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Port company fined after 600kg bag falls on employee

Posted on 19 December 2017

A port company was sentenced for safety breaches after a bag of fertiliser fell and struck an employee.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how a 600kg flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) bag of Ammonium Nitrate fell onto an employee as he was removing pallets from the front of a stack. The incident caused him to sustain multiple fractures, a dislocated ankle and knee and back injuries, and he was unable to work for thirteen weeks.

 

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 16 May 2016, found that the company had failed to follow their own risk assessments, by stacking FIBC bags directly on top of one another, rather than in the recognised industry standard of stacking in a pyramid fashion. The company had also failed to review their stacking practice following earlier incidents of bag spills and stack collapses.

The Company, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £666,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8688.23.

Speaking after the case the HSE inspector said “This case highlights the importance of ensuring FIBC bags are stacked according to industry guidance.

This incident could so easily have been avoided if the company had followed their own risk assessments and reviewed their systems following previous bag collapses.”

Inaugural HSE Energy Conference to explore ‘The Future of Gas’

Posted on 7 December 2017

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), supported by the Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers (IGEM), will host the Safety Excellence in Energy conference on Thursday, 15 February 2018 in Leeds.

The energy system in the UK is changing as it pushes to decarbonise and achieve its emission reduction targets to 2050. New innovative technologies are under development to ensure carbon targets are met, and these have implications for everyone from energy sector innovators, energy companies through to end consumers.

The role of gas in this emerging low carbon energy system is becoming clearer and is likely to be more complex than today. There are challenges to be faced in managing the risks related to introducing alternative gasses into the UK’s gas grid to safely enable energy storage, the integration of renewables, hydrogen and the production and use of bio-gas from biomass.

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To address these challenges HSE is hosting Safety Excellence in Energy: The Future of Gas.

Working in partnership is one of the strengths of the British health and safety system, and this event will unite keynote speakers representing industry, the Government and research.

The conference will bring together the latest knowledge in this area, from ongoing activities and recent research across government and the gas industry, while sharing knowledge and lessons learned by HSE’s technical specialists, to ensure we enable safe innovation. This knowledge is potentially valuable to a wide and varied audience. In particular the event is aimed at:

  • Directors of gas supplies, distributors, end users, equipment manufacturers and researchers
  • Energy sector representatives responsible for innovation , R&D, and health and safety
  • Risk management professionals
  • Process safety engineers
  • Senior gas engineers who will be affected by the impact of changes in the energy sector.

Attendees will benefit from speaker presentations on:

  • the future of gas in an emerging low carbon energy system
  • asset management and possible transition pathways to transport different gases and mixtures through the gas network safely
  • energy vector options that could be transported in the network
  • Power to Gas technology and its contribution to decarbonising the gas grid, including HyDeploy, a project which aims to inject a maximum of 20% hydrogen (a clean, carbon-free gas that does not contribute to climate change) into the existing natural gas network.

“I regularly meet with stakeholders across the Energy Sector and there is a lot of good work driving towards the UK’s 2050 decarbonisation target. I am delighted that at this event we will focus on enabling safe innovation to accelerate progress still further“, says Chris Flint, HSE’s Director of Energy Division.

Company fined after exposing workers to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

Posted on 6 December 2017

HSE is reminding companies of the necessity of monitoring workers’ health after a company was fined for exposing workers to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

The Court heard how a company reported six cases of HAVS following a health surveillance programme launched in June 2015. The affected employees were all part of the maintenance team.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the six workers’ conditions were likely to have been caused or worsened by the use of vibratory power tools while in employment. It was also found that staff in the maintenance and refurbishment departments experienced significant exposure to hand arm vibration in their daily work which put them at risk of developing or exacerbating existing HAVS.

The investigation also found the company neither adequately planned its working methods nor trained or informed employees on the risks to their health. Furthermore, the company did not limit the duration and magnitude of exposure to vibration and failed to put in place suitable health surveillance to identify problems at an early stage.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is a serious and permanent condition caused by regular and frequent exposure to hand-arm vibration. HAVS results in tingling, numbness, pain and loss of strength in the hands which may affect the ability to do work safely and cause pain, distress and sleep disturbance.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. The company was fined £100,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £9,896.88.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Joanne Carter said:
“An individuals’ health should not be made worse by the work they do. If the company had correctly implemented its health surveillance earlier, it would have ensured the right systems were in place to monitor workers’ health. The six affected employees’ conditions may have been prevented from developing or developing to a more severe stage.

“How people work today can affect their health and wellbeing tomorrow. This case serves as an important reminder of the necessity of task based risk assessments to establish the level of exposure, control measures to reduce that exposure to as low as is reasonably practicable and effective health surveillance systems. In the case of the companies this realisation came too late.

“All employers need to do the right thing to protect workers’ health.”

Company fined after the death of employee

Posted on 5 December 2017

A highways company has today been fined after the death of a 48-year old worker who was struck by a vehicle.

The Crown Court heard how the 48-year old employee was working with colleagues to repair roads on 29 January 2013 when he sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a vehicle being driven by a member of the public

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to adequately identify the risks associated with the road repair work and moving traffic, and as a result the appropriate control measures were not implemented.

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This incident could have been prevented had the company implemented the correct safety measures including signage, temporary speed limits, temporary traffic management and even closure of the road for a short period of time. It was found the planning for this work activity had failed to consider the most appropriate way to manage traffic while carrying out the road repairs.

The highways company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,924.46.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “The failures exposed in this case are alarming, given the clear and obvious risks associated with roadside work and highlight the importance of managing short term works on a high speed road.

“This incident could have been prevented had the company implemented suitable traffic management for this work.”

Bolton resident dies in lift shaft fall

Posted on 4 December 2017

A property management company has been fined after a resident of a House died after falling down a lift shaft.

The Crown Court heard how a 29 year old Man and his friend were trapped in a lift and unable to raise the alarm. They attempted a self-rescue by forcing the doors open and sliding out onto the floor below.

The gentleman slipped under the lift car and fell five stories down the lift shaft and died of multiple injuries. His friend escaped unhurt.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) into the incident which occurred on 30 August 2014 found that the management company for the building failed to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent a self-rescuing situation.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “Those who manage lifts have a responsibility to ensure they are properly maintained but if people are trapped they have a way to raise the alarm and are not in a position to try and rescue themselves.

“The problems with this lift were well known and if the company had fulfilled their health and safety responsibilities the gentleman would probably be around to celebrate Christmas with his family this weekend.”

For further information on passenger lifts please do not hesitate to get in contact where we are happy to help.

Helping Great Britain Work Well’s call to employers to do more pays dividends

Posted on 30 November 2017

Employers publicly committing to making positive changes to their firms’ health and safety culture has resulted in an estimated 300,000 workers reaping the benefits of improved health and safety practices.  .

Earlier this year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), along with Unions and Industry leaders called for broader ownership of workplace health and safety by asking for public commitments from business.

The response from many of Great Britain’s top businesses was so positive, with more than 100 organisations making commitments, that on Friday 24 November, HSE is launching an online community dedicated to inspiring business to share their commitment to Helping Great Britain Work Well.

The launch of the new web community will establish a social sharing network where companies and businesses can make their commitments, share their journey of improvement and help each other and encourage others follow in their footsteps.

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HSE chair Martin Temple said: “Making a workplace commitment to health and safety is something that takes time, energy and passion, but the rewards for delivering on that commitment are incalculable.”

“Sensible and proportionate health and safety prevents ill-health, death and injury in the workplace and is good for business and good for workers.”

To find out more and see what other businesses are doing, join the Help Great Britain Work Well web community and join the conversation at #HelpGBWorkWell. In the community you will see many excellent examples of the activities and commitments being made to help improve health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace.

It is estimated at least 300,000 workers have benefitted since the commitments initiative was launched last year with companies introducing many schemes to benefit workers.

What commitments will you make to #HelpGBWorkWell

Company fined after worker suffers electric shock

Posted on 29 November 2017

A North East company, was sentenced today after a sub-contractor suffered an electric shock when he cut through a live cable.
The Magistrates Court heard how, on 20 March 2016, the injured person was removing an item of industrial equipment at the site. Believing the equipment to be electrically isolated, he cut through an electricity supply cable.

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company, had failed to adequately plan and manage the work carried out by its contractors who were removing some equipment. The contractor started work to remove equipment having been told it was safe to do so. During the work the contractor cut though an electric cable to a fan. This cable was live and the contractor suffered an electric shock which resulted in hospital treatment. After the incident, it was found that there were several pieces of equipment that had not been electrically isolated.
The Company were found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £900,000 with £5390 costs by the Magistrates Court.
After the hearing, the HSE Inspector  said “This incident could so easily have been avoided if the work had been properly planned, the risks identified and steps taken to ensure that all equipment was electrically safe before the contractors started work at the site. Fortunately, in this case, the injured person has made a full recovery, however the outcome could have been fatal.’’

Engineering company fined after a welder had two fingers partially amputated from crush injuries

Posted on 28 November 2017

An engineering company has been fined after a worker suffered injuries to three fingers when they were crushed by a metal frame he was attempting to lift with colleagues.
The Magistrates Court heard how, on 14 February 2017, a worker was injured when a metal frame weighing approximately 250 kilograms fell whilst lifting it manually to carry out welding and crushed the employee’s fingers. Two fingers were partially amputated later as a result of his injuries.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident revealed that the lifting and turning of these frames was not an isolated occurrence and a number of the frames had been made in this manner over the three years that the company has been in existence. No steps had been taken to avoid the manual handling or to assess the manual handling operation and take steps to reduce the likelihood of injury.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) (b) of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £884.00 costs.
Speaking after the case, the HSE Inspector said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

National kitchen supplier fined after driver fatally crushed

Posted on 27 November 2017

A national manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products has today been fined £1.2 million after the death of a visiting HGV driver at one of the company’s premises.

