The operator of the UK’s largest oil refinery has been fined for health and safety breaches after a leak of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) was discovered by a worker cycling home at the end of their shift. Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 15 November 2015, there was an uncontrolled release of around 15 tonnes of LPG through a valve near to the main roadway used by LPG road tankers visiting Esso Petroleum Company’s refinery in Fawley, Hampshire.
The leak went undetected for around four hours before being discovered by an employee on his way home. It took a further hour to establish the source of the leak with on-site emergency personnel having to enter the area to reset the valve.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the leak occurred because LPG was put through the pipe work at too a high a pressure for the valve, there was no process in place to detect the discrepancy in the flow in the pipe and that the company had failed to take all measures necessary to prevent a major incident.
Esso Petroleum Company Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) 2015 and was fined £500,000.
A food manufacturing company has been fined for safety breaches after a hygiene operative suffered a serious injury when his hand came into contact with a mixer. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how on 8 November 2019, the employee of Troy Foods (Salads) Ltd had his index finger severed after his left hand came into contact with a mixer whilst cleaning the door mechanism. This was a result of lack of necessary training in which he should have been signed off before working alone.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Troy Foods (Salads) Ltd failed to adequately maintain guarding arrangements on a paddle mixer whilst also having deficiencies with training and supervision.
Troy Foods Salads Ltd of George Mann Way, Leeds, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 11 (1) Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £93,000 and ordered to pay £769 in costs.
A farming partnership has been fined after a farm worker was fatally injured following an incident involving a telehandler within the pig barn. Weston Super Mare Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 17 October 2019, Mr Andrew Denning, a self-employed farm worker, was helping with the mucking-out and animal welfare checks inside a large pig shed. Mr Denning was working in close proximity to a telehandler, fitted with a bucket, which was scraping the muck from the floor using multiple short manoeuvres. Mr Denning was struck by telehandler and killed as it reversed.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that C M Stone failed to ensure a safe system of work. Staff working within the shed were not adequately segregated from the machine so far as was reasonably practicable.
CM Stone of The Yards, Woolavington Puriton, Bridgwater, pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.The company has been fined £53,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000.
A contractor has been awarded 100 hours community service and 10 days Rehabilitation Activity following a conviction of health and safety breaches after labourers disturbed asbestos and worked dangerously at height while refurbishing a disused park toilet block. Southwark Crown Court heard how, in 2019, a charity hired a local contractor, Fahadh Rasheed, to convert a toilet block in Valentines Park, Ilford, into a community meeting centre. The work included replacing the weather-damaged roof. Mr Rasheed employed unskilled and untrained labourers to undertake this work. The labourers disturbed a significant amount of asbestos insulation board present in the structure, spreading asbestos debris around the site.
The construction work was brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by a member of the public who observed the labourers working on the roof, without scaffolding or other control measures, to prevent them falling from height. The asbestos was later cleaned up by a licensed asbestos removal company.
An investigation by HSE found that Mr Rasheed had not carried out a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey before work began. Furthermore, he had not ensured the workers he’d engaged had the necessary skills, knowledge and experience, including asbestos awareness training, to undertake this work.
Previously a jury had found Mr. Rasheed guilty of breaching Regulation 15.(2) of The Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) Regulations 2015. At the sentencing hearing on 6 December 2021, Mr. Rasheed was given a Community Order including 100 hours unpaid work and a 10 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
A national construction company has been fined after an unannounced inspection by Health and Safety Executive inspectors found poor welfare standards, dangerous electrical systems and inadequate health and safety provision on site. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how concerns had been raised regarding the health and safety standards at the construction site of the former Tobacco Warehouse, Stanley Dock, Liverpool, being renovated by Abercorn Construction Limited. A site inspection found the welfare cabin used by employees to be in poor condition, containing exposed live wires and damaged electrical sockets, a mouldy dishwasher and an accumulation of rubbish both inside and outside the cabin with the potential to attract vermin. A general site inspection found numerous uncontrolled high risks such as a damaged cable on a 400v transformer, insufficient fire alarms, a lack of fire extinguishers and signage indicating emergency routes and multiple examples of unprotected edges and openings exposing workers to risk of a fall from height. There was also inadequate pedestrian and vehicle segregation, poor order, poor lighting and the risk of exposure to live electrical conductors.
The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to effectively plan, manage and monitor the works which had resulted in these health and safety issues arising on site. These risks had already been highlighted to the company in previous written enforcement. Despite compliance being achieved, poor standards had been allowed to develop again.
