A lift maintenance company has been fined after an employee died while working at a factory run by Muller Yogurt and Desserts.
Lift Monitoring Systems Limited, previously known as RJ Lift Services Limited, was fined £200,000 on Monday following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the death of 24-year-old Lewis McFarlin, a lift engineer employed by the Staffordshire company.
Muller was not prosecuted by HSE.
Mr McFarlin was fatally crushed when attempting to repair a goods lift at Muller’s Market Drayton factory on 14 January 2020.
Mr McFarlin’s mother has said “no one should go to work and not return.”
He and two other lift engineers at Lift Monitoring Systems were on site to work on a different lift before being asked to resolve an issue with the door-opening mechanism on one of the lift landing doors.
While attempting to resolve the issue, Mr McFarlin was on top of the lift car with one engineer in the lift itself and the other outside on the landing. The lift had been placed in inspection mode enabling Mr McFarlin to control the lift from the lift’s rooftop. This mode enabled him to assist his colleague, inside the lift, to rectify the issue. As the work progressed, the lift unexpectedly shifted from inspection mode to normal mode while Mr McFarlin was still on top. This sudden transition caused the lift to move at its normal speed, trapping him in a void between the lift car and the structural elements of the lift shaft.
Mr McFarlin’s colleagues tried to release him but were unable to. He had already lost his life by the time the emergency services arrived at the scene.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that there was a failure to cover the void in which Lewis became trapped. Had the void been sheeted, the incident could not have happened.
Mr McFarlin’s mother, Leah Salt, said: “Hearing all the evidence this last week has been extremely difficult. Hearing how Lewis’ death was easily and reasonably preventable, is heart-breaking. No one should go to work and not return.
“As a family, losing our lovely Lewis and his future, has had a massive impact on all of our lives. Nothing can bring my son home, however, if future lives and families can be protected as a result of this outcome, then Lewis’ death hasn’t been in vain.”
Lift Monitoring Systems Limited, formerly known as RJ Lift Services Limited, of Galveston Grove, Oldfield Business Park, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to failing to discharge the duty imposed upon it by Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £200,000 at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on 27 November 2023. Costs will be decided at a later date.
Company fined as stunt performer sustains life-changing injuries during filming of Fast and Furious movie
A production company has been fined after a stunt performer was injured during the filming of Fast and Furious 9: The Fast Saga.
Joe Watts, from Surrey, sustained life-changing injuries after he fell approximately 25 feet at Warner Bros. studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire on 22 July 2019. He had been filming a fight scene for the action movie. Mr Watts fell 25 feet onto the concrete floor below when the line on his stunt vest became detached.
As a result of his fall, Mr Watts suffered a fractured skull and a severe traumatic brain injury, which has resulted in permanent impairment and disability.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found several failings by FF9 Pictures Limited. FF9 Pictures Limited’s risk assessment failed to address the potential issue of a rope snap or a link failure, there was no system for double checking that the link had been properly engaged and tightened. There was also no system for checking the link for signs of deformation or stretching between takes, the manufacturer’s website stated that the link used was forbidden for use as PPE and shock loading should be avoided. On top of that, six-monthly inspections of harnesses were required but Mr Watts’ harness had not been inspected in the last six months and FF9 Pictures Limited did not extend the crash matting needed to mitigate the consequences of an unintended fall following changes to the set and the sequence of the stunt.
FF9 Pictures Limited, of St. Giles High Street, London, 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 £14,752.85 in costs at Luton Magistrates’ Court on 24 November 2023.
A retired chartered surveyor said he feared for his life after being attacked by cows while walking his dog on a public footpath in Devon.
The farmer responsible has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a result.
Patrick Atherton and his 13-year-old Border Collie ‘Lad’ had been dropped off at Birdcage Farm, in Ottery Saint Mary, by his wife on 12 June 2022. The 70-year-old, who moved to the South West from West Kirby on The Wirral more than 30 years ago, was a regular user of the footpath and said it was ‘ironic’ that Lad had been on his lead that fateful day.
“I’ve been a trainer of Border Collies for many years.
“It was ironic that for the first time I had kept Lad on his lead as I had noticed two young calves in the field and thought if he was walking by my side they wouldn’t really notice.
“Unfortunately, one black cow did and it charged at us, knocking me down by the hedge that bordered the path.