The Crown Court heard how an agency driver, was delivering kitchen worktops to a company site in Workington when he was crushed to death as a forklift truck (FLT) overturned whilst lifting kitchen worktops from the trailer of the HGV.

An investigation into the incident that took place in November 2014 found the FLT had been overloaded and that visiting delivery drivers were not kept at a safe distance from the loading andading operations.

The company of Portman Square, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £33,902.00.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “Standing too close to where loading or unloading work is being carried out can put people in harm’s way so people, such as delivery drivers, should be in a position of safety when forklift trucks are operating.

“This tragic incident could have been avoided if the company had implemented a safe procedure to ensure that pedestrians were kept at a safe distance during loading and unloading work.

“Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

                               

  

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Bakery fined after worker suffers serious injuries

Posted on 24 November 2017
A Bakery has been fined after a 32-year-old baker was injured at its premises.
 
The Magistrates’ Court heard how the baker became trapped in a food-mixing machine, breaking both bones in his left arm, resulting in an operation to remove his ring finger.
 
The incident occurred when a metal pin, attaching a dough hook, caught the baker’s wedding ring, pulling his arm into the machine.
 
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the Bakery, had failed to guard the food mixer properly meaning it was possible for employees to reach dangerous parts of the machine when it was in operation.
 
A partner of the Bakery pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1)(a) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The bakery has been fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,071.70.
 
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “The dangers of unguarded machinery are well-known. Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action when the required standards are not met and workers are put at risk.”

Company fined after employee falls from bonnet of vehicle

Posted on 23 November 2017

A construction company that specialises in laying roadways has been fined after one of its employees fell from the bonnet of a tar laying machine.

The Court heard that in November 2016, an employee working at a site was standing on the bonnet of the tar laying machine to cut the branches of overhanging trees when he fell from the bonnet into the tar hopper. The gentelman sustained a fractured back and damaged spinal cord causing permanent paralysis from the waist down.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the company had failed to plan the task of cutting the overhanging branches and this resulted in an employee using the bonnet of the tar laying machine which was not a safe place to work.

The compny was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Kirstin Lynchahon said:the failings resulted in serious and life changing injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height.  Planning the branch cutting activity would have included an assessment of the risks and either avoidance of working at height using long reach tools or measures being put in place to prevent a fall.

“Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”

Company fined after worker suffers crush injuries

Posted on 21 November 2017
A manufacturing company has been fined after a worker suffered crush injuries from trapping his hand in an unguarded printing machine.
 
The Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of the company was injured, when his hand was drawn into the print rollers while he was attempting to clean the running machine resulting in partial amputation of two fingers.
 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, found that the lack of guarding on the machine was the root cause of this incident together with a lack of training and supervision.
 
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1503.05.
 
Speaking after the hearing, a HSE inspector said “This case serves as a reminder to industry that planning and guarding of machinery requires regular reviews and monitoring to ensure workplace safety. The need to review machinery guarding is a positive benefit to improving workplace safety”.

Employer fined after unsafe work at height

Posted on 20 November 2017
An employer has been fined for exposing workers to dangerous work at height conditions.
 
Magistrates’ Court heard that there was unsafe scaffolding on all three sides of a semi-detached property (missing guard rails, missing boards and unsafe base materials for scaffolding) putting people at risk from a fall from height.
 
An inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an unannounced inspection of the site in July 2015 following a complaint made to HSE by a member of the public. Although there was no work ongoing at the time of the visit, the person in control of the property and a Prohibition Notice (PN) was served. A further visit was carried out in August 2015, where it was found work was still in progress on the scaffolding, therefore breaching the PN.
 
The owner of the property pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33 (1) (g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
 
He was sentenced to twenty-six weeks imprisonment, suspended for twelve months, and ordered to pay costs of £10,938.
 
The HSE inspector said after the hearing: “Work at Height incidents are responsible for approximately half of all work at place deaths and the largest number of serious injuries. Work at Height must be managed effectively and those who breach HSE enforcement notices are likely to be prosecuted.”

Furniture manufacturer fined after multiple safety breaches

Posted on 17 November 2017
A furniture company has been fined after putting employees at risk with widespread safety failings.
 
The Magistrates’ Court heard that the company had failed to comply with several Improvement Notices (IN’s), training to use machinery was inadequate and the risk of employees gaining access to the dangerous parts of machines had not been suitably and sufficiently assessed.
 
An inspection was carried out at the furniture comany following a concern being raised by the local authority. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was a failure to ensure machinery guards were provided and used properly with a risk of employees gaining access to the dangerous parts of machines.
 
During the investigation five Improvement Notices (IN’s) were served including two requiring the company to assess the risks associated with hazardous substances; namely welding fume and Corro-coat, a powder coating paint. A further two Prohibition Notices (PN’s) were also served at a later date relating to defeated interlocks on machine doors.
 
HSE had previously inspected the company in 2013 when Improvement Notices were served regarding workplace transport and machinery guarding.
 
The furniture company pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company also pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Workplace Equipment Regulations 1998. They were fined £99,000 and ordered to pay £11,623.65.
 
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector said: “The company has fallen far short of what the law requires and put their staff at considerable risk from the use of unguarded machinery. Further, they failed to comply with improvement notices aimed at protecting people from risks to health which were not properly assessed or controlled at the company. Risks to employees from using unguarded machinery or exposure to fumes can result in serious and life changing injuries or ill health”

Board of Governors fined after safety failings left pupil injured

Posted on 16 November 2017

The board of governors at a primary school has been fined after a pupil’s fingers became trapped in a toilet door.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 29 September 2016, the four-year-old pupil, who had been at School for three weeks, was allowed to access the girls’ toilet alone. She was heard screaming by members of staff, who found her with her fingers trapped in the hinges of the toilet door. These injuries later resulted in partial amputation of her right middle finger.

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the finger guard on the door was missing as one had not been fitted since the toilets were converted five years previously. The investigation also found there was no system in place for checking and monitoring the door guards. Staff had also highlighted to the former head teacher that the door was too heavy for young children to open.

The Board of Governors a pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and has been fined £4000 with £1750.90 costs.

The HSE inspector said after the hearing: “This injury could have easily been prevented if a door guard had been fitted and a system was put in place to maintain and monitor the guards. The risk should have been identified so that reception pupils were not permitted to access the toilets alone, or they should have been allowed to share the nursery toilets.”

Construction firm fined after employee suffered serious burns

Posted on 15 November 2017

A company undertaking excavation work has been fined for safety breaches, when a worker was burned after striking underground electrical cables.

The Magistrates’ Court heard that in February 2016 an employee was excavating the ground at a site. He struck an electrical cable and was set on fire. He received significant burns to his lower body, causing him to be hospitalised for one month and unable to work for six weeks.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to adequately plan, manage and monitor the construction work; failed to obtain drawings from the utility company detailing the position of underground cables, and did not re-scan the affected ground to a sufficient depth while excavation work was ongoing.

Both the injured person, and the employee responsible for scanning the ground did not receive training for their tasks, despite this being detailed in the company’s risk assessments and method statements.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3979.68.

After the hearing HSE inspector David King said: “The contractor’s injuries were very serious, and he could have easily been killed. This injury would have been prevented if the company had planned and implemented safe methods of working, and provided the necessary information and training to its workers.”

Utility company fined after exposing employees to asbestos

Posted on 14 November 2017

A utility services company has today been fined for exposing four of its employees to asbestos during work at in 2014.

The Court today heard that four electricians employed by the company had been drilling through door transom panels to fit electric cables into each property within the tower block as part of the installation of a new low voltage distribution system.

The company had identified that an asbestos survey was carried out ahead of the works starting but did not include a survey of the transom panels above each flat entrance door.

The four electricians started work on the site on 23 June 2014 and drilled holes in the door transom panels in all 44 flats. The electricians were not aware that the panels contained asbestos so no measures were in place to control exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

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In July 2017, a resident raised a concern that the panels were asbestos, work was stopped and the panels tested. The samples tested positive for asbestos. Immediate action was taken to decontaminate the flats which involved the local council making arrangements for the residents to leave their properties while the work was being done.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work to identify the presence of asbestos in the transom panels and failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk to their employees from asbestos when carrying out cable routing work.

The company, has today been fined £6000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, the HM Inspector of Health and Safety said “This incident could have easily been avoided if the company had in place a system of work to ensure that the asbestos survey it requested to be carried out covered all of the intended work areas. Failing to do this resulted in 44 asbestos panels being drilled into with no measures in place to control the risk of exposure to the resultant asbestos fibres.”

Two companies fined after worker crushed to death

Posted on 13 November 2017

A vehicle recovery company and a recovery vehicles manufacturer have been fined after a worker died of crush injuries.

The Crown Court heard how, on 31 May 2013, an employee of the company, was jet washing a twin deck recovery vehicle at the company’s base, when the upper deck collapsed spontaneously, trapping him between the upper and lower deck. He died of his injuries at the scene.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the vehicle recovery equipment was poorly designed by a manufacturer. The upper deck, which was designed to fold down onto the lower deck, was only stable in its raised position if it was secured by two powered locking pins. It was possible to lower the locking pins if a control was operated and another device (that was intended to detect the position of the upper deck) was incorrectly operated by hand. Correct design would have used a device that could not be operated by hand to detect the position of the upper deck. The recovery company failed to control this unsafe practice, as a limited number of employees within the company knew how to operate this device.

The Manufacturer failed to take appropriate measures to remedy the problem even after the upper deck had violently collapsed on a previous occasion when the vehicle was owned by a third party.

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The manufacturer pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £9,490.

The recovery company was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £50,000.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident caused by poor design and the failure to control unsafe practices. “Any company designing, manufacturing or supplying equipment for use at work must ensure that its safe operation is correctly considered and engineered in, and that foreseeable issues are properly considered. Companies should also ensure that employees are correctly trained to use workplace machinery. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Self-employed labourer jailed for unregistered gas work

Posted on 8 November 2017

An unregistered gas fitter has been sentenced to twelve months in prison after impersonating a registered engineer, and leaving gas appliances in a dangerous state.

