A company director and project manager were sentenced after an untrained and unsupervised worker was killed when the forward tipping dumper truck he was operating overturned. Swansea Crown Court heard how on 1 October 2016 the employee was working alone at a construction site in West Aberthaw, Vale of Glamorgan. He was operating a dumper truck around a construction site, which had no designated traffic routes.
The worker was operating the vehicle when it overturned causing him to either be thrown or jump from the vehicle. The worker was not wearing a seatbelt. The 38-year-old man was found two days later with fatal crush injuries at the bottom of a ramp, which formed part of a spoil heap. His injuries were consistent with being struck by the rollover protection structure (ROPS) bar of the overturning dumper truck.
Project Manager at TSD group Graham Kuhlmann of Parcau Road, Bridgend pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, he received a 21-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months and was ordered to pay £5,000 in costs. Sole director of Pro’conn Limited, the principal contractor at the site, Kevin March of Fields Park Road, Pontcanna, Cardiff pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, he received a 32-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months and was ordered to pay £20,000 in costs.
A construction company was fined after a driver was trapped when a dumper truck overturned at a site in Liskeard, Cornwall. Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how on the 12 April 2019 an employee became trapped when the truck overturned on the construction site. The employee was not wearing a lap belt and was operating the dumper truck without deploying the roll-over protective structure. He suffered multiple crush injuries to his body, when the dumper overturned.
It was also identified that the company had failed to undertake a risk assessment or prepare a construction phase plan. These measures, along with a suitable site induction would have identified that the employee did not have the required competence, training, skills and knowledge to ensure that the work was carried out safely and the dumper operated in accordance with its operator’s manual.
Jim Elliott of The Grove, Crow’s Nest, Liskeard, Cornwall was found guilty of breaching Section 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £850 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.
The sole director of a Norfolk based property development firm has been sentenced for the unsafe excavation of land beneath occupied properties. Norwich Crown Court heard how Lyng Developers Ltd was contracted to excavate a disused railway track, carrying out the work between November and December 2017 to make space for a development of five new properties in Great Eastern Way, Fakenham. The company failed to take measures to prevent the collapse of the excavated walls, which began to gradually crumble at the beginning of 2018.
Although no one was injured as a result of the unsafe work, the tops of the excavated banks were joined with the back gardens of existing properties. The collapse led to substantial loss of property and exposed elderly residents and children to the risk of becoming buried by the collapsing walls.
Director of Lyng Developers Ltd Timothy Peter Wegg of The Broadway, Scarning, Norfolk pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He has been sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 15 months and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £12,000 to a member of public who lost property due to collapse and pay costs of £12,000.
A conservatory and window fitting company has been sentenced after a worker, who was replacing a conservatory roof in adverse weather conditions at a property in Nantwich, slipped and fell sustaining broken ribs and bruising. Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 1 February 2018, the 34-year-old-man was getting down from the roof, when he slipped on ice and fell, landing on step ladders.
DNA Home Improvement (Cheshire) Limited of Ideal House, Lower Walsall Street, Wolverhampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,771.92.
The former director of the company, Andrew Bradshaw, of Chapel House, Middlewich Road, Minshull Vernon, Crewe pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by virtue of section 37(1) of the same act. He was issued with a 12-month community order requiring him to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £4,807.62
A plant hire company has been fined after an apprentice avoided a potentially fatal crush injury from a mobile crane.
During proceedings at Knights Chamber, Nightingale Court, in Peterborough it was heard that on 3 August 2016, an apprentice at M&J Engineers Limited had climbed on to the roof of an accommodation cabin to attach a power float to the chains of a mobile crane. The crane operator, who had not been appropriately trained, began to extend the boom and move the crane into position. The crane had not been set up correctly and the boom of the crane toppled over toward the apprentice. The apprentice jumped out of the way of the boom avoiding a potentially fatal incident. However, his fall from height caused injuries to his leg and back.