Abercorn Construction Limited of 50 Bedford Street, Belfast pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £77,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,025.52. After the hearing, HSE inspector John Padfield commented: ”This type of proactive prosecution will highlight to the industry that HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies for repeated breaches of the law.
A company based in Knowsley which manufactures perimeter protection products has been fined after repeated breaches of health and safety law over a period of eighteen months, including contravention of an Improvement Notice. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that between 29 August 2018 and 24 January 2020, despite several interventions by HSE, Securafence Ltd failed to effectively manage health and safety on site . During this time, ten Enforcement Notices were served on the company to address ongoing risk and non-compliance at the site
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found that the company had no formal system to ensure that health and safety controls were in place. Management lacked health and safety competence and knowledge and, as a result, employees were exposed to risks to their health and safety. This included exposure to hazardous substances from welding fumes and paint spray from a wet spray booth – which remained in use despite the company informing HSE that it had been taken out of service. Another health and safety risk cited was the risk of injury through access to dangerous parts of machinery as a result of missing/inadequate guarding.
Securafence Ltd of Hammond Road, Knowsley Industrial Park, Liverpool pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £90,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,017.
A school and its maintenance contractor have been fined after workers disturbed asbestos at the school while installing a new heating system. Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard that, in February 2019, T.W. Steam & Heating Services Limited had been contracted by Park View Academy, to install a new heating system in the school building at Park View School, Chester Le Street.In the course of the work, ceiling tiles containing asbestos were disturbed, potentially exposing several people to asbestos fibres.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the contractor and the school both failed to refer to existing asbestos registers and management plans to identify the presence of asbestos within the school building.
Park View Academy of Church Chare, Chester Le Street pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £3000 with £4785.37 costs. T.W. Steam & Heating Services Limited of Rennys Lane Industrial Estate, Durham pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 with £4,710.37 costs.
Farming partnership, J & D Foster Farms LLP, has been fined following an incident on its farm where a 21-year-old employee was killed whilst dismantling a redundant piece of farming equipment. Folkestone Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 30 April 2019, an employee was crushed by a grain drying tunnel at Fishpond Farm in Tonbridge. The employee, George Murrell, sustained fatal injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that J & D Foster Farms LLP did not ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of the two employees and that the system of work in place was intrinsically unsafe. The work involved dismantling the grain drying tunnel whilst working underneath it. The structure had heavy aggregate across the upper walkway. The partners failed to ensure the structural integrity of the grain drying tunnel was not compromised during the dismantle, putting themselves and their employees at significant risk. This risk materialised when the structure concertinaed and fell, crushing George Murrell under the heavy aggregate and framework of the structure.
J & D Foster Farms LLP of Fishponds Farm, Upper Hayesden Lane, Tonbridge, Kent pleaded guilty to a breach of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,731.
Breedon Trading Ltd has been fined for safety breaches after a fly rock projection event occurred during the use of explosives. Llandudno Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 15 January 2020, a blast at Cwt-y-Bugail Quarry in Llan Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, North Wales, resulted in rocks being ejected outside of the danger zone.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that flyrock from the blasting operation, had landed approximately 270m away, punctured the roof of an occupied work shed, and put a hole in the outside pane of the occupied manager’s office skylight window. It was reasonably practicable for the company to ensure that the blasting did not give rise to danger by increasing the danger zone, clearing the increased danger zone, increasing the quality and quantity of stemming for the explosives in the blastholes, and by ensuring an adequate blasting specification was produced and authorised. HSE found that there were poor stemming practices, the written specification was prepared after the firing of the blast, and an inadequate danger zone was in place. As a result there was a projection of flyrock outside of the danger zone that caused a quarry operative to run for cover and put other employees at risk when the roof of the shed they were working in was punctured.
Breedon Trading Ltd of Pinnacle House, Breedon Quarry, Breedon on the Hill, Derby pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by virtue of the Quarries Regulations 1999, regulation 25. The company has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay £2,534.80 in costs.
Montracon Limited has been fined for safety breaches after a worker suffered head injuries after falling from a stepladder. Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that the 57-year-old worker was cleaning the cant rail of a curtain side trailer that had just been manufactured. Whilst using stepladders positioned on top of the trailer to reach the work the employee pulled the steps further down the trailer to clean the next section. As he climbed up the steps they started to wobble causing him to fall out of the trailer onto the floor, landing on his head.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there was no ladder inspection regime in place and the equipment being used was not in good working order.
Montracon Limited of Carr Hill Doncaster West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £172,500.00 and ordered to pay £12,202.69 in costs