“I tried to stand up and let Lad off his lead but they kept on knocking me over.
“There was about seven cows involved, but it was the very aggressive black cow that was trying to kill my dog.
“I thought we were going to die.”
The traumatic ordeal only came to an end after Mr Atherton said he heard a call – who he presumed to be from the farmer – and the cattle moved away from the pair and ran back to the farm.
“I had been powerless to do anything,” he added.
“We were both surrounded by cattle.
“I could hear Lad shrieking in pain as he was repeatedly kicked and stamped on.
“He was never the same dog after what happened and he sadly passed away in September this year.
“I just want to make other people aware of the risks when out enjoying popular footpaths such as this one.”
Mr Atherton escaped with cuts and bruises following the attack, while Lad was badly injured had to take veterinary medication for the remainder of his life.
The HSE investigation found that cattle with young calves, which are known to be protective and unpredictable, were being kept in a field with a public right of way across it. They can pose a risk to walkers, especially to those with dogs.
Where possible farmers should:
- avoid putting cattle, especially cows with calves, in fields with public access.
- do all that they can to keep animals and people separated, including erecting fencing (permanent or temporary) e.g. electric fencing.
- Assess the temperament of any cattle before putting them into a field with public access.
- Consider culling any animal that shows signs of aggression.
- Any animal that has shown any sign of aggression must not be kept in a field with public access.
- Clearly sign post all public access routes across the farm. Display signage at all entrances to the field stating what is in the field (cows with calves / bulls).
John Hallett of Birdcage Farm, Ottery St Mary, Devon pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,500 at Exeter Magistrates’ Court.
A rendering company in Manchester has been fined £3,000 after a HSE inspector noticed unsafe scaffolding on a house renovation as he happened to be driving past.
The company had been issued with a Prohibition Notice after a HSE inspector drove through the area on 17 February 2022 and spotted the scaffolding its workers were using at the property. RS Rendering Specialists Limited disregarded the notice while carrying out rendering works on a house in Belgrave Crescent, Eccles, Manchester.
The HSE inspector noted there were gaps in the scaffolding, putting the company’s staff at risk from falling at height. RS Rendering Specialists had also failed to plan the work safely at the property and a mandatory weekly inspection of the scaffolding had not been carried out. The subsequent Prohibition Notice banned the company from using the unsafe scaffolding.
However, on 23 February 2022, the same HSE inspector drove past the property again and noticed that two workers from the company were operating on the scaffolding it had been prohibited from using.
The colour of the house had changed since the inspector’s previous visit, indicating that the company had continued to use the same scaffolding and had completely disregarded the Prohibition Notice.
RS Rendering Specialists Limited, of Athol Road Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 4(1) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 24 November 2023.
A company in the entertainment industry has been fined £16,000 following the death of a worker.
Russell Bowry, a self-employed rigger, was working at ELP Broadcast and Events Ltd’s Cardington Hangar Studios in Bedfordshire when he fell from height on 13 March 2018. The 52-year-old, from Lower Stondon, Bedfordshire, was part of an assembly team for a project that required the building of a temporary rehearsal stage. This stage was a water and wind proof cube for a musical that was due to be performed at the studios.
Mr Bowry was working on the roof of the cube when he fell through the structure and landed 10 metres below. He died from his injuries three days later.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that ELP Broadcast & Events Ltd had failed to plan and implement a safe system of work. The company also failed to implement its own health and safety policy or ensure there was adequate supervision.
ELP Broadcast & Events Ltd, of Bedford Technology Park, Thurleigh, Bedfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £2,968.70 in costs at Luton Magistrates’ Court on 22 November 2023.
A mother has spoken about her grief after her only child was killed while working at ‘Sunrise Eggs’ in Loughborough.
Nineteen-year-old Ben Spencer had only been working for Sunrise Poultry Farms for two weeks when he was crushed between a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and a wall on 12 April 2021.
His mum Tracy says she would like nothing more but to ‘curl up in a ball’ after his death at the site in Sileby.
“My life revolved around Ben, because it has always been just me and him,” she said.
“I used to go out every day, even if it was just for a walk, and we used to go on family holidays, all of us with a caravan.
“Now I’ve got no life. Sometimes I walk the dog at eleven o’clock at night to avoid running into people, I just can’t face getting into a conversation with them.