The Magistrates Court heard how a gentleman undertook the servicing of five gas appliances in May and September 2016 at a hotel and restaurant. A subsequent investigation by a Gas Safe Regional Inspector showed that he had left a gas wok range in a condition that presented an immediate risk to people and property.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the gentleman was not Gas Safe Registered (GSR) at the time he conducted this work. He had fraudulently used the details of a Gas Safe Registered business, and used the Gas Safe logo on his clothing and vehicles, to deliberately mislead customers that he was competent to undertake gas work. The gentleman had also ignored previous warnings from HSE not to conduct gas work without gaining the necessary competencies.

The man pleaded guilty to six breaches under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was sentenced to twelve months in prison.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said: “Robert Ruszczak undertook gas work which he knew he wasn’t registered to do. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met, to prevent injury and loss of life.”

Company fined after worker suffers life-changing injury

Posted on 7 November 2017

A welding and fabrication company has been fined after an employee’s foot was crushed by a falling metal grid.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 15 December an employee had been instructed to paint several metal truck wash grids when one of the metal grids, weighing a tonne, slipped through the forks of a forklift and landed on his foot, crushing it. The employee suffered a broken foot, had to have three toes amputated, and is still undergoing hospital treatment.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to properly plan the task or ensure the forklift driver had received adequate training to fully operate the vehicle. The company also failed to ensure a safe system of work was in place, such as the use of a sling on the forklift truck, which would have stopped the metal grid from slipping through the forks.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £4,400 and ordered to pay costs of £860.40

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector David Keane said: “This injury could have easily been prevented had thorough planning been carried out. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from injury while operating fork lift trucks.”

Construction company fined after worker injured

Posted on 6 November 2017

A construction company has been fined after a worker fell three metres and lost consciousness.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 10 February 2016, an employee of a Scaffolding company was dismantling a temporary scaffold roof when he fell about three metres through the temporary roof, onto the fixed roof below. The employee was knocked unconscious, spent two days in hospital and suffered a broken thumb which required metal pins to be fitted. In total, he was off work for two months.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the company had not planned the work properly. There was a lack of communication and the employee was not trained or experienced in this type of scaffold. The company also failed to provide suitable personal protective equipment to prevent a fall.
The company has been fined £10,000 for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and been ordered to pay costs of £3621.00.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector said: “This case highlights the importance of following industry guidance to plan the safe erection and dismantling of scaffolding”.

Britain’s annual injury and ill health statistics released

Posted on 2 November 2017

The latest annual injury and ill health statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show 1.3 million workers were suffering from work related ill-health and there were 609,000 workplace injuries in 2016/17.

The figures show that while Britain remains one of the safest places to work, there is still work to do to drive figures down.

Workplace injury and new cases of ill health cost Britain £14.9bn a year with 31.2 million working days lost.

The annual statistics, compiled by HSE from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and other sources, cover work-related ill health, workplace injuries, working days lost, costs to Britain and enforcement action taken.

Top line statistics show that in 2016/17 there were;

137 fatal injuries in Britain’s workplaces
70,116 other injuries reported by employers
12,000 lung disease deaths estimated to be linked to past work exposures
554 cases prosecuted with fines from convictions totalling £69.9 million

The HSE Chair, said about the findings:

“These latest figures should act as a spur to reduce the impact of ill-health and injury on Britain’s workforce and businesses and we cannot rest on our reputation.

“We will only achieve long term improvement by a collective approach to improve workplace standards. Poor standards lead to poor health and increased injuries which is bad for the workforce and business.”

Though there were fewer prosecutions taken in 2016/17, the statistics show an increase in fines to £69.9 million from the 2015/16 total of £38.8 million. New sentencing guidelines in England and Wales were introduced in 2016. Twenty large fines accounted for £30.7 million of the new figure.

Fines are not collected by HSE but are levied by the courts in criminal cases and paid to HM Treasury.

The full annual injury and ill-health statistics report can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/

Health care provider fined for health and safety failures

Posted on 1 November 2017

A health care provider has been fined after it failed to act on concerns raised by an occupational health nurse.

The Crown Court heard how on 28 June 2014 an employee raised concerns with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) relating to the running of the internal occupational health service of a Health Care Company. The HSE investigation found the company failed to appoint sufficient occupational health professionals to run the service which compromised the health and safety of its employees, patients and general members of the public, putting them at risk of suffering ill health or of acquiring an infection. HSE served four Improvement Notices as part of the investigation.

 

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The HSE investigation into the concerns found that the company also failed to provide adequate health surveillance for its workers. As a consequence of this, a nurse working at the Hospital, was diagnosed with occupational dermatitis on 12 January 2015, which later spread from her hands to her arms and legs.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined £550,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,320.44

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said: “Healthcare providers should be aware of their legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees as well as their patients and service users. HSE will not hesitate to hold those accountable who do not fulfil their legal obligations.”

Recycling company fined £650,000 following death of elderly worker

Posted on 31 October 2017

A clothing and textile recycling company has been prosecuted after an 89-year-old worker was fatally injured by a reversing delivery vehicle.

The Magistrates’ Court heard today how on 26 April 2016 the woman was walking from the weighbridge towards the smoking shelter in the rear yard during her afternoon break. A delivery vehicle driven by a visiting driver reversed from the weighbridge towards the rear yard to deliver goods when she was struck by the rear of the vehicle sustaining fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed the company had failed to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks arising from vehicle movement. It was custom and practice for vehicles to reverse from the weighbridge, which was also used by employees to access the factory. There were no measures in place to adequately segregate pedestrians from moving vehicles, and there wasn’t a safe system of work in place to ensure that vehicles could manoeuvre safely.

 

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The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The company was fined £650,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3300.25.

Speaking after the hearing the HSE Inspector, said “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to undertake a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks arising from the movement of vehicles and implement safe systems of work. This meant the company failed to put in place a number of simple safety measures including segregating vehicles and pedestrians and reducing the need for vehicles to reverse.

“Sadly, this is the most common cause of fatal injuries in this sector. HSE is currently in the middle of targeting waste and recycling premises with an inspection initiative that will look at certain activities to ensure effective management and control of risk.

“We are calling on anyone working in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website. Every worker has the right to return from work safe in the knowledge that their employer takes their health and safety seriously.”

Unregistered engineer jailed after unsafe gas work

Posted on 26 October 2017

An unregistered engineer has been jailed after carrying out unsafe plumbing work at a property.
The Crown Court heard how the company was contracted by the householder to install gas pipework, a gas cooker, gas hob and gas fire. The work took place in the summer of 2016. After several gas leaks occurred, the householder contacted Gas Safe Register who inspected the work.

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The installations were classified by Gas Safe Register as ‘Immediately Dangerous’ and ‘At Risk’.
The owner of the compay had previously been prosecuted for similar offences in 2012 and 2013. He also falsified a Gas Safe registration number on invoices for the work.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) alongside Gas Safe Register (GSR) found the gentleman was not registered or competent to do the work.
He pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3 (1) and 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
The gentlemen was today sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Builder fined after father and son seriously injured in fall from height

Posted on 25 October 2017
A builder was sentenced today after three workers, including a father and son, fell almost five metres when a work platform became disconnected from a telehandler.
 
The Magistrates’ Court heard that on 1 December 2015, the company was hired to construct a new chicken shed. He subcontracted a cladding company but provided his own telehandler and work platform for them to work from.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court that three of the cladding company workers were elevated in the platform when it came adrift of the telehandler and fell to the ground.
 
 
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The HSE investigation found that the work platform had not and could not have been connected to the telehandler in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions which required three separate mechanical attachments. The necessary securing attachments were not present, and only one of the three had effectively been in place.
 
The platform fell onto the one worker trapping his shoulder and head. He also suffered a shattered right knee cap and crushed tibia and fibula. His father suffered three fractured vertebrae and a head wound needing 12 stitches.
 
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1200 with £558 costs.
 
After the hearing, the HSE inspector commented: “These injuries were easily prevented and the risk should have been identified. “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

Unregistered gas worker sentenced for carrying out illegal gas work

Posted on 24 October 2017

A self-employed gas fitter has been sentenced after carrying out gas work despite being no longer legally allowed to do so.

The Magistrates Court heard how, between July 2014 and December 2015, a worker on a domestic gas installation without being on the Gas Safe Register.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the worker issued a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate in December 2015 and carried out this work despite being warned by HSE in March 2014 not to.

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The gentleman, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (3) of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 and has been fined £1,600 and ordered to pay costs of £530.20.

Speaking after the hearing. The HSE inspector said: “The gentleman undertook gas work which he knew he was legally unable to do.

“All gas work must be carried out by Gas Safe Registered engineers only to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

Two construction companies fined after carbon monoxide enters property

Posted on 23 October 2017
Two construction companies have been fined when a project to remove cowls to redundant flue pipes resulted in carbon monoxide (CO) entering a property.
 
The Crown Court heard how, on 19 December 2014, a mistake regarding the correct floor level resulted in a live flue being blocked. Scaffolding was erected outside a 13-storey block of flats without marked lift levels and the external wall of the building had no markings to identify floor levels or flat numbers. Operatives from The Company were given a diagram marked with the redundant flues and were expected to find the redundant flues amongst live flues.
 
The problem was identified only when a CO monitor activated and the homeowner and her son investigated. The damaged boiler was switched off before potentially any serious ill-health could occur.
 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that both companies failed to manage the risk involved with the project. The investigation found that they could have marked the levels on the scaffold and the levels/flat numbers on the external wall of the building. A supervisor could have marked the redundant flue pipes to ensure the correct cowls were removed and flue pipes blocked up. The companies could have instead of blocking the redundant flue pipes put a cage around the cowls to ensure they did not fall.
 
