no longer operate. However, they were found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 8(3) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. They were fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,713.33 at a hearing on July 27 2022.
A brick and stonework restoration company, Brick Restoration Ltd and it’s two directors, Stewart Bailey and John McCole, have been sentenced following the death of a construction worker.
Alexandru Sorin was overcome by dichloromethane (‘DCM’) vapour whilst using a DCM-based paint stripper at a property in London on 25 July 2017.
Mr Sorin was working on his own stripping paint from the walls of a lightwell in the basement of Berkeley Gardens, London. DCM vapour is heavier than air and can accumulate in confined spaces with poor ventilation. While carrying out the work Mr Sorin was overcome by the DCM vapour and died from the exposure.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Brick Restoration Ltd failed to implement any effective measures to control Mr Sorin’s exposure to DCM. His death could have been prevented by eliminating the risk associated with DCM by using a different removal method or by substituting the DCM paint remover for a less hazardous product.
At City of London Magistrates’ Court, Brick Restoration Ltd of Worboys Road, Worcester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and were fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,805.64. Stewart Bailey of Worboys Road, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £2,805.64. John McCole of Savill Gardens, London also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £2,805.64
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