The managing director and the director of a printing company, have been fined for safety breaches after organising the removal of asbestos insulation board by untrained personnel. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, between August 2016 and December 2016, Charles Dunn and Jeremy Mills, respectively the managing director and director of D&M Heritage Limited, consented to work taking place at the company’s premises which failed to use adequate measures to prevent the spread of asbestos.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company rented space in a warehouse at Red Doles Lane in Huddersfield and had been given notice to leave by the new owners. Prior to leaving, the company agreed to remove some free-standing cupboards. A licensed removal company, who had carried out work previously at the site, had told the directors of D&M Heritage Ltd that the rear of a cupboard was broken and was likely to be asbestos. The cupboards comprised of doors made with asbestos insulation board (AIB) and the rear of the cupboards also contained AIB. The cupboards were broken up during removal, releasing asbestos fibres. Some pieces were placed in bags, others placed in a nearby skip.
Charles Dunn of Mill Lane, Mixenden, Halifax pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 11 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012) and a second charge of breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 16 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012). He was fined £916 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs.
Jeremy Mills of Occupation Road, Linley, Huddersfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 11 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012) and a second charge of breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act (due to Reg 16 of Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012). He was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay £10,000 in costs.
Metals fabrication company MTL Advanced Limited have been sentenced for health breaches after several workers were diagnosed with hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or carpal tunnel syndrome. Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that the company was visited by the Health & Safety Executive in March 2018 following a concern received from an employee. During that visit it was found that there were multiple health and safety breaches, resulting in the company being issued with Improvement Notices.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there were systemic failings to recognise the risk of hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) or to take appropriate action to control exposure. Of particular concern were accounts from employees of pain and tingling in their fingers, hands and arms and that there were no limits on their use of vibrating tools such as angle grinders.
MTL Advanced Limited of Grange Lane, Rotherham, South Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £90,000 and ordered to pay £14,061 in costs.
HC-One Limited has been fined following an incident when a resident choked to death on a jam doughnut. Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that, on 7 August 2019, a resident of Orchard Care Home, Lychgate Road, Tullibody, was given a piece of jam doughnut to eat. The resident had previously suffered from a stroke and had been diagnosed with dementia. She had been assessed as being at high risk of choking and consequently was on a ‘minced and moist/fork mashable’ diet. A jam doughnut is unsuitable for someone on this diet and should not have been given to her. She died as a result of choking on the doughnut.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that staff who gave out snacks at Orchard Care Home had not been properly trained and did not have awareness of food that was suitable for each diet. They regularly gave this resident food, which was not suitable for her diet, in breach of their own risk assessment.
HC-One Limited of Southgate House, Archer Street, Darlington, County Durham DL3 6AH pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Section 3(1) and Section 33(1)(a) and were fined £640,000.
A construction company has been fined after an employee died as a result of falling from a mobile tower. Cambridge Magistrates Court heard how, on 15 September 2017, Sean Harding was working from a mobile tower levelling a steel beam that was seated on a door lintel. This involved using a crowbar to lever the beam up for a work colleague to insert a metal packer into the gap. Mr Harding caught his jacket sleeve on the tower, lost balance and fell over a single guard rail and down to ground level. He was taken to hospital but died three months later due to medical complications.
An investigation by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the mobile tower wasn’t configured correctly for the task due to the limited headroom and that double guard rails could have been used, if configured correctly.
Peter Saunders Builders Ltd of Tennyson House, Cambridge Business Park, Cambridge pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £16,000 with £5,139.80 costs.
A contractor and a water management company have been fined after a worker was injured when he was hit by a 1.5 tonne water valve. Newcastle upon Tyne Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 June 2018, Northumbrian Water Limited had contracted JW Colpitts & Co Limited to connect a 1.5 tonne water valve in a confined chamber at Kielder Reservoir, Northumberland. The valve was suspended from a lorry mounted crane when it swung across the chamber and struck the worker. He sustained an open compound fracture of his tibia and fibula and was airlifted to hospital.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that both companies had failed to risk assess the work and the additional hazards introduced by a change in the scope of work. They failed to implement suitable safety measures and safe systems of work; and provide adequate supervision to the workers.
Northumbrian Water Limited of Northumbria House, Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £365,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,360.69 and a victim surcharge of £120.00. JW Colpitts & Co Limited of John Anderson House, Coniston Road, Blyth Riverside Industrial Estate, Blyth pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 etc. They were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,452.22 and a victim surcharge of £120.
A gas installer has been fined after repeatedly carrying out gas work whilst falsely claiming to be gas safe registered. Cardiff Crown Court heard how, between September 2016 and March 2018, Jordan Louis Hare carried out gas work at four domestic premises in Cardiff and Crosskeys, but did not hold the necessary registration to carry out this work. Mr Hare installed gas boilers along with other work at the premises in Cardiff and carried out modifications to gas pipework and installed a gas boiler and gas hob at the property in Crosskeys. On inspection, works carried out by Mr Hare at all properties, were classed as ‘immediately dangerous’, ‘at risk’, ‘not to current standards’ or ‘building regulations non-compliant’ placing the occupants and other members of the public in significant danger due to the potential risk of gas escape, fire, and explosion.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the actions of Mr Hare were fraudulent and deliberate. Trading under various names, he pretended to be Gas Safe registered to convince vulnerable people to engage his services to undertake work that he was not competent to do.
Mr Jordan Hare of Foxberry Close, Pontprennau, Cardiff pleaded guilty to breaching four counts of regulation 3(1), 3(3) and 3 (7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 along with S22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc, Act 1974. He was given a 10 month custodial sentence suspended for 18 months, ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, and pay costs of £5,000 and £125 compensation.