Two major transport companies have been fined a combined total of £2.2m after ‘a loving dad and husband’ was killed when he was hit by a HGV in Birmingham.
Neil Roberts, 60, was a depot manager of Turners (Soham) Limited when he was struck by a reversing HGV on 30 August 2019. The incident happened at the premises of The Haulage Group Ltd (previously known as Howell Group Ltd), on Inkerman Street, when the vehicle reversed out of a parking space in the transport yard. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the companies had failed to manage the risk associated with workplace transport.
In a statement issued by his family, Mr Roberts, from the West Midlands, was described as ‘a loving dad’ and ‘caring husband’.
“He did anything and everything he could to provide for his family,” they said.
“Family meant everything to him, he wasn’t a man of many words, he mainly showed his emotions through doing and showing you how much he cared. He was always there to help.
“Dad has left a massive hole in all of our lives, and nothing will be able to fill that.
“Not a day goes by where we don’t think of him and wish he was still here with us and how unfair it all is.
“Nearly four years have passed, and every happy moment since has been tinged with sadness and every happy moment going forward will be tinged with sadness as Dad isn’t here.”
Turners (Soham) Limited of Fordham Road, Newmarket, Suffolk 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 £1.9m and ordered to pay costs of £7,300. The Haulage Group Ltd of Unit 28 Maybrook Business Park, Minworth, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands 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 £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,300.
Two company directors have been jailed after a wall collapsed killing five men – with both firms having to pay combined fines of £1.6million.
Wayne Anthony Hawkeswood and Graham John Woodhouse ran a Birmingham metal recycling business where a wall toppled over and killed five workers. The pair were found guilty on multiple counts after a five-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court in November last year. They were back at the same court on Monday 15 May where they each received nine-month custodial sentences.
Ousmane Kaba Diaby, Saibo Sumbundu Sillah, Bangally Tunkara Dukuray, Almamo Kinteh Jammeh and Mahamadou Jagana Jagana were all killed when a 45-tonne wall collapsed on them. They were agency workers working at the site occupied by Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Ltd and Shredmet Ltd (now trading as Ensco 10101 Ltd), in the Nechells area of Birmingham.
At nearly 12-feet high, the Vee block wall was built on site and made up of 30 concrete blocks – each the size of a domestic fridge-freezer and weighing the same as a large family car. The blocks are designed to slot together. The five men were part of a group of eight agency workers brought to the site on 7 July 2016. At around 8am that morning, seven of them began the process of clearing the bay of swarf – metal filings – to make way for more scrap metal. Just 15 minutes after starting work, the wall collapsed on the five men, killing them instantly. A sixth man suffered serious leg injuries, while another was fortunate enough to have just stepped outside the bay before the wall came down. The eighth member of the team was not in the bay at all as he had gone to another part of the site to retrieve brooms.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the wall had previously been taken down then reassembled. The adjoining bay was full of around 263 tonnes of scrap metal briquettes – each roughly the size of a large tin of vegetables. The combined weight of the machine-pressed metal briquettes was the equivalent of six fully loaded HGVs.
Following the incident, the defendants appointed structural engineers who carried out an assessment, the result being a reduction in wall heights and bays being clearly marked with maximum fill lines.
Both directors were found guilty of four charges each – failing to discharge the duty to which they were subject by virtue of section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Limited and Ensco 10101 Limited (known at the time as Shredmet) were also found guilty of the two identical counts bringing the total number of convictions to 12. Hawkeswood Metal Recycling was fined £1million while Ensco 10101 Limited must pay £600,000. The judge also ordered £775,000 to be paid in prosecution costs.
The 22-year-old, from Newcastle, had only recently started working as a manufacturing operative for the company when the incident occurred on 12 November 2021. He was undergoing training when he was assisting another worker on the company’s 60-metre lathe at the firm’s site on Bassington Drive in Cramlington. The man was working at the rear of the lathe when the rubber material he had just applied fell from the steel mandrel. He instinctively reached to grab the material, and at the same time the lathe started, pulling him into the machine. This resulted in his left arm being broken in two places.