The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined £640,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,862.52.
 
The second company pleaded guilty breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,431.28
 
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Sandra Dias said: “It is the responsibility of both the principal contractor and subcontractor to ensure that safe systems of work have been identified and adopted.  When there is risk of death to members of the public, the safe systems should be well thought through and robust.  The risks associated with blocking a live flue could result in carbon monoxide entering properties and potentially killing all occupants”.

Health & Safety Legislation Changes October 2017

Posted on 19 October 2017

Health and Safety legislation changes came into force in October 2017 and we have detailed changes that may affect you and your business.

British Standards

BS 5839-1:2017 supersedes BS 5839-1:2015 which is now withdrawn – “The Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of systems in non-domestic dwellings”. This update has taken into consideration changes to other British Standards Codes of Practice.

The main changes are:

  • They want to see all manual call points fitted with a protective cover to help reduce the number of false alarms;
  • A better definition of an L2 fire alarm system;
  • A section detailing on multi-sensor detectors;
  • That there is no longer a need to provide double pole isolation adjacent to control equipment and power supply units but means of safe isolation for maintenance purposes must be provided;
  • A new Annex detailing the selection and application of fire detectio.

BS 9999:2017 has revised the standard that was published in 2008 “Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of Buildings”. This standard is to ensure that controls are in place to safeguard the building occupants in the event of a fire, including Firefighters. The Standard informs you about how you would design Fire Safety measures into a building in order to safeguard the occupants including Firefighters. The standard also provides guidance on new and existing buildings for designing Fire Safety measures.

Originally in 2008, there was little information referring to the Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems, this Standard now incorporates Water Mist Suppression Systems. This standard now comes in line with Fire Safety legislation including Building Regulation Approved Document Part B.

First Aid

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

On the 31st October 2017, it will no longer be a legal requirement for First Aid at Work training and qualifications to be approved by the HSENI. This change is to bring it in line with the HSE in Great Britain.

Any certificate that has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland to a first aid provider for training will no longer be valid after midnight on the 30th October 2017. The Approved Code of Practice is being withdrawn and guidance will be released in line with the HSE.

ISO 45001

ISO 45001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems – Requirements) will supersede OHSAS 18001 and is expected to be published in February 2018. The final draft standard for ISO 45001 will be published in November 2017.

If you currently have ISO 18001 when you transition to ISO 45001 you will see some significant changes which include the engagement of the workforce, driving a positive culture and focuses more on risk management.

Worker suffers life changing injury after pressure test failure

Posted on 19 October 2017

The Court heard that on 3 December 2013, the injured person was taking part in a pressure test of a boiler at a Biomass power station.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court, a valve on a pressure test rig was pressurised above the safe working limit and failed, causing the hose and metal fitting assembly to whip round, striking the employee on the right leg, causing serious compound fractures.

One company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £1,350,000 and ordered to pay costs of £33,000.

The second company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £125,000 with £2,000 costs.

The third company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £37,500 with £33,000 costs.

The injured person said “It has been nearly four years since I was injured. My life changed that day and the impact on my family and me has been immense. In July I had my leg amputated from the knee down and I will now have to learn to walk with a prosthetic but I am determined to get my life back.”

After the hearing, HSE principal inspector said: “All three companies failed the employee. If appropriate pressure relief had been fitted and the companies had put in place a system of work that was safe then the employee would not have exposed to the harm he suffered.

Contractor receives suspended prison sentence after worker seriously injured

Posted on 19 October 2017

A sole trader has today been given a six month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months after an employee fell from height.

The Crown Court heard how, on 11 November 2016, the company was undertaking a refurbishment project when a worker fell through an unprotected hole in the ground floor. The worker fell through the hole measuring approximately 1.5 metres by 3 metres, into a basement below and suffered serious head injuries.

The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found failures in health and safety management had led to a number of fall from height issues on site, including a lack of sufficient edge protection to prevent workers from falling through the opening in the floor.

The owner of the company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was given a six month prison sentence suspended for eighteen months and ordered to pay costs of £8,442.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “Falls from height remain one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Had the employer implemented adequate control measures to protect the health and safety of his workers, this incident could have been prevented.”

Tree worker fined after worker suffers life-changing injuries

Posted on 17 October 2017

A self-employed tree worker has been fined after a worker suffered serious head injuries.

The Magistrates’ Court heard that on 10 November 2015, a gentleman climbed a ladder to a height of six metres, and cut branches from a tree with a chainsaw. One large branch fell from the tree and landed on his employee’s head, severely injuring him. The worker needed to be placed in an induced coma and suffered multiple injuries, including skull fractures and the loss of sight in one eye.

 

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the gentleman was not competent or qualified to carry out, manage or supervise such work. He was using a chainsaw without being qualified to do so, the work was not properly planned to identify risks, nor was adequate training or instruction given to the operatives.

The Gentleman pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and a victim surcharge fee of £115.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector commented: “This incident could have been prevented by the provision of appropriate training for both the gentleman and his employees. Personal protective equipment had not been made available to the workers, and there was a complete lack of any safe system of work.

“This case highlights the need for tree work to be carried out by suitably trained and competent persons, and that it should be planned and organised correctly.

 

Company and director sentenced after worker left seriously injured

Posted on 12 October 2017

A scaffolding company and its director have been sentenced after a worker was left with life-changing injuries.

The Magistrates Court heard how the worker was erecting scaffolding on 19 December 2016 when the structure came into contact with 33KV overhead power lines. The father of five received an electric shock which led to the amputation of his left arm above the elbow, right arm below the elbow and both of his feet. The 32-year-old also suffered severe burns to his legs and back, damage to his vocal chords, and was in an induced coma for six weeks.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the scaffolding should not have been built to that height so close to overhead power lines. The company and its director failed to ensure a safe system of work was in place for erecting a scaffold under overhead power lines.

The Scaffolding Company, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £80,000 and has been ordered to pay full costs of £1415.10.

The company director, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 as well as Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He has been ordered to repay costs of £1545.30.

In a statement the injured man said: “I can’t quite put into words how it feels to wake up with no hands. I had five-month-old twin girls at the time of the accident, all I could think of when I woke up was the things I wouldn’t be able to do, for example I wouldn’t be able to hold my babies’ hands again, I wouldn’t be able to draw, play catch or teach my girls any of the things that I had learned with my hands.

“There’s so many things I can’t do it’s hard to imagine, but to never feel anything with my hands again is what I struggle with the most.

“Sitting here now in my wheelchair nine months after the accident and I still don’t walk, for a man who was very active before the accident it has been extremely difficult! I was a keen a sportsman as well as someone who enjoyed his job and was really hands on with my babies. How my life has changed is almost indescribable.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector said: “This incident could have been prevented had the company and its director properly planned a safe system of work and ensured the scaffolding was erected in line with HSE regulations. Due to their failings, a young father of five has been left with life-changing injuries and the lives of an entire family have been changed forever.”

Construction worker suffers fracture to his back after a fall from height

Posted on 11 October 2017

A roofing company was sentenced today after an employee suffered a fracture to his back requiring surgery.

The Crown Court heard the injured person, an employee of the company was in the process of fitting new plywood boards over the top of existing wood wool slabs on a roof at a site in Morpeth on 15 April 2015. Two employees were in the process of positioning the second plywood board when the injured person fell four metres through one of the wood wool slabs onto the floor of the plant room, colliding with internal pipework.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court the firm should have identified that the roofs were potentially fragile and should have planned the work around this fact, with measures in place to prevent a fall through a fragile surface.

The compant in Darlington pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £25,000 with £24,572.84 costs, plus a victim surcharge of £120.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Robbins said: “This injury was easily prevented and the risk should have been identified”

Road haulage company fined after worker killed

Posted on 10 October 2017

A road haulage firm has been fined after an employee was crushed between two articulated vehicles and subsequently died from his injuries.

The Magistrates Court heard how an HGV driver suffered fatal injuries when his vehicle rolled forward out of control whilst he was coupling the HGV tractor unit to a trailer.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 20 October 2015, found that the company failed to implement safe systems of work or monitoring arrangements to ensure that its drivers were consistently undertaking coupling and uncoupling operations safely, in line with widely available industry guidance. As a result of this, a culture developed whereby its drivers were not always applying trailer parking brakes.

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The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined £170,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,268.80

Speaking after the case, the HSE inspector said “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man, and was caused in part by the failure of his employer to implement and monitor safe systems of work to prevent vehicle runaways.

“This death could have easily been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and followed the industry guidance.”

Council fined after worker diagnosed with HAVS

Posted on 5 October 2017

The County Borough Council has been fined after a 57-year old man was diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

The Magistrates’ Court heard how the employee of the council’s StreetScene department had been diagnosed with HAVS in September 2015.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the council failed to address the issue of HAVS following an audit in February 2011 which identified a failure to assess the risk to employees from vibration. The council had developed a number of policies dating back to 2004 to tackle the risk of HAVS, however it was found these policies were not implemented.

Following the introduction of HAVS occupational health surveillance for users of vibrating tools a further eleven diagnoses of HAVS or Carpal tunnel syndrome have been reported.

The County Borough Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The council has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,901.35

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Mhairi Duffy said: “This employee now suffers from a long term, life changing illness. The council should have implemented the policy they devised following the audit in 2011.

 

HSE launches second phase of construction inspection campaign

Posted on 3 October 2017

Construction projects across Britain are being urged to act now to ensure the health and safety of their workers is protected as the second phase of a targeted inspection initiative gets underway today.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says 43 workers were fatally injured in 2015/16, and an estimated ten times that number died from construction related ill-health, with a further 65,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries.

HSE is now asking every construction contractor, client and designer to ensure they are not adding to this unacceptable toll of harm by failing to manage well-known risks.

