Calachem Limited, a chemical manufacturing company, has been fined after an employee was scalded with boiling water during a cleaning operation. Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that on 4 March 2016, work was undertaken to clean down part of a production plant in Grangemouth, Scotland. The cleaning process involved filling a chemical powder charging chute leading down to a reaction vessel with water that was brought to the boil by immersing a steam hose in it.
The water in the chute was boiled overnight and the following day the employee continued with the clean down process. When he tried to empty the boiling water from the charge chute, he opened a valve expecting the water to drain down into the vessel below. However, the vessel below the chute had been pressurised with nitrogen gas and when the valve was opened the pressure in the vessel was released, the scalding water erupted back up and out of the chute severely scalding the employee. The practice of filling the powder charge chute with boiling water has ceased since the incident. The processes to clean down the plant have been risk assessed to introduce new safer worker procedures.
Calachem Limited of Peters Square, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £560,000.
A Nottingham mattress manufacturer has been fined after an employee of the company suffered multiple injuries to his arm, shoulder, ribs and neck after he was drawn into an NG-06 Semi-Automatic Mattress Rolling Machine (MRM). Nottingham Magistrates Court heard how Dreamtouch Mattresses Ltd failed to prevent access to the dangerous parts of machinery on the MRM at the Chelsea Street site. As a result, the common practice at the site was for employees to use their hands, and or arms when feeding and pressing mattresses on the unguarded rotating winding film reel. Employees at the site confirmed there was no documented safe system of work or training for the use of the MRM.
Dreamtouch Mattresses Ltd, Chelsea House, Chelsea Street, Nottingham, NG7 7HP pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £66,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,836.20.
The fabrication division of Nasmyth Technologies Limited has been fined after four employees were exposed to hazardous substances that caused significant ill health and time off work as a result. Poole Magistrates’ Court heard how, on the 9 October 2017, between 150 and 200 litres of a chemical preparation, that included hydrofluoric acid, spilled across a large area of the factory floor in Wimborne, Dorset. Four workers were involved in the clean-up that took several hours. They were provided with inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to undertake a clear up, for which they had no training. Some of them suffered ill health following the incident, which included an asthma attack, a severe headache, nausea, sore eyes and throat. One of the workers, whose symptoms persisted, was referred by his doctor to a specialist for treatment.
Nasmyth Technologies Limited of Nasmyth House, Coventry Road, Exhall, Coventry pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work 1974 Act. They were fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,551.
A vehicle components manufacturer has been fined after an employee suffered burns to his foot. Poole Magistrates’ Court heard how on 21 September 2018, the employee was decanting molten iron from a ladle into a pouring furnace when a splash burnt through his trouser leg and fell into his boot burning his foot. The pouring platform he was working on did not have adequate edge protection either to stop him falling from the platform or to prevent molten metal splashing back on him. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Eurac Poole Limited failed to provide adequate edge protection which would also have served as a splash barrier.
Eurac Poole Limited of Manning Heaths Road, Poole pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £7,333 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.
Specialist plant hire company, Ruislip Plant Ltd, has been fined after a worker was fatally injured whilst undertaking maintenance on a piling rig. Reading Crown Court heard that, on 13 May 2014, Ben Wylie, was assisting the Ruislip Plant Ltd Director Mr Noel Kearney (since deceased) with the maintenance of a high-pressure grease track adjusting mechanism at a construction site in West Street, Maidenhead. During the process, the grease nipple assembly and a stream of high-pressure grease was forcibly ejected from the mechanism and struck Ben Wylie in the shoulder and chest causing fatal injuries.
Ruislip Plant Ltd of Lea Crescent, Ruislip, Middlesex pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company has been fined £99,000 and ordered to pay costs of £116, 973.36.
Two construction companies have been sentenced following an incident were a working platform failed and a bricklayer using the platform was injured. Durham Crown Court heard how, on 1 July 2019, Dere Street Homes Limited were acting as principal contractor and provided components for a proprietary polypropylene working platform at a new build at Marley Fields, Wheatley Hill, County Durham. SGS Construction & Design Limited were acting as a contractor and supplied workers to erect the working platform. The working platform failed and a worker was injured.
Dere Street Homes Limited of The Farm House, Hedley Hill Farm, Cornsay Colliery, County Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations and was fined £38,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,367.30.
SGS Construction & Design Limited of Laburnum Avenue, Blackhill, Consett, County Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,683.60.
A Southport waste and recycling company has been fined after an employee sustained serious injuries to his arm when it became entangled in the automatic roof sheeting mechanism of a visiting articulated truck. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 24 April 2019, the 22-year-old labourer had been working at Johnsons Scrap Metal Limited, assisting in loading a 44 tonne articulated third party vehicle with waste wood. He climbed onto the truck and while standing on the load, he manually levelled some wood that had prevented the automatic roof sheet from completely covering the load. As he was climbing back over the load to get down from the truck, the automatic sheeting device was inadvertently activated, trapping the worker’s arm in the mechanism, resulting in injuries that included a broken arm, that later needed surgery to put two metal plates in place, and tendon damage.
Johnsons Scrap Metal Limited of Crowland Street, Southport, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.
A waste recycling firm, its director and site manager have been sentenced after an employee died and a second employee was seriously injured when they became trapped inside machinery. Durham Crown Court heard how on 12 December 2015, Simon Hogg and Raymond Garrett were operating a waste processing line at the Aycliffe Quarry site of Stonegrave Aggregates Ltd in County Durham. The line became blocked at various points including inside a large industrial trommel machine. The trommel incorporates a large perforated revolving drum, which acts to agitate, rotate and sieve the waste materials. The two employees stopped the trommel and entered the drum to clear the blockage. While they were inside the machine two other employees, who were unaware that they were inside the machinery, restarted the production line. Mr Hogg and Mr Garrett remained inside the revolving trommel drum for approximately four minutes before the line was stopped and the two men were found inside.
Simon Hogg died at the scene after sustaining multiple injuries to his head and torso. Raymond Garrett sustained multiple serious injuries to his legs, arms and torso requiring extensive hospital treatment.
Stonegrave Aggregates Limited of Aycliffe Quarry, Newton, Aycliffe, Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. They were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £48,952. Director of Stonegrave Aggregates Limited Bruce Whitley of Oakwood Drive, Darlington pleaded guilty to breaching section 37 and section 33 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was given a 12-month community order. Site manager at Stonegrave Aggregates Limited Aycliffe Quarry site David Basham of Devonport Gardens, Middleton One Row, Darlington pleaded guilty to breaching section 37 and section 33 of the Health and Safety etc. Work Act 1974. He was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
A care home for vulnerable adults has been fined after a resident was injured in a fall from height. Airdrie Sheriff Court heard how on 29 July 2019, a resident of Hillend View Care Home was found lying on the ground outside his bedroom window by a care assistant. He had fallen 4.5 metres and sustained multiple fractures including a fractured pelvis, right acetabulum and right humeral head.
Hillend View Limited of Airdrie Road, Caldercruix pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at work etc Act 1974 and was fined £21,000.
Property partnership Alex Brewster and Sons has been fined £4,000 after an employee fell through a roof light. Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how on 19 April 2016, two employees were removing roofing panels from a derelict shed in Midlothian. One of the workers stepped on to a roof light, which gave way causing him to fall to the floor below. He sustained serious injuries as a result of the fall including fractures to his pelvis, ribs, and elbow, which required surgery.
Alex Brewster and Sons, of Bonnington Store, Wilkieston, Kirknewton pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 4 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were fined £4,000.