The machine was used to wrap rubber and other materials around a steel mandrel to form hose bodies for industrial hoses. The system of work at Gates Engineering involved one employee working at the front of the machine operating the controls, with a second employee assisting from the rear, helping to manually position the rubber materials being applied. However, the manufacturer’s manual for the machine stated that the lathe should be enclosed with a fixed perimeter guard, and that access to the work area by persons other than the machine operator prevented.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to take effective measures to prevent access to the dangerous parts of the lathe, and that its system of work required employees to stand in an area that was meant to be enclosed by guards.
Gates Engineering & Services UK Limited, of Bassington Industrial Estate, Bassington Drive, Cramlington, Northumberland, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £3,653.70 in costs at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on 4 May 2023.
A waste and recycling company has been fined after an employee’s leg was amputated after he was run over by a telehandler. The man, who was 51 at the time, was working for Eco Waste and Recycling Limited at the company’s waste transfer site on Hullocks Pit Hill, Newnham Road, Newnham, Hertfordshire, when he was struck from behind by a reversing telehandler on 16 March 2022. He had been sorting recyclable materials by hand.
This incident led to the man’s right leg being amputated from above the knee.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Eco Waste and Recycling Limited failed to adequately segregate vehicles and pedestrians at its site and failed to act quickly on the findings of risk assessments.
Eco Waste and Recycling Limited, of High Firs Crescent, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £3,102.50 in costs at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on 4 May 2023.
A building company has been fined after a demolition worker suffered serious injuries after falling from a platform in Kensington in London. Ovidiu Dobra was working for Henry Construction Projects Limited at a building site on Kensington High Street when the incident happened on 2 March 2021.
Mr Dobra, 51 at the time, was working on the ten-foot high platform when it collapsed. He sustained serious injuries to both legs which has left him with ongoing long-term difficulties with movement, basic functions, and ability to work. Mr Dobra, who is from Romania, was working on the demolition of a building as part of the construction of a new commercial and residential building.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Henry Construction Projects Ltd failed to take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of persons working at height.
Henry Construction Projects Limited, of Church Road, Cranford, Hounslow, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £234,000 and ordered to pay £12,369 in costs at Westminster Magistrates Court on 16 May 2023.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution is being brought against Cambridgeshire County Council following the deaths of three people in separate incidents, and the life-changing injuries sustained by a fourth person in a collision, on Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.
Jennifer Taylor, 81, died when she was hit by a bus as she crossed the busway on foot at Fen Drayton on 17 November 2015.
Steve Moir, 50, a cyclist, died after colliding with a bus on the section of the busway between Cambridge railway station and Long Road on 13 September 2018.
Kathleen Pitts, 52, who was on foot, died after being hit by a bus on the section of the busway, also between Cambridge railway station and Long Road on 26 October 2021.
The fourth person, a teenage cyclist, was seriously injured when he collided with a bus in the guided section of the busway parallel to Kings Hedges Road on 9 November 2021.
Cambridgeshire County Council will face a charge under s3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The charge follows an extensive investigation by HSE, which is Britain’s workplace regulator.
A first hearing date will be confirmed in due course.
A Bradford man has been given a suspended prison sentence after an employee sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell 30-feet through a fragile roof.
Fazal Subkhan, 57, was given the nine-month sentence (suspended for two years) after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches. It related to an incident on 25 March 2020 when Uzaifa Khan, 34, suffered a number of significant injuries including a broken hip and pelvis.
Father-of-two Mr Khan said the incident at a unit in Shipley, left him unable to do ’95 per cent’ of things he did before.
“It’s been a crazy two and a half years,” he said.
“A lot has happened since regarding my physical and mental wellbeing.
“It has impacted me greatly.
“I can’t physically pick up my daughter and she cries that I can’t do so.
“I don’t feel safe going out anymore as I can’t physically look after myself.”
Leeds Crown Court heard that Subkhan was working on the roof of Unit C, Ashely Lane in Shipley, with Mr Khan. However he fell through the fragile roof landing on pallets approximately 36-feet below. His other injuries included broken ribs, a partially collapsed lung, a shattered left wrist and a broken left elbow.
“The accident has completely changed my life,” he went on to say.
“The key memory is falling and when I was on the floor and in pain, he came up to me and said ‘make sure you tell the police you went on the roof on your own accord’.”
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Subkhan had made previous repairs to the roof at the site but returned to undertake further work. No risk assessment was undertaken for working on the fragile roof. Safe access to the roof, and the risk of falling through or from the roof were not considered and no controls of any sort were put in place.