In addition to things such as falls from height, the campaign will focus on control of harmful dusts including respirable silica from concrete, brick and stone, asbestos and wood dust, as well as work at height, structural safety, materials handling, good order and welfare provision.

HSE points to the mis-conception that health issues cannot be controlled in construction. It says harmful dust, whether silica or wood, is a serious issue and can be managed effectively with the right design, equipment and training. Health effects may not be immediate, but the ultimate impact on workers and their families can be devastating.

HSE carried out over 2000 inspections during the first phase of the initiative earlier this year with action being taken to address these issues in almost half of visits.

HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction and Director of Construction Division Peter Baker commented: “In phase 1 of this campaign HSE’s inspectors found lots of good examples of small sites working safely and protecting workers health from exposure to harmful dusts, proving it can be done. My message to smaller businesses is don’t wait for an accident or a visit from an HSE inspector – learn from the success of others and act now.

“Nearly half of construction fatal accidents and injuries reported to HSE involved refurbishment work.

“Some small refurbishment sites continue to cut corners and not properly protect their workers resulting in an unacceptable number of deaths and injuries each year.”

Company and directors fined after multiple safety failings

Posted on 29 September 2017

A recycling company and its two directors have been prosecuted after multiple safety failings.

The Crown Court heard how the company had failed to manage risks when its staff worked at height, failed to suitably maintain work equipment and failed to control risks from electrical systems.

After several visits from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) a total of 15 enforcement notices were served on the company and three served on each of the two company directors, in less than two years. The notices covered a range of topics including work at height, work equipment and electrical matters. An investigation by HSE found employees were instructed to carry out work at height even after a Prohibition Notice was served and staff felt pressurised to complete their work even when they had raised concerns about their safety.

The investigation also found fork lift trucks were left with broken lights and windscreen wipers, marring drivers’ visibility. Emergency stop buttons on machinery were marked as broken but not repaired over a long period of time.

The company in Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 5(1) of the Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 4(1) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and has been fined £83,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7000.

The owner pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1) (a) of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, he has also been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7000.

The joint owner pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(a) by virtue of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been ordered to complete 150 hours community order as well as being fined £7500 and ordered to pay £7000 in costs.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Neil Ward said: “The Company’s failings in this case have put their workers at risk from serious personal injury. It was clear the overall approach to business risk was haphazard at best, with a culture of negligence, for which the two directors were ultimately responsible.

“The HSE took proactive action, throughout its dealings with Monoworld, and tried to work with the company when concerns were first raised.”

Waste and recycling industry being told to clean up by regulator

Posted on 28 September 2017

Companies and people working in the waste and recycling industry are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace risk or face serious penalties.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) programme of proactive inspections will review health and safety standards in waste and recycling businesses across the country, and the industry is being warned that unannounced inspections will begin next week.

The visits come as HSE releases its sector plans which pinpoint the waste and recycling industry as a priority sector.

The waste and recycling sector, which is made up of around 120,000 workers, has a statistically higher rate of workplace injury and work-related ill health than other sectors and workers in this industry are more likely to suffer work-related illness than any other sector.

Within the waste and recycling sector the main causes of fatal injuries to workers are being struck by moving vehicles, coming into contact with moving machinery and being injured by something collapsing or overturning.

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HSE insists these incidents can be prevented when organisations have proper risk management in place. In the five years to 2016/17 there were 39 fatalities to workers and 11 members of the public were killed as a result of work activity in the sector.

The inspections will ensure measures are being taken by those responsible to protect workers and employers against risk and injury and HSE will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements.

HSE’s head of waste and recycling Rick Brunt, said: “The waste and recycling industry continues to have one of the poorest health and safety records.

This inspection initiative will look at certain activities to ensure effective management and control of risk.

“HSE is calling on anyone working in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website. Every worker has the right to return from work safe in the knowledge that their employer takes their health and safety seriously.”

Company fined after chemical explosion

Posted on 27 September 2017

An oil storage company has been fined after contractors cut into a sealed pipe causing a tank to explode.

The Crown Court heard that on 19 January 2015 contractors of the company cut into a sealed pipe using a grinder. The pipe, which was attached to a vessel, was being used as part of a waste oil recovery process at their Tank Farm. Flammable gases within the pipe ignited, resulting in the lid of the tank detaching due to pressure build up.

 

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company was having difficulty with the waste oil recovery process which was foaming out of the vessel and filling its bund. Rather than dealing with the health and safety issue directly, a decision was taken to connect the vessel to an emergency relief dump tank to collect further foaming and this created a flammable atmosphere within the dump tank and connecting relief pipework.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000.

Speaking after the hearing the HSE inspector said: “Even though nobody was injured this incident could have been prevented if the work of the contractors had been controlled.

“The contractors were given a very basic induction and were not told about health and safety issues in relation to the site being a COMAH major hazard site. Contractors were not warned about the process work being carried out in the Tank Farm and how it could impact on them.

“HSE has brought this prosecution because a failure took place that could have resulted in death or serious injury and we believe every person should be healthy and safe at work.”

Company fined after worker suffers crush injuries

Posted on 26 September 2017

A Wolverhampton based company, has been fined after a 39-year old-employee was crushed by a reversing excavator.

The Magistrates’ Court heard that on 3 May 2016 employees had been contracted to complete demolition work on a site. The employees were moving debris around the excavator when it began to reverse, crushing the man and leaving him with serious injuries to his leg and torso.

The worker suffered multiple fractures to his legs and pelvis, as well as punctured lungs and liver injuries. He requires assistance to move around his home and he has not returned to work more than 16 months after the incident.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to implement a suitable management system to segregate pedestrians and vehicles on site.

The investigation also found the company failed to adequately plan the demolition work on site and failed to highlight the risks of workers and machinery operating in the same areas without clear communication between the driver and workers on the ground.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, have been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,726.88.

Speaking after the hearing the HSE inspector said: “This incident could have easily been prevented had the company implemented the required safety measures to minimise the risk of harm to workers on site.

“the company’s failings have led to this employee suffering life changing injuries, an individual’s health should not be made worse by the work they do, all workers have the right to go home healthy.”

If you use Machinery in your work place have they had their annual inspections? are all your staff trained to use the machinery? we can help you ensure that your staff go home healthy.

Scaffold Inspectors prosecuted after worker falls from height

Posted on 25 September 2017

Two scaffold Inspectors have been prosecuted after a worker fell through a gap between the scaffolding and the building, resulting in serious injuries.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how on 26th March 2014, the 49-year old worker was working on a re-roofing project. As he stepped down from the untiled roof onto a fixed scaffold, he fell through a gap between the working platform of the scaffolding and the building. He suffered fracture injuries to his spine and had to wear a back brace for -eight weeks.

The scaffolding had been signed off as safe for use. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that they had not carried out the relevant inspections and had falsified the certificates to show that all was safe for use.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Matt Greenly said: “Scaffold Inspectors are relied upon by workers and must be trusted. Falsely completing reports without carrying out a thorough inspection can lead to serious risks being missed and life changing accidents occurring.”

The two scaffold inspectors, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were each sentenced to 170 hours community service and ordered to pay £1,500 costs.

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Company fined after worker’s hand crushed in machinery

Posted on 21 September 2017

A food seasoning manufacturer has been fined after an agency worker suffered serious hand injuries.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how the man, working at the company was cleaning near the screw conveyor machine, when he tripped and his finger came into contact with the moving parts of the machine. The worker suffered a partial amputation to his left hand following this incident.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 13 September 2016 found the vacuum point, for cleaning this screw conveyor did not have adequate guarding to prevent people coming into contact with this dangerous part of the machine.

The company was found guilty of breaching Section 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and has been fined £55,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1293.

Speaking after the hearing the Inspector said: “An agency worker has suffered life changing injuries due to the company’s health and safety failures. An individual’s health and safety should not be made worse by the work they do.

“Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of guarding to enable safe operation and maintenance, including cleaning operations.”

Safe systems of work and training can help prevent accidents, MBO Safety Services Limited can help you with this.

Roofing contractor given suspended prison sentence

Posted on 20 September 2017

A roofing contractor has been sentenced today for safety breaches after workers were left at risk of falling from unprotected roof edges.

The failures of the company were discovered by health and safety staff who could see unsafe scaffolding from their office window.

The manager was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

The Crown Court heard that in November 2015 he was contracted to carry out some roof repairs to a Guest House roof. Scaffolding was erected along the full length of the roof at the front of the property.

However, due to the presence of a conservatory structure at the rear, the company only erected a partial scaffold at the rear. It did not take the conservatory into account which left approximately two thirds of the rear roof edge unprotected.

In February 2016, nearby health and safety risk managers could see the project from their office window and had concerns about the safety of the two workers on a roof where there were inadequate fall protection measures in place such as scaffolding.

Two operatives working under the control of the manager were at risk of falling approximately seven metres from the unprotected edge of the roof at the rear of the property.

The manager pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at height Regulations 2005. As well as his suspended prison sentence and unpaid work requirement, he was also ordered to pay £5800 costs.

After the hearing, a HSE inspector commented: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities each year.

“There were not suitable or sufficient measures in place to prevent the risk of a person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

“This is a good example of HSE working closely with local authority partners, helping Great Britain work well.”

Do you have all your training upto date? we can deliver Work at Height and Harness Training. Please do not hesitate to give us a ring.

Company fined after worker fatally crushed by fork lift truck.

Posted on 19 September 2017

A firm has been fined after a worker died when the fork lift truck he was driving overturned at the company base.

The Crown Court heard the worker was transporting tyres on 30 July 2014 when the fork lift ran over a loose tyre in the road. He was crushed between the fork lift truck and the ground and later died from his injuries. He was not wearing a seat belt.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no company policy in place instructing workers to wear seatbelts when operating fork lift trucks. The investigation also found if the tyres had been stored securely this would have prevented them rolling onto the roadway and would have reduced the risk of the fork lift truck overturning.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

Speaking after the hearing the HSE Principal inspector said: “This tragic incident could have easily been prevented if the company had enforced and monitored the wearing of seat belts for fork lift truck drivers”.