M&J Engineers of Cashel Works, Cadwell Lane, Hitchin, Hertfordshire was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) Health and safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £220,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,443.72.
A groundworks company has been fined after an employee was injured when he was struck by a metal bow shackle whilst laying a sewer pipe. Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 19 July 2018, the employee – a machine cab operator was laying a High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) foul sewer pipe weighing 20 tonnes with three other plant operators who were positioned along a 240m trench to lift and drag the pipe. One of the slings being used to pull the pipe failed catastrophically causing a bow shackle linkage to be catapulted back towards the machine cab operator. The employee was hit in the leg by the solid metal shackle, which weighed 7.5kg causing multiple fractures that needed extensive surgery.
Smith Construction Group Limited of Maidstone Road, Kingston, Milton Keynes pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £55,440 and ordered to pay costs of £971.80.
A large homebuilder and an electrical contractor have been sentenced for failing to comply with work at height regulations, resulting in serious injury of an electrician and placing other workers at risk of injury. Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 10 May 2018, workers were carrying out work to lay cabling and ducting in loft spaces at newly built residential properties in Swanmore, Southampton without suitable or sufficient protection from falls at height. A 49-year-old electrician fell through the plasterboard loft flooring sustaining multiple fractures to his ribs, shoulders and vertebrae. He also suffered a punctured lung.
BDW Trading Ltd of Barratt House, Cartwright Way, Forest Business Park, Bardon Hill, Coalville, Leicestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £140,000, ordered to pay costs of £3,689.15 and a victim surcharge of £170.
Quayside Electrical Ltd of Unit 22, Mount Pleasant Industrial Estate, Southampton, Hampshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005. They were fined £20,000 ordered to pay costs of £3,521.15 and a victim surcharge of £170.
A roofing contractor has been fined after a health and safety inspector came across two workers jet washing a steeply pitched roof on a house without adequate protection. Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 December 2019, a HSE inspector observed the employees of Improvearoof LLP on the roof of a detached property in Hale Barns using two powerful jet washers unsafely; and without any means of fall protection such as scaffolding or harnesses. The inspector issued a prohibition notice and the work was stopped until suitable measures were put in place.
Improvearoof LLP of Macclesfield Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4(1) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £20,000, ordered to pay costs of £2,981.20 and a victim surcharge of £180.
A plastics manufacturer, who specialises in the manufacturing of traffic barriers and cones, has been fined after an employee’s finger was severed due to inadequately guarded machinery. Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 5 November 2018, the 36-year-old employee of Melba Products Limited had been refilling the hopper of a blow moulding machine with plastic granules from bags at their site on Manchester Road, Bury. Work gloves that had been inside one of the bags fell into the hopper and through the guard. Whilst reaching through a large gap in the top of the hopper guard to retrieve the gloves, his middle finger contacted dangerous parts of the blender resulting in it being severed down to the knuckle of his second finger.
Melba Products Limited failed to carry out a risk assessment of the blender, to put in place appropriate control measures to prevent access to dangerous parts and to implement a suitable system of training and supervising of new starters.
Melba Products Limited of Bury, pleaded guilty of breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £125,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,387.
Icon Fabrications Limited has been fined following an incident where an apprentice employee caught his hand in a drill and sustained serious fractures to his left forearm. Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that on 24 November 2017, Luka Coyle was working at Edgefield Industrial Estate, Loanhead, Midlothian, drilling holes in plates using a manual pedestal drill. Whilst making the main hole, in one plate, his gloved hand came into contact with the drill. His arm became entangled in the drill, resulting in injuries, which left him permanently disfigured.
Icon Fabrications Limited of Edgefield Industrial Estate, Loanhead, Midlothian pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974. They were fined £10,000.
An engineering company has been fined after a worker was diagnosed with hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that prior to 22 October 2018, an overall lack of management relating to the use of vibrating tools at AIM Engineering Ltd led to an employee being diagnosed with HAVS. Regular use of vibrating tools causes the painful and disabling disorder which, in this case, has left the employee with irreparable nerve damage to the hands and arms.