Fazal Subkhan of Rochester Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. As well as the suspended prison sentence he must also complete 150 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.
The sister of a man killed while unloading a lorry trailer has spoken of the devastating impact her brother’s death has had on their family. Anthony Clark, 51, from Darlington worked for GCS Johnson Limited, a trucking company based in North Yorkshire.
On 17 August 2018 the father-of-two was helping move a large piece of machinery from one trailer to another at the GCS Johnson depot at Barton Quarry industrial estate in Richmond. As a team of workers were moving the piece of machinery, it fell from the bed of the vehicle trailer and hit Anthony killing him instantly.
Anthony, a grandfather of two and an avid Sunderland fan, had recently got engaged to his fiancé Marie. On the day of his funeral, he was due to leave on a cruise with Marie.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that when the workers were transferring the load for shipment, the machinery was in two parts and the smaller section fell free during the lifting operation. This caused the part of machinery to strike Anthony resulting in immediate fatal injuries.
Today (May 3) at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, GCS Johnson Limited of Barton Park, Barton, Richmond, North Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay £18,355.07 in costs.
Anthony had an older brother, Graham, and sister Elaine.
Elaine Clark said: “Today’s verdict will not bring our Anthony back. He absolutely should not have died at work that day.
“He should still be here but he’s not. And that leaves a huge void in all our lives that nothing will ever replace.
“Mum has lost her son. Marie has lost her fiancé. Graham and I don’t have our baby brother anymore. His daughters don’t have their dad. His grandchildren will never get to know their Grandad.
“None of us get to see his smile. None of us get to hear him laugh. He doesn’t get to ride his scooter with his mates. Or go to watch Sunderland every week. He will never get old like the rest of us.
“Nearly five years on, family events that should be joyous occasions are tainted by our Anthony not being there. And that will never change.
“I can only repeat, he absolutely should not have died at work that day.”
A dad from Devon was left with horrific injuries to his hands after an incident at his work. Dean Delahaye, from Barnstaple, had to have all eight fingers amputated after his hands were crushed by a metal rolling machine.
The 35-year-old worked for flue and chimney manufacturer SF Limited. He was feeding flat metal sheeting into the machine when the incident took place on 5 September 2019. He spent 54 days in hospital and had numerous operations. More than three years on, he is still waiting for prosthetics to be fitted.
“I still get very frustrated and have a sense of uselessness,” he said.
“I am frustrated with how long things are taking, and how things have been put on hold.
“Having no fingers means I am unable to grip things.
“Before my accident I enjoyed playing a wide range of sports, including football, tennis and squash.
“I have always enjoyed working with my hands and have only ever had manual jobs, but since the accident it will never be possible to return to doing this again.
“Before my accident I was an independent and sociable person, but I feel this has been taken away from me now.”
Due to the severity of his injuries, Mr Delahaye went on to say how he was even unable to pick up and feed his daughter, who was born after the incident.
“It makes me feel like a burden to my loved ones, with all the assistance I need daily,” he said.
“My wife Jess not only has to care for me, but is also like a single parent which makes me feel so worthless.
“Mentally I have not come to terms with my new reality.
“When I dream, I am fully able-bodied and then I wake and realise this is never going to be the case for me again.
“But if my accident can stop someone going through what I have had to go through, then at least it will be for something.”
Yeovil Magistrates Court heard that an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to adequately assess the risks and implement the necessary controls when the roller equipment was installed. They subsequently missed a further opportunity to reassess the risks following a significant change in the way in which the machine was operated.
S F Limited which trades as SFL Flue and Chimney of Pottington Business Park, Barnstaple, Devon, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000.
A food processing firm has been hit with a £100,000 fine after a worker severed part of her finger when her hand was caught in machinery at a site in Devon.
The 37-year-old woman was employed by Amber Foods Limited at a site in Cullompton, when the incident happened on 31 October 2018. She had been working on a Meyn eviscerator – a conveyor-fed machine that slices and separates chicken livers and hearts – when she noticed a build-up of offcuts around the blades. Believing the machine had stopped, she reached in to unblock the area but her hand was caught by the moving conveyor, partially severing her right index finger.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the blade and chute area of the machine lacked effective guarding, failing to prevent any person coming into contact with the moving parts.
At a hearing at Taunton Magistrates Court, Amber Foods Limited of Trinity Park Business Park, Wakefield, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974. They were fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,241.
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