Do all your colleagues have the relevant training to work with the equipment they use? We can deliver Forklift Truck training, ring us today for further information.

 

Not enough being done to tackle work-related ill-health, say GB’s business leaders.

Posted on 18 September 2017

Almost half of Britain’s industry leaders do not feel enough is being done across industry to tackle cases of work-related ill-health, according to new research from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The research also found more than two-fifths of businesses are reporting a rise in cases of long-term ill-health with the majority (80%) stating tackling this growing problem is a priority within their organisation.

This news comes as HSE figures show that work-related ill-health is costing the economy more than £9bn with 26 million working days being lost, making it a priority for HSE, as the Government’s chief occupational health adviser.

The views of 300 major business leaders were sought and 40% of respondents said their industry was not doing enough to raise awareness and tackle the causes of long-term work-related ill-health.

The findings were revealed as HSE announced its new national campaign – ‘Go Home Healthy’. The campaign aims to reduce cases of work-related ill-health by shining a light on the causes and encouraging employers to do the right thing to protect their workers’ health.

Speaking after the campaign launch, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, said:

“Everyone should want to have a healthy and safe environment at work. Work-related ill-health is a costly issue for individuals, businesses, and the whole economy. This campaign will encourage employers to operate healthier workplaces and ensure workers get the support that they need.”

Commenting on the findings, HSE’s chair, said:

“The survey findings confirmed what we already suspected – more needs to be done to tackle work-related ill-health.

“Over the years, figures show that as workplace safety has improved, health has stagnated. The ‘Go Home Healthy’ campaign is about driving behavioural change in workplaces so we all can go home healthy. There is a moral, legal, and business case for employers to do the right thing by their workers. The importance of more joined-up thinking across industries when it comes to tackling work-related ill-health cannot be overstated.”

MBO Safety Services Limited are here to help with all of your Health and Safety requirements and can support you on a contractual basis. Please follow the link below for more information

http://mbosafetyservices.co.uk/consultancy/ 

Manufacturer sentenced after worker injured

Posted on 13 September 2017

A supplier has been fined when an employee suffered serious leg injuries.

The Court heard how the employee fell into the path of an advancing work platform at the company’s factory. The worker’s right leg was trapped and he was dragged along the metal floor for the length of the machine’s cycle. The gentleman, 40 from Pontypridd suffered significant leg injuries including two broken ankles and other flesh and muscle injuries that required vein and skin grafts to both legs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on the 5 January 2016, found that the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery, namely the milling machine where he was working.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,119.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Wayne Williams said: “This injury could have been easily prevented and the risk should have been identified.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”

Bakery fined after the death of contractor

Posted on 12 September 2017

A bakery has been fined today following the death of self-employed electrical contractor who died following a fall from height.

The Crown Court heard how the worker was contracted to complete electrical work at the site in Hull. In October 2013, the worker was wiring a motor situated above a machine whilst standing on a stepladder. The company agreed this work activity could be completed using a stepladder which it had provided.

The employee fell from the step ladder and suffered fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety executive (HSE) found that the company failed to properly plan this workplace activity from the beginning including access arrangements to be made for installation of motors to use to carry out this work activity.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £1million and ordered to pay costs of £30,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Denise Fotheringham said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in Great Britain, the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“Work at height regulations require that all work at height is properly planned and appropriate access is provided. If this company had carried this out this death could have been prevented.


Company fined after death of worker using fork lift truck

Posted on 7 September 2017

A company has been fined after the death of a 19-year-old worker, when a fork lift truck (FLT) overturned at the company’s site.

The Crown Court heard how, on 10 February 2015, a young man was driving a FLT during night time hours down a sloping roadway, when it overturned and the employee suffered fatal crush injuries.

This investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had initial involvement from Derbyshire Constabulary and found the employee was not adequately trained nor was he wearing a seatbelt at the time of the FLT overturning. It was also found the company did not inform their employees of the speed limit on-site, had not put measures in place to control the speed of vehicles, and failed to have adequate lighting and edge protection in place to avoid FLTs overturning.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The company has been fined £450,000 and ordered to pay costs of £71,778.20.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Berian Price said: “This tragic incident could have easily been prevented. The company’s management of fork lift truck driving operations and its failure to provide various measures to ensure the safety of the external yard area coupled with the lack of safe driver measures, such as wearing a seat belt, exposed employees to serious safety risks.

“Sadly, in this case, these failures resulted in the needless loss of this young man’s life.”

Director jailed and company sentenced after continuous failures to comply

Posted on 30 August 2017

A company and its owner have been sentenced after a number of safety failings.

The Crown Court heard that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was notified of a fire and explosions of used gas cylinders on 9 July 2013 at a company in Swansea. This fire was as a result of deliberate arson and followed two previous similar incidents.

An investigation by HSE involved numerous visits to the site, for the owner and the person ultimately responsible. These visits involved both verbal and written advice in relation to security fencing on-site to prevent persons getting onto the premise, maintenance of an excavator to ensure no persons were put at risk at the site, and safety inspections of lifting equipment on its skip vehicles used on the public highway. Inspectors also issued several enforcement notices to both the company and the owner over this three-year period to reduce the considerable risk to employees and members of the public.

A further visit in December 2016 found the site was unattended with the gate left open and was full of waste and debris including loose gas cylinders. There was no clear area on-site to enable persons to walk around safely. The standards at the site were wholly inadequate and nothing significant had been done to comply with the law. No maintenance had been done to the excavator and no safety checks had been carried out on the lifting equipment on the skip vehicles.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £15,000 for section 2 (1) breach and fined £15,000 for the Section 3 (1) breach. It was also ordered to pay £8,000 costs.

The owner, pleaded guilty to Sections 2 (1), 3 (1) and 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment in relation to these offences. A further four months was given in relation to environmental offences brought by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) with a previous suspended sentence also added to be served concurrently. Robert Michael Collis was also disqualified from being a director or manager of a company for 7 years.

Gas supplier fined after worker left seriously injured

Posted on 23 August 2017

A beverage gas supply company has been fined after a gas cylinder exploded and left a worker with life-changing leg injuries.

The Court heard how the employee was filling mixed-gas cylinders, to be used for dispensing drinks in restaurants and pubs, by connecting the cylinders to a high-pressure filling system. During this process, one of the cylinders the employee was standing near exploded.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the work was not properly planned and there was a lack of thorough pre-fill checks of the cylinders. The injured worker had not received adequate training or instruction as to how to undertake robust pre-fill cylinder checks.

The company operating was found guilty of a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.The company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £5,932 in costs.

Speaking after the trial, HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “Robust pre-fill checks of high pressure cylinders should be undertaken before they are filled and workers must be informed of this. The injured worker should have received adequate training, instruction and supervision to be able to carry out their work safely but the company failed to fully do this. As a result of the company’s failings, a person has been left with life-changing injuries.”

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Firm sentenced after boy suffered life-changing injuries on farm

Posted on 21 August 2017

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is calling on farmers to do more to protect their loved ones after an eight year old boy who fell from a vehicle on his parent’s farm and ended up with an amputated leg.

The company which operates the farm has today been prosecuted after the incident on 14 October 2015.

The Court heard the boy fell from a sit-astride all-terrain vehicle (ATV).

After carrying out the day to day tasks on the farm, one of the workers was asked to cut the grass on the farm’s hen range. The boy was sitting on the back of the vehicle while the grass was being cut.

The employee had been cutting the grass for about 20 minutes when he stopped and noticed the boy was no longer sitting behind him. He found him on the grass with injuries to his lower right leg and called for help. The eight-year-old’s parents were nearby and an ambulance was called.

He was taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and on arrival underwent an eight-hour operation. His lower right leg could not be saved and a below-the-knee amputation was carried out. He has since been fitted with a prosthetic limb.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the driver of the vehicle had not been trained to use the ATV and the company had allowed the boy to accompany the worker on previous occasions.

A notification of contravention letter was sent to the company and an improvement notice was issued which the company complied with.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) (b) of the Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agricultural Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £10,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Kim Munro said: “The Company took no action to ensure the boy was kept separate from the farm’s business activities other than being near the cattle.

“There are no winners in this case. Legislation prohibiting children under 13 from riding on machines such as an ATV protects them from these dangers. Sadly, too often this is ignored and the consequences can be devastating for all involved.

“We’re calling on farmers to take responsibility and own the process of identifying, managing and preventing risk in their workplace. We’ve spent recent weeks highlighting this issue, with more inspectors visiting farms across Great Britain.

“While it is important that children living on farms are given the opportunity to become involved and learn about the family business, it’s crucial they are protected from the dangers involved.”

Two companies fined after workers death

Posted on 16 August 2017

Two Hampshire based companies have been fined after the death of a 42-year old man.

The Crown Court heard that on 20 July 2012 the sub-contractor was undertaking remedial work to a roof at a domestic property. The gentleman fell seven metres from the roof to the ground and later died of head injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found neither the principal contractor for the site and failed to ensure the roof work being undertaken had the correct edge protection to prevent falls from height occurring.

It was also found both companies failed to clearly communicate and co-ordinate the work being undertaken on the site in a safe and appropriate manner.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2015, and has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,500.

The company has been fined £26,667 and ordered to pay costs of £22,500.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said: “This case highlights the importance of properly planning work at height, to avoid tragic incidents such as this.

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Worker suffers flash burns

Posted on 14 August 2017

A manufacturing firm has been sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered flash burns to her face, neck, chest and both arms.

Part of the manufacturing process involves dipping Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in Fluorocoat Thin Film Coating, which is a highly flammable substance, to provide humidity protection.

