A health board has been fined £180,000 after a patient died while being treated at a hospital. Colin Lloyd, 78, was brought to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, on 6 February 2019 following a suspected fall at his home and later admitted to the hospital’s surgical ward.
While in hospital, Mr Lloyd suffered from three additional falls on 6, 12 and 14 February 2019, which led to bleeding on the brain. Mr Lloyd passed away from fatal head trauma two days after his final fall.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found NHS Highland, the health board responsible for Raigmore Hospital, failed to provide the necessary nursing staff to ensure the 1:1 ratio of care was applied.
NHS Highland, of Assynt House, Beechwood Park, Inverness, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The health board was fined £180,000 at Inverness Sheriff Court on 31 January 2023.
A company has been fined £120,000 after a dad died following a fall from the roof of a building site. Father-of-one Dennis Vincent, 36, and another worker were using ropes to install a lightning protection system to the front of a Warrington office block being converted into flats.
Mr Vincent, who was from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was lowering the access equipment from the roof, using a rope attached to a frame at roof level and a handrail at ground level. As he did so, both he and the frame fell from the roof to the ground. The incident happened on 24 February 2021 at Palmyra House, Palmyra Square in Warrington.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Vincent’s employer, PTSG Electrical Services Limited, failed to adequately assess the risks associated with this work, giving little consideration to the work at height hierarchy of control and opting for personal protection measures over more suitable collective protection measures, such as scaffolding or a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP).
In addition to this, the company had not planned for getting the rope access equipment on to and off the roof safely, providing no instructions to the operatives.
PTSG Electrical Services Limited, of Flemming Court, Whistler Drive, Castleford, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £5448.51 in costs at Wirral Magistrates’ Court on 9 February 2023.
Two companies have been fined more than £380k after a worker fell through the roof of a retail unit in Milton Keynes. The roofer, who was 32 at the time, fell more than 20 feet through a roof light on to a suspended ceiling at Unit 103, Watling Street, on 19 July 2019. The man landed on the floor below and broke his ankle.
Brackley Industrial Maintenance Ltd, a specialist roofing contractor, had been contracted by principal contractor STP Construction Ltd to carry out roofing works. This work was part of a wider construction project at a retail unit used by Matalan and Carpet Right in Bletchley. The roofer was required to work on the roof of the building and carry out work on roof lights.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was ineffective planning of access arrangements to and on the roof by STP Construction Ltd, resulting in workers having to pass fragile materials before they could make use of the fall arrest system installed there. The investigation also highlighted that Brackley Industrial Maintenance Ltd failed to ensure the provision and use of physical means to either prevent or arrest falls.
STP Construction Ltd, of Woodside Walk, Whinfield Industrial Estate, Rowlands Gill, Tyne And Wear, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 13(1) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £320,000 and ordered to pay £8,538 in costs at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 10 February 2023.
Brackley Industrial Maintenance Ltd, of Avon Dassett, Southam, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 9 (2) of the Work at Height Regulations. The company was fined £68,000 and also ordered to pay £8,538 in costs at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 10 February 2023.
A company has been fined after an employee fractured his back and ribs following a fall from a house in Frodsham, Cheshire. The man was working for Renka Limited after the company had been hired to supply and install windows, doors and frames at the property on Village Road.
Renka Limited workers arrived at the property on 31 August 2021 to begin the installation of a rooflight, but the tower scaffold they had been provided with was too large and could not be positioned in the area where it was needed. As a result, the workers made a platform using the boards from the tower scaffold and wedged them between the roof joists. They then gained access to the work area via the external scaffolding.
Following the installation of the rooflight frame, one of the workers stepped from the roof onto the platform, at which point a board broke, causing him to fall approximately five metres to the ground below. As a result, the worker, who was 35 at the time, suffered fractures to his back and ribs.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Renka Limited failed to adequately plan the work at height and failed to provide suitable work equipment to enable the work to be carried out safely. The investigation also found that the company’s employees had not been provided with any instruction as to how the work should be carried out, and had not been provided with adequate training for working at height. HSE guidance on working at height can be found here: Work at height – HSE.
Renka Limited, of Birmingham Road, Marlbrook, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3863.25 in costs at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 20 February 2023.
A company and its director have been fined after they failed to provide suitable welfare facilities at a construction site in Belsize Park, North London.
East Sussex firm ID8 Design and Build Ltd was in charge of the site on Carlingford Road where the company was carrying out a full refurbishment of a two-storey flat into a converted house, including the erection of front and rear dormers.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection of the site on 29 November 2021 found the welfare facilities did not comply with the minimum requirements as set out in Schedule 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015; the toilet provided was not flushable and was in a room without a door or window coverings. There was no sink, no hot water, no soap and no towels – cold water only was available from a pipe in the room next to the toilet. No rest area had been set up by the company either.
ID8 Design and Build Ltd was then issued with an Improvement Notice by HSE requiring the firm to ensure suitable welfare facilities were available at the site. HSE guidance on welfare facilities for constructions sites can be found here: Construction: Welfare – Managing occupational health risks in construction (hse.gov.uk)
However, a second inspection by HSE on 5 January 2022 found no sufficient improvements had been made as required by the Improvement Notice issued.
At Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 15 February 2023:
- Having pleaded guilty on 18 January 2023 to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, ID8 Design and Build Ltd, of Blatchington Road, Hove, East Sussex, was fined £1334 and ordered to pay costs of £1748.