“I find myself keeping my distance from everyone, I just can’t cope with the idea of feeling close to someone, even my family.
“My dreams are of Ben when he was younger and I just yearn to be back there. Those years standing on the edge of a football pitch watching him in the freezing cold and now I’d just go back there in heartbeat.”
The HGV was attempting a complex manoeuvre towards a narrow thoroughfare at the Seagrave Road premises as Ben Spencer was walking towards it.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that measures in place for segregating pedestrians and moving vehicles were wholly inadequate.
Sunrise Poultry Farms, of Seagrave Road, Sileby, Loughborough, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 17 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and was ordered to pay a fine of £233,000 plus costs of £8,841 at a hearing at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on 22 November 2023.
Ben’s tragic death continues to have a significant impact on the lives of Tracy, as well as his friends and family.
“I still can’t go in Ben’s bedroom,” Tracy said.
“It’s still the same as the last day he went to work. I can’t bring myself to make the bed and have tied the door shut so the dog can’t go in there. I have tried to make myself go in there, but I just can’t walk across the threshold.
“I cry when I leave the house and I cry when I get back, because he’s not here. I hear noises and look up expecting to see Ben coming round the back.
“Sunrise Poultry was Ben’s first real job and with it came a conversation about the future, his own home, learning to drive and saving.
“If I could just curl up in a ball I would.”
A manufacturing business in Lincolnshire has been fined for failing to protect its workers from hazardous substances.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection of W.S. Barrett and Son Limited’s site at Riverside Industrial estate in Boston, Lincolnshire, found the company’s workers were being potentially exposed to welding fume and dusts from powder coating.
Welding fume is carcinogenic and can cause other serious illnesses such as occupational asthma. Exposure to coating powders can also cause occupational asthma and skin irritation.
The inspection on 25 March 2022 found that an on-tool extraction system on the welding tools was in a poor state of repair and that Local Exhaust Ventilation systems, provided to capture welding fume and dusts from powder coating in order to protect employees’ health, had not been thoroughly examined and tested.
A subsequent HSE investigation found W.S. Barrett and Son Limited, a specialist manufacturer for the agricultural and horticultural industries, had failed to ensure that its Local Exhaust Ventilation systems, which controlled workers’ exposure to welding fume and dusts from powder coating , had been thoroughly examined and tested.
The company had already been warned about its Local Exhaust Ventilation systems, during a previous HSE inspection on 13 February 2018, the company was served with Improvement Notices following issues with Local Exhaust Ventilation systems. The company failed to comply and was prosecuted as a result.
W.S. Barrett & Son Limited, of Marsh Lane, Boston, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) and Regulation 9(2) of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,625.20 in costs at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on 22 November 2023.
A frozen food company has been fined £700,000 after an employee lost two of his fingers following an incident at the firm’s premises in Lincolnshire.
Tom Matthews, from Grantham, now champions health and safety in his current job at a different company, warning others to avoid his misfortune. He had been working a night shift at McCain Foods’ site in Easton on 2 September 2019 when he suffered serious injuries to his left hand.
While cleaning the company’s batter system machinery, the 33-year-old had attempted to remove string dangling from a chute when his left hand was drawn in and contacted the machine’s rotary valve. The index and middle finger were later amputated as a result of the incident.
Tom Matthews, a father-of-two said: “The last four years have been hard and an ongoing struggle both physically and mentally.
“I still have circulation problems in my left hand following the incident that should never have happened.
“While I’m currently working, my new role is with the health and safety team at a different company as I want to use my story as an example to others and make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that McCain Foods had failed to provide appropriate guarding to prevent access to the dangerous parts of machinery, namely the rotary valve. It had not conducted an adequate risk assessment of the batter machine and had not provided employees with adequate health and safety training or supervision.
McCain Foods (G.B.) Limited, of Havers Hill, Eastfield, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Section 11(1) of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). The company was fined £700,000 and ordered to pay £6,508.51 in costs at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on 22 November 2023.
The company that runs The Priory Hospital has been fined for failing to ensure the safety of patients in the hospital’s Emerald Ward following the death of 21-year-old Francesca Whyatt. Francesca, from Knutsford in Cheshire, was found unconscious at The Priory Hospital in Roehampton, London. She died three days later.