The Court heard that in April 2015 the injured worker was dipping baskets containing a variety of the PCBs which had batteries pre-installed prior to dipping. As the worker removed a basket out of the tank, she saw a “burning cloud” go through the tank and was unable to avoid being burnt after the Fluorocoat had been ignited.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that changes needed to be made in the planning of this activity. A number of modifications were made to the tank and process. This included not installing the battery into the PCB until after dipping, adding local exhaust ventilation to the tank and additional measures to control static. Employees also received additional training.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £140,000 with £3133.25 costs

After the hearing, HSE inspector commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Landlord sentenced after endangering tenants with unsafe gas work

Posted on 9 August 2017

The landlord of a property has been given a suspended sentence for risking the lives of his tenants by undertaking dangerous gas work.

The Crown Court heard that in September 2016 the landlord replaced a boiler at his rented property despite have no training in gas work and not being registered with Gas Safe Register. The boiler developed faults and a month later he called in a gas engineer for help.

The engineer immediately recognised the boiler was risking the tenants’ lives and isolated it to make it safe. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was informed and launched an investigation.

The HSE had previously warned the landlord in July 2016 that only a member of Gas Safe Register should work on gas appliances.

The Landlord pleaded guilty to breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and fined £3,000. He was also ordered to pay costs of £12,184.14.

 

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Company fined £250,000 after crushing leaves worker with brain damage.

Posted on 8 August 2017

A passenger air transport firm has been fined after an employee suffered brain damage after being crushed by hangar doors.

The Crown Court heard how an employee of the company was injured while she was opening the doors of a Hangar to move an aircraft inside. On moving one of the doors the employee became trapped causing crushing injuries resulting in severe brain damage.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 28 April 2015 found that the company failed to conduct an adequate planning or provide adequate training and written instructions.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It has been fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £19,483.50.

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Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “The injured person’s family have been left devastated after this incident. Her husband gave up work to care for her daily and has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Employers must provide suitable systems of work, training, information and supervision to ensure safety. If a safe system of work had been in place prior to this incident, it could have prevented the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee.”

 

If you have not got safe systems of work in place please feel free to get in contact with us where we can complete this work for you.

Company sentenced after worker loses hand

Posted on 3 August 2017

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A soft toy filling company was sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries.

The Court heard the worker lost his left hand as a consequence of being drawn into an unguarded carding machine on 8 March 2016. The injured worker was attempting to clear a blockage in a carding machine.

The carding machine had a flange attachment for connecting pipework to the machine at the discharge chute in order to supply loose fibre to a single toy filling machine. However, the flange and pipework were left off to allow the carding machine to discharge into a wooden enclosure to supply three toy filling machines with loose fibre. Consequently, a spiked roller located inside the discharge chute was unguarded and accessible during operation.

The worker affected had entered the wooden enclosure and was clearing loose fibre from the discharge chute to free a blockage in the machine. The spiked discharge roller was still rotating and grabbed his left hand, drawing him into the machine and severing most of his fingers. The worker was airlifted to hospital where surgeons amputated his hand from the wrist due to the seriousness of his injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm over the incident.

The Firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £35,000 with £2486 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspectorcommented: “This man’s life changing injuries could have been prevented if a suitable and sufficient planning had been completed and the correct control measures were identified and implemented.

“The consequences of leaving off the flange and discharge pipework were foreseeable and could have easily been prevented.”

Food manufacturer fined after worker left seriously injured

Posted on 1 August 2017

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A food manufacturing company has been fined after a worker fell six metres from the back of a fork lift truck.

The Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee  was instructed on 16 July 2013 to paint guttering and drainpipes on the outside of a factory. The employee was raised up by a forklift driver in an unsecured tote box to paint when he fell to the ground from a height of around six metres resulting in a dislocated arm, cracked pelvis, broken foot and shattered leg.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work was not properly planned nor was it adequately supervised. The injured worker had not received any training or advice on how to correctly carry out the task.

The Employer was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £19,032.63 in costs.

Speaking after the trial, the HSE inspector said: “This work activity should have been properly planned. The injured worker should have been given the correct equipment as well as instruction as to how to carry out the work. The company also failed to adequately supervise the activity which could have prevented the incident.”

£1m fine for Crossrail contractor following three incidents

Posted on 31 July 2017

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A joint venture comprising of three companies established to support the Crossrail tunnel construction has been fined a total of more than £1m following three separate incidents on the project, including the death of a worker.

the Crown Court heard the victim died after being crushed by falling wet concrete on 7 March 2014. Two other men were injured following separate incidents within six days of one another, on 16 and 22 January 2015. All three incidents took place in the tunnels around the Fisher Street area.

The First Victim was working on a team enlarging the tunnel by removing rings of the existing pilot tunnel and spraying walls with liquid concrete.During this operation, a section of the roof collapsed, fatally crushing him.

On 16 January 2015 the second victim was collecting some equipment from inside one of the tunnels when he was struck by a reversing excavator. He suffered severe fractures to his right leg and crush injuries to his left knee and shin.

Six days later a third worker, who was part of a team tasked with spraying liquid concrete lining, was assisting with the cleaning of the pipes that supply the concrete. Due to a lack of communication one of the lines was disconnected and he was hit by pressurised water and concrete debris. He suffered head and hip injuries as well as a broken finger and was hospitalised for six days.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found a failure to provide a safe system of work relating to the operations the first two were working on. It was also found there was a failure to properly maintain the excavator which reversed into Ian Hughes.

On all three occasions, the investigation found a failure to properly enforce exclusion zones that would have helped protect workers from foreseeable harm.

In relation to the death of the first victim, the company has admitted to breaching Regulation 10(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It has today been fined £300,000 in relation to this offence.

A second company has pleaded guilty to two separate breaches of Section 22 (1a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, relating to the two incidents in January 2015. The joint venture has been fined a £600,000 for the incident involving the second victim on 16 January, and £165,000 for the incident relating to the final victim on 22 January.

The total fine is therefore £1,065,000. The defendant was also ordered to pay costs of £42,337.28.

HSE Head of Operations said: “The omission to implement exclusion zones in a high hazard environment was a consistent failure in this case. Had simple measures such as these been taken, all three incidents could have been prevented, and the first victim may not have died.

“We believe every person should be healthy and safe at work. Here, all three workers were taking part in one of the most important and challenging infrastructure projects of the decade. It was this joint venture’s duty to protect its dedicated and highly-skilled workforce. On these three occasions, the employer failed in its duty, with tragic consequences for the victim and his family.”

Company fined after worker loses fingers in crush injury

Posted on 28 July 2017

A company has been sentenced after a worker lost his middle two fingers while trying to repair its main entrance gate.

THe Court heard that a guide roller on the underside of the gate had collapsed and two employees were tasked by their line manager to make the repair.

The two workers attached a four leg lifting chain to a fork lift truck to lift the gate, which weighed in excess of 400kg. However, the chains were too long so were adjusted using a shortening hook. One of the men used the forklift to lift the gate approximately 18 inches above the ground so that his colleague could access the guide roller on the underside. As he reached under to do so the chains slipped and the gate fell onto his hand.

The man lost the ring finger and his middle finger up to the first knuckle on his right hand.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £8000 with £2080.40 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector commented: “This injury was easily prevented and the risks should have been identified.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in those safe methods along with effective supervision and monitoring.”

Worker dies as a result of a wall collapse

Posted on 26 July 2017

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A Company has been fined after a wall collapse which led to the death of 43-year old employee.

The Court heard how the employee had been working on a toilet refurbishment project, when he attempted to walk out of a shallow trench he was struck and crushed by a collapsing wall weighing approximately 2.2 tonnes.

He died as result of crush injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the circumstances of this tragic incident found the company failed to take the appropriate measures to prevent structures from collapsing; it was found the wall in question was left unsupported at the time of the incident and put employees at risk of harm.

The organisation has today pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5928.28. A victim surcharge of £120 was also ordered.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “The company failed to identify the risks associated with free standing walls and as a result this ultimately cost of life.

“This tragic case should act as a reminder to all duty holders that appropriate safety measures need to be taken to protect employees at all times.”

In support of National Farm Safety Week

Posted on 24 July 2017

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is encouraging everyone involved in agriculture to join the #HelpGBWorkWell conversation to talk about how they can prevent ill health, injury and death in the workplace.

National Farm Safety Week takes place next week, 24 – 28 July. Organised by the Farm Safety Foundation, the week sets out to reduce the number of deaths and injuries and offers support and guidance for those working in the industry.
The week comes just after the release of HSEs annual fatality statistics and couldn’t be more timely as figures for the agriculture sector highlight just how poor farming’s record is. Next week provides an opportunity to really focus the conversation around #Farmsafetyweek.

HSE Chair said:

“Everyone involved in improving workplace health and safety has a role to play in helping Great Britain work well.
I personally have some experience of the challenges and risks farmers face on a day to day basis having grown up on a farm. Farming has changed and with new and different working practises and a transient workforce, all farmers need to constantly revisit and re-consider the risks faced by the people working on their farm.”

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing remains the riskiest industry sector in the UK with 27 workers being killed on farms last year and three members of the public, making a total of 30 people according to HSEs recently released fatality figures for the  Sector.

HSE Chair added:

“National Farm Safety Week provides an ideal opportunity for everyone working in the agricultural industry to raise their voice, and have the conversation around how managing risk well in the workplace is good for farming and all those working in agriculture.”
HSE has a range of resources and guides available to improve health and safety on farms. They cover a range of topics including farm vehicles, working at height, manual handling and electricity and can be accessed on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture. Join the help Great Britain work well conversation, it’s for good for business and good for workers, #HelpGBWorkWell.

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National Farm Safety Week

Posted on 21 July 2017

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is encouraging everyone involved in agriculture to join the #HelpGBWorkWell conversation to talk about how they can prevent ill health, injury and death in the workplace.