AIM Engineering Ltd of Southmoor Industrial Estate, Southmoor Road, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching of Regulation 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974 and was fined £300,000 with costs of £7,831.90.
A titanium supplier has been fined after an employee sustained multiple fractures to his leg whilst operating a metal cutting band saw machine. Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on 20 September 2017, Steven McDonald, a VSMPO Tirus Limited employee, was seriously injured by a falling titanium plate at The IO Centre in Nash Road, Redditch. Almost 1.5 tonnes of titanium plate fell from the bed of a metal cutting band saw machine trapping his leg underneath. The sheets being cut were significantly larger than the machine bed.
VSMPO Tirus Limited of Nash Road, Redditch, Worcestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,293.15.
An engineering company has been fined after a worker developed hypersensitive pneumonitis, a serious and irreversible respiratory illness, as a result of occupational exposure to welding fumes and metal working fluid over a 30-year period. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how the welder-fabricator employed by PYC Engineering Ltd was at risk of inhalation of welding fumes and metal working fluid mists, potentially containing harmful bacteria. This exposure over his 30 year career with the company led to the development of the condition, which has seriously impacted the employee’s life, preventing work and making oxygen necessary for day to day tasks. He is currently being assessed to ascertain whether a lung transplant would be beneficial.
PYC Engineering Ltd of Eastside Industrial Estate, Jackson St, St Helens pleaded guilty to a breach of 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 £9,555.29.
Chemical company, Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd (Reckitt Benckiser Ltd), was fined for safety breaches after a worker had his left arm crushed in a bottle filling machine. Grimsby Magistrates Court heard how on 9 September 2017, the 25-year-old worker suffered an open crush injury to his left forearm at the company’s site in Dansom Lane South, Kingston upon Hull. He also sustained tendon damage to the forearm, wrist and hand.
Reckitt Benckiser Ltd of Dansom Lane, Hull pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £8,261.28 in costs.
A food company specialising in dairy products has been prosecuted after an agency worker suffered severe injuries when their fingers were caught in machinery. Walsall Magistrates’ Court heard that following the incident on 12 July 2016, an agency worker had to have their middle finger amputated below the second knuckle, lost half their index finger and had their third finger amputated to the first knuckle. The agency employee was working as a box maker on a machine known as a tray erector, at the company’s Minsterley site in Shropshire, when the incident occurred.
Müller UK & Ireland Group of Minsterley, Shrewsbury pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision of Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £66,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,024.20.
Liverpool housing association company Onward Homes Ltd has been fined after four employees developed a debilitating nerve condition over a period of several years. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that the affected employees developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), whilst working at various sites carrying out ground maintenance and general construction work using vibrating power tools on a daily basis. Regular use of vibrating tools causes the painful and disabling disorder which, in this case, has left the employees with nerve damage to the hands and arms; making everyday tasks and leisure activities difficult or impossible.
Onward Homes Ltd of Hanover Street, Liverpool pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 5(1), 6(1) and 7 of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,293.10
Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd has been fined following an incident where a child was thrown from its Twister ride. York Magistrates’ Court heard that on 30 May 2019, a child was ejected from the Twister ride at Lightwater Valley Theme Park in Ripon, North Yorkshire resulting in serious head injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that although the theme park’s procedures for the Twister ride stated that those between 1.2m and 1.5m tall must wear seat belts, several children under 1.5m in height were not wearing seat belts on this ride. This was seen in CCTV footage over several days and mentioned in statements by members of the public. On examination of the restraining systems, many belts were not functioning correctly. On several occasions, the final position of the lap bar restraint allowed significant gaps to remain in the containment and did not fully contain smaller passengers.
Lightwater Valley Attractions Ltd, registered in Acreman Street, Sherborne, Dorset pleaded guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £333, 344 and ordered to pay costs of £16,183.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Jones said: “A child suffered life-changing head injuries at Lightwater Valley theme park.