Priory Healthcare has been fined £140,000 after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Francesca died on 28 September 2013. She had been transferred from a local hospital to the Emerald Ward, a specialist unit at The Priory Hospital, in March 2013. She was found unconscious in a patient lounge on the top floor of the hospital on 25 September.
Francesca had managed to make her way to the lounge as the hospital responded to an incident involving other patients and used the tights that she was wearing as a ligature.
An investigation by HSE concluded Priory Healthcare Limited failed to ensure the provision of in-patient psychiatric treatment was carried out in such a way that patients were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.
Daniel Whyatt, Francesca’s brother, said his sister was a “truly selfless [and] special individual.”
Daniel said: “The tragic and untimely death of our beloved sister has had a profound impact, and has repercussions well beyond those conceivable to anyone outside of our little family unit. It has invariably ruined all of our lives, and has muddied the precious memories we have of Francesca.
“It is a strange thing to note that it is just as difficult to write her name as it is to speak it, all these years later it is still so raw. We should be able to talk about her fondly, with a smile… instead every mention of her is done so in anger and rage and it feels like being stabbed in the heart.
“It is extremely overwhelming. Francesca had a proclivity for helping everyone she met and changed their lives in positive and meaningful ways, often at her own expense. She was a truly selfless, special and unique individual.”
Priory Healthcare Limited, of Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, London, pleaded guilty to failing to discharge a duty under Section 3(1) Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £140,000 at Southwark Crown Court on 14 November 2023. Costs will be decided at a later date.
Two men working on a residential tower under construction in London were fortunate to escape death when a defective cradle they were in fell about 90 feet.
On 4 June 2020, Marcel Botnaru and Radu Baracu were working in the cradle at level nine of the Pennington Street building. The support beams for the cradle had been fitted with the wrong sized end stops, which resulted in it rolling off the end and crashing to the ground below. Mr Botnaru suffered six broken ribs and a punctured lung while Mr Baracu was off work for six weeks, but both were extremely fortunate to escape more serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
Two companies, which specialise in the provision and installation of access equipment, were fined a total of £240,000 when they were sentenced at Croydon Magistrates Court on 10 November 2023.
The court heard how an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Zarafa Height Solutions Limited failed to ensure that the support beams they manufactured were safe to use when they left their factory in Grantham. A second company, Giraffe Access Company Limited, who installed the cradle and support beams at the London Dock site failed to identify that they were defective during their safety checks prior to commissioning.
Both companies of Hungate, Pickering, North Yorkshire, are part of the Zarafa Group and pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.
Zarafa Height Solutions Limited was fined £120,000 and was ordered to pay £3,987 costs and Giraffe Access Company Limited was fined £120,000 and was ordered to pay £3,996 costs.
A manufacturer of shopping trolleys has been fined after two men fell approximately three metres when a metal cage they were dismantling collapsed beneath them. On 12th May 2018, two employees at Wanzl Limited were taking apart a large metal cage as part of an ongoing programme of improvement works at Prologis Park in Coventry.
Following a visual inspection, a decision was made by Wanzl Ltd to hire scaffold towers and scaffolding boards to carry out the work. Once the scaffold towers had been erected the two employees accessed the roof of the cage. They began to remove panels one at a time dropping them to the floor inside the walls of the cage. When several of these panels had been removed the employees noticed that the cage shook in response to movement. The roof suddenly gave way and both employees fell to the floor below.
One of the men, Michael Barton, who was 52 at the time, suffered a broken pelvis, injured his hip and arm. The now 57-year-old, from Walsall, was off work for 12 months following the incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the work had not been properly planned, appropriately supervised, or carried out in a manner that was safe. No consideration was given to whether dismantling the structure could be carried out without working at height or if the work was within the capabilities of the company’s employees. None of the employees involved were trained in the assembly of scaffolding towers, and the injured man was not trained in working at height. An investigation by Coventry City Council came to the same conclusion before primacy was handed to HSE.
At Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 10 November 2023, Wanzl Limited of Heathcote Lane, Warwick pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £320,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4016.35.
An operations manager at a funfair company has been jailed for six months and disqualified as a director for five years after a three-year-old girl died on a Norfolk beach. The funfair company he was working for has been fined £20,000.The inflatable trampoline Ava-May Littleboy had been playing on exploded, ejecting her high into the air.