- Having pleaded guilty on 18 January 2023 to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by virtue of Section 37(1) of the act, ID8 Design and Build Ltd director Adeel Bhatti, of Blatchington Road, Hove, East Sussex, was fined £416 and ordered to pay costs of £1622.07.
A farmer has been fined £8k after a teenage worker suffered serious head injuries when a six-tonne dumper he was driving overturned. The 19-year-old and his friend, who was just 16, had been paid to move material as part of improvement works at Upper Kingswell Farm in the village of Longdown in Exeter.
However, farmer Richard Palfrey had failed to ask either for their age or what experience they had before giving them a short briefing of what he wanted them to do. Soon afterwards, the dumper overturned on a steep incline and although the 19-year-old ended up in intensive care, he managed to make a full recovery.
Yeovil Magistrates’ Court heard about an area of land being excavated and levelled on the farm on 4 August 2019. The teens had been paid to move the excavated material using a dumper owned by Richard Palfrey, who was in charge of the excavation works at his farm. The young workers had only been on the farm for a few hours before the incident happened.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Richard Palfrey did not ask the two young workers their ages or make any enquiries into their training or experience in operating dumpers. He gave the two young workers a very short briefing on what he wanted them to do but the steep route that he told them to take with the dumpers was inappropriate as it was steeper than the dumper manufactures said the dumpers could work on. The dumper that rolled had a seat belt but the seat was covered with a fertilizer bag meaning that the seatbelt could not be worn.
Richard John Palfrey of Upper Kingswell Farm, Exeter pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,324.40.
A company has been fined £20,000 for a catalogue of health and safety failings at a building site in Alderley Edge. Work was taking place to convert an old bank into offices on London Road in the Cheshire village.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected the site on 9 October 2020. HSE found many health and safety failings, including several areas where workers could have fallen from height, a risk of exposure to hazardous substances, and inadequate welfare facilities. The company doing the work, Daniel Taylor Builder and Architectural Woodworker Limited, was served with three Prohibition Notices prohibiting unsafe activities and five Improvement Notices requiring the company to take remedial action to comply with the law.
A HSE investigation then found the firm had previously been the subject of enforcement action relating to unsafe work at height at both its construction sites and joinery workshop. The investigation also found company director, David Taylor, was acting as site manager at the London Road site and had failed to ensure the necessary health and safety measures were implemented to protect employees and others, despite the previous HSE interventions.
Daniel Taylor Builder and Architectural Woodworker Limited, of Wheelwrights Yard, Congleton, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 following its early guilty plea, and ordered to pay £1,507.71 in costs at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 8 February 2023.
David William Taylor, of New Road, Congleton, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Mr Taylor, 77, was fined £10 by the district judge taking into account totality of sentencing this defendant as a director of the company, his early guilty plea, positive references and his cooperation with HSE enforcement action. He was ordered to pay £1,507.71 in costs at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on 8 February 2023.
A plumber has been jailed for 16 months after carrying out illegal gas work that cost an elderly woman over £1000. Christopher Roland Shaw, also known as Chris Parker and trading as SOS Express Plumbing, attended the woman’s home on Newport Road, Headingley, Leeds, in October 2019, where he was hired to carry out gas work. Mr Shaw had been assisting the woman with general plumbing needs for a number of years and told her he fitted the water heater in her bathroom.
As a result of this, the woman believed Mr Shaw was able to work on gas appliances. At the request of the woman, who was 81 at the time, Mr Shaw then removed an existing gas boiler and installed a new combination boiler at a total cost of £1157.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Shaw was not registered with the Gas Safety Register (GSR), a legal requirement whilst carrying out gas work. Mr Shaw’s work at the woman’s home was subsequently investigated by GSR, which identified several issues. Some of these issues were deemed as ‘at risk,’ meaning they could be a danger to life or the property in the future.
Mr Shaw had previously been prohibited from carrying out gas work by HSE and had subsequently been investigated and prosecuted for similar illegal gas work, resulting in a custodial sentence in 2015.
Christopher Roland Shaw, of Stonegate Farm Close, Leeds, Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Section 33(1)(g) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulations 3(1) and 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Mr Shaw was sentenced to 16 months in prison at Leeds Crown Court on 9 February 2023.
A supported housing company has been fined £100k after a disabled woman in their care died after choking on a marshmallow.
Shirley Breeze, who had severe learning disabilities, as well as being diagnosed with epilepsy and dyspraxia was in the care of Ark Housing Association Limited when the incident happened at her home address in Cowdenbeath, Fife.
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard how the 64-year-old was given the marshmallow – which was an unsuitable food item for her prescribed diet – by one of the company’s support workers on 30 November 2019.
Miss Breeze began to choke soon afterwards and although the support worker correctly followed first aid procedures, was unable to dislodge the marshmallow. The support worker carried out CPR until paramedics arrived to provide additional emergency assistance. Paramedics were successful in removing the marshmallow, but Miss Breeze then suffered two cardiac arrests and a seizure, which led to her being placed in an induced coma. She passed away on 2 December 2019.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Miss Breeze had been the subject of an assessment by Speech and Language Therapy following a prior choking incident. It was advised that she be placed on ‘a Texture Type E (soft) diet’. There was evidence that requirements of her Type E diet were not known, understood, or implemented by all of her support workers. Ark Housing Association Limited failed to provide support workers with adequate training to ensure that all aspects of a Type E diet, now known as an IDDSI Level 6 diet, were understood and followed.
Ark Housing Association Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £100,000.
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