Ava-May, from Somersham in Suffolk, had been taken by family and friends to the Bounce About attraction that had been set up on the beach at Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk, on July 1, 2018. She and a nine-year-old girl were on the trampoline when the blast happened without warning. While the older child suffered minor injuries, Ava-May was thrown upwards – witnesses described her as being shot up between 20 and 40 feet, or the height of a house. She landed on the beach. In the process, she sustained fatal head injuries.
In a tribute, Ava-May’s mother said a family tradition is now to spend Ava-May’s birthday at her bench in the local park.
Johnsons Funfair Limited, trading as Bounce About, operated a number of bouncy castles, slides and other inflatables on the beach at Gorleston, and at another site on Great Yarmouth beach.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council worked with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on a joint prosecution. Charges were brought against Johnsons Funfair Limited and its operations manager, Curt Johnson, whose wife was sole owner and director of the company.
The investigation found that Curt Johnson, on behalf of the company, had imported the inflatable trampoline into the UK from China in 2017 and had put it into use without carrying out any of the required testing and certification to ensure it was safe to be used by the public. An importer of such an item equipment must ensure that there has been a proper review of the design, verification that the item has been manufactured in accordance with the design, and a detailed test by a suitable expert on the item’s arrival in the UK. None of that had been done here.
In operational terms, there had been no proper risk assessment or work procedure laid down, and the company used undertrained staff paid cash in hand, some of them too young to work without child work permits which were not sought and would not have been granted for work at such a fairground.
Crucially, the defendants allowed the company’s inflatables (which included a number of other inflatables besides the trampoline which exploded) to be operated despite not having, and not seeking, any operating instructions from the manufacturer, and without having their inflatables properly annually checked and certified by an independent expert under the ADIPS scheme (a scheme for checks comparable to MoT checks for vehicles).
Chloe Littleboy, Ava-May’s mother, said: “Birthdays are always at her bench in the park. Balloons, flowers, cakes and sweets decorate it and the whole family go there together to celebrate. That’s now the family ‘thing’, spending her birthday, Christmas and the anniversary of her death all together.”
Nathan Rowe, Ava-May’s father, added: “It’s amazing as a parent that so many people care about your child. It’s surprising how one little girl had impacted on so many lives. I read her eulogy and it was my one and only chance to pay tribute to her and her short life. I don’t know of another father who’s had to do this.”
Johnsons Funfair Limited, of Swanston’s Road, Great Yarmouth, as importer and site operator, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 6(1A)(a) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £288,475.62 in costs.
An Aberdeen joinery and manufacturing company has been fined £9,400 after one of its workers suffered horrific injuries while cleaning a machine.
Brian Strachan was working for Hall & Tawse Joinery Limited, a manufacturer of timber windows and doors, at their premises on Granitehill Road on 1 November 2018. The then 41-year-old was conducting a thorough clean of a UV Lacquer Line machine (which are used to apply a lacquer finish to veneered door and panel products using two sets of sanders and lacquer machines) prior to its use in a production run later that day.
During this process, Mr Strachan, who is now 46, noticed lacquer hanging from the lid of the machine and reached for it as he turned to the control panel to isolate the machine. However, as he did so, the glove on the little finger of his right hand got caught in the moving rollers, causing his arm to become entangled and trapped within the machine.
This resulted in his right forearm being crushed between the rollers and he underwent surgery that day for ‘degloving’ injuries that he had suffered from his elbow to his hand. His injuries required multiple surgeries to treat and reconstruct his forearm with skin grafts and he ended up spending 13 days in hospital.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the machine’s rollers continued rotating when Mr Strachan opened the lid which demonstrated that the interlock device was not working on the day of the accident. The device was found to be defeated (with the fastenings of the actuator unbolted and the actuator stuck within the switch).
Hall & Tawse Joinery Limited failed to carry out a risk assessment of the machine at the time of the incident, which should have been conducted prior to the machine’s use and would have been followed by an effective check procedure that would have highlighted the defeated interlock device.
Hall & Tawse Joinery Limited pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2 and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 and were fined £9,400 on 9 November 2023 at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
The mother of a man who was killed when the forklift truck he was driving overturned says she still feels angry as he ‘simply went to work and didn’t come home.’ Jamie Anderson was killed on 4 June 2019, when the forklift truck he was operating overturned at a depot in Newark.
The 35-year-old father of one, was found in the car park trapped under the roll cage of the vehicle. He had been using a counterbalance forklift truck to move waste material when it clipped a kerbstone at the edge of the roadway and overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
His mum Sarah Anderson, a care assistant from Newark, said: “No mother should lose a child and for Jamie’s son Harley he has lost a loving father.
“As a family we have gone through all emotions, and I still feel angry as Jamie simply went to work and didn’t come home. This should not have happened.
“He was a happy-go-lucky boy and would do anything for anyone. It’s the everyday things that remind me of him and I miss his smile and blue eyes. He’s missed so much.”
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that The Barcode Warehouse Ltd failed to enforce the use of seatbelts by forklift truck operators. They should have properly risk assessed the use of forklift trucks on their premises and enforced the use of seatbelts. Instead, it was left to individuals to choose whether to wear a seatbelt or not.
At Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 8 November the Barcode Warehouse Ltd of Telford Drive, Newark pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. They were fined £500,000 and agreed to pay costs of £7,039.55.
A specialist heavy lifting company has been fined after two men fell from height during the assembly of a crane.
On 19 January 2021, two employees of Osprey Heavy Lift Limited fell as a result of a partial collapse of a platform on a crane at the Port of Blyth, Northumberland.
The platform was being installed using four lifting chains, each had a hook and safety clasp. The hooks were looped over metal lugs on the platform in order to lift it into position. The workers removed the two lifting chains nearest the crane structure and moved along the platform to attach the other side to the crane pendants. At this point, the two remaining lifting chains came off the lugs and one side of the platform fell to the ground.
Despite both men using safety equipment, they both fell from the platform. One operative fell about four metres to the ground below causing serious injuries, including fractures to ribs, right wrist, and eye socket.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Osprey Heavy Lift Limited failed to properly plan the lift and therefore unsuitable lifting accessories were used. Suitable anchor points for operatives using fall arrest equipment were not identified and there was no consideration of fall distances. Additionally, they failed to provide appropriate instructions and information for work at height and lifting operations.
At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on November 7, Osprey Heavy Lift Ltd of Portishead, Bristol, Somerset pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,136.
A man from St Helens has been given a suspended prison sentence for carrying out illegal gas work in Cheshire.
Richard Goldthorpe, 37, installed various gas appliances at an address in Sandbach in April and May 2022 despite not being registered with the Gas Safe Register. The homeowner contacted the police after noticing Mr Goldthorpe had not carried out the work properly. They were then made aware of Mr Goldthorpe’s previous chequered history.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had previously served Goldthorpe with a Prohibition Notice (in 2014), banning him from carrying out gas work. However, in 2020, he was prosecuted for carrying out more illegal gas work and given a 16-month prison sentence as a result.
Goldthorpe has also been exposed for his illegal gas work on BBC’s Rogue Traders TV programme.
An investigation by HSE found that Mr Goldthorpe carried out the installation of gas appliances despite not being Gas Safe Registered.
Richard Goldthorpe, of St Georges Road, St Helens, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) and Regulations 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) 1998 act and to breaching a HSE Prohibition Notice. He was sentenced to a total of 32 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay £1,000 costs at Chester Magistrates on 6 November 2023.
A Woolwich labourer is ‘lucky to be alive’ after part of a Victorian building fell on him during demolition work in Kilburn, North West London.
MAC Demolition Ltd, the Middlesex firm contracted to carry out the works, has been fined £60,000 after Tommy Brooks was left with life changing injuries. The 57-year-old had been employed on the site as a labourer for three months before the incident.
The company had been contracted to carry out soft stripping works on the Victorian property on Willesden Lane as well as the demolition of its roof.
On the morning of 2 March 2022, Mr Brooks had been tasked with clearing bricks for reclamation. He was working at the corner of the building when a large piece of masonry fell from the unstable roof, landing on top of him.
He was left with significant long term injuries including a broken shoulder and 12 broken ribs, as well as spinal and internal injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found MAC Demolition had failed to adequately assess the risk of falling objects during demolition and failed to implement and enforce adequate exclusion zones.
MAC Demolition Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 20 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. They were fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £3,229 costs at a hearing at Willesden Magistrates Court on 2 November 2023.
100 Avebury Boulevard
Central Milton Keynes