National Farm Safety Week takes place next week, 24 – 28 July. Organised by the Farm Safety Foundation, the week sets out to reduce the number of deaths and injuries and offers support and guidance for those working in the industry.
The week comes just after the release of HSEs annual fatality statistics and couldn’t be more timely as figures for the agriculture sector highlight just how poor farming’s record is. Next week provides an opportunity to really focus the conversation around #Farmsafetyweek.

HSE Chair said:

“Everyone involved in improving workplace health and safety has a role to play in helping Great Britain work well.
I personally have some experience of the challenges and risks farmers face on a day to day basis having grown up on a farm. Farming has changed and with new and different working practises and a transient workforce, all farmers need to constantly revisit and re-consider the risks faced by the people working on their farm.”

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing remains the riskiest industry sector in the UK with 27 workers being killed on farms last year and three members of the public, making a total of 30 people according to HSEs recently released fatality figures for the sector.

HSE Chair added:

“National Farm Safety Week provides an ideal opportunity for everyone working in the agricultural industry to raise their voice, and have the conversation around how managing risk well in the workplace is good for farming and all those working in agriculture.”
HSE has a range of resources and guides available to improve health and safety on farms. They cover a range of topics including farm vehicles, working at height, manual handling and electricity and can be accessed on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture.

Join the help Great Britain work well conversation, it’s for good for business and good for workers, #HelpGBWorkWell.

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NHS trust fined £1m following 53-year-old man’s death

Posted on 20 July 2017

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A Trust has been fined following the death of 53-year-old Patient.

The Court heard that the patient, died on 10 April 2012 from internal injuries after falling onto an exposed metal post on the standing aid hoist that staff were using to support him.

The kneepad on the standing aid hoist had been incorrectly removed leaving the exposed metal post that caused the fatal injuries when he collapsed after standing up.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the Trust did not have systems for training and monitoring how staff used the standing aid hoist and unsafe practices had developed.

The Trust was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £1 million and ordered to repay £160,000 in costs.

The trust has also been ordered to pay £3800 to the Patients family to cover the costs of the funeral.

In his statement the patients brother said: “He didn’t deserve to die the way that he did. One day I had a brother and the next I didn’t. “

The HSE said: “First of all, our thoughts remain with his family. This was a tragic and preventable death.

“If staff had received effective training and monitoring in the use of the standing aid hoist his death could have been avoided.”

Guidance on how to safely handle patients can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/healthservices/moving-handling-do.htm

Engineering firm fined after exposing workers to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

Posted on 18 July 2017

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An engineering firm has been fined for failing to control the risk to employees using hand held power tools from Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

The Court heard how the company failed to ensure the risks to its employees from exposure was adequately controlled. The company also failed to ensure its employees were given sufficient information, instruction and training on the effects of working with vibrating hand tools.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that sometime towards the end of 2015, a welder who had been working at the company for a number of years had been given a job that involved a significant amount of grinding and polishing.

After a number of hours on the task, the worker began to experience numbness and tingling. He asked to swap with another worker but was told to carry on. Whilst his symptoms continued he was told by his supervisor to carry on using vibrating tools.

A few weeks later, a 20 year old apprentice welder also began to suffer from vibration-related symptoms from using similar tools.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(1) and 8(1) of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay £7,241 costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “This is a case of the company failing to protect workers using vibrating tools. Exposure to hand arm vibration is a well-known risk which the company failed to adequately control.

“The company also failed to ensure workers were looked after when symptoms did arise leading to further exposure. This was wholly inadequate, and led to two employees suffering significant health effects.”

Agency worker injures hand on lathe – firm sentenced

Posted on 17 July 2017

An engineering firm was sentenced today for safety breaches after a worker suffered injuries to his hand.

The Magistrates’ Court heard that the injured person, had only been working for four days at the time.

He was polishing a metal shaft on a lathe using emery cloth while wearing gloves. The glove appeared to snag and dragged his hand towards the rotating shaft. As a result of the incident he had stitches in his hand and dislocated his scaphoid bone.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that no suitable and sufficient assessments had been carried out to determine control measures for polishing. There were no clear guidelines for employees and others, such as agency workers, on safe ways to polish.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations 1999. The company was fined £5000 with £2763.40 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector commented: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”

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Company fined after worker was injured by a Fork Lift Truck.

Posted on 14 July 2017

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A manufacturing company has been fined after an employee was struck by a fork lift truck.

The Court heard that that an employee was struck by a reversing clamp truck which resulted in him fracturing his pelvis at the company’s site.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to consider the risk created by vehicles and pedestrians operating in the same area.

The investigation also found the company failed to implement a traffic management plan to ensure workers and vehicles were adequately segregated. There was also a failure to install physical barriers to clearly segregate pedestrians and vehicles.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £4,337.84 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Construction company fined after worker fell through fragile roof.

Posted on 12 July 2017

A Construction company has today been fined after an employee fell more than five metres through a fragile roof onto the ground.
The Magistrates Court heard that on 23 June 2016, 26-year old man was repairing a roof at a farm, when he fell through the fragile roof onto concrete flooring. The Employee suffered a broken pelvis and wrist as a result of the fall.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to plan the work to ensure that it was carried out in a safe manner. No safety netting had been installed to mitigate the consequences of a fall through the roof and no handrail was provided around the roof edge to prevent falls from the roof.
The Construction company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and has been fined £6700 and ordered to pay costs of £1016.60.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “the empoyee is very lucky he did not sustain more life threatening injuries as a result of this incident.
“The company failed in its duty to protect employees working at height by not appropriately planning the work. Suitable planning would have identified the measures required to minimise the risks of a fall from height.”

MBO Safety Services Limited can help with your Working at Height Training, please folow the link http://mbosafetyservices.co.uk/training/working-at-heights-including-ladder-safety/

Haulage firm fined after worker crushed

Posted on 12 July 2017

A haulage firm has been fined after a load from the top of a double-decked trailer fell onto a worker.

The Court heard that a company employee was injured at thier site, when a piece of metal ducting, six metres long and weighing 28kg, fell from the top deck of the trailer, hitting him on his head. The blow caused serious, life changing injuries, including a fractured skull.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident in 2015, found that this site had not implemented systems and procedures for unloading of trailers at depots, produced by the Company. It was also found employees were not properly informed about pedestrian and vehicle segregation rules, and little was done about the work not being followed.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and have been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £53,401.

Speaking after the case HSE Inspector said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing suitable control measures and safe working practices. The company itself had identified and easily implemented the necessary measures after this tragic event.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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Two contractors fined after worker fell from height.

Posted on 11 July 2017

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Two construction contractors, have today been fined after an employee fell more than three metres when a scaffold board that he was standing on broke.

The Crown Court heard that the company had been appointed the principal contractor for the construction of a shopping centre and residential units. On the 19 February 2015 the 64-year old employee of formwork contractor was working to install a primary beam in the basement when he fell from the top work platform.

The worker suffered fractures to both of his feet and deep cuts to his head and arms as a result of this fall from height.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that workers were allowed to work off scaffold boards which were in a poor condition. It was also found that the companies involved tolerated particularly poor practices in relation to work at height while erecting the formwork.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and has been fined £34,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,577.

The Company was found guilty of breaching Regulation 13 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 at an earlier date.

The company has since entered liquidation and has been fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,119.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “The worker is lucky to have not sustained more serious injuries as a result of this fall from height.

It is entirely foreseeable that accidents will occur where work at height is being carried out without suitable work platforms and other measures to prevent workers from falling. HSE will take action to ensure that duty holders are held to account for any failings.”

Company fined after worker suffers crush injuries

Posted on 10 July 2017

A company has been fined after a worker was crushed under machinery.

The Crown Court heard how the 57-year old employee was cleaning the dispersion mixing machine at the company’s premises in 2014. The worker sat on one of the clamping arms when it suddenly toppled over and pinned the worker’s leg underneath the machine.

The employee suffered a fractured ankle and serious crush injuries to his foot.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to properly secure the machinery on site to the ground, increasing the risk of the machinery toppling over and injuring employees.

The Company has today pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 20 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company has been fined £3000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,444.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “This case highlights the need for all duty holders to ensure all machinery in their workplaces are properly fixed and maintained to the required safety standard.

“If the company had been more thorough in ensuring that the installation of the machinery was completed properly then this accident wouldn’t have happened.”

Are your employees PUWER trained: http://mbosafetyservices.co.uk/training/puwer/

HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures

Posted on 6 July 2017

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today released its annual figures for work-related fatalities, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2015.

The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that 137 workers were fatally injured between April 2016 and March 2017 (a rate of 0.43 per 100,000 workers), the second lowest year on record.

There has been a long-term downward trend in the number of fatal injuries to workers – they have halved over the last 20 years – although in recent years the trend shows signs of leveling.

HSE Chair said:

“Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen. While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”

The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 30 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded. While this accounts for the largest share, this is the lowest number on record for the sector. However, over the last five years the number has fluctuated, The annual average for the past five years is 39. The annual average rate over the last five years in construction is around four times as high as the all industry rate.
  • 27 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded. This sector continues to account for a large share of the annual fatality count. It has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate.
  • 14 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded. Despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the annual average fatal injury rate over the last five years is around 15 times as high as the all industry rate.

The fatalities in the waste and recycling sector in 2016/17 include the single incident at Recycling Site on 7 July 2016 which resulted in five deaths.

HSE Chairman continued:

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of this incident, our thoughts remain with the families of those who died. We continue to fully support the ongoing investigation.”

The new figures also highlight the risks to older workers – around a quarter of fatal injuries in 2016/17 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10% of the workforce.

There were also 92 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2016/17. Almost half of these occurred on railways with the remainder occurring across a number of sectors including public services, entertainment and recreation.

Mesothelioma, one of the few work related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos killed 2,542 in Great Britain in 2015 compared to 2,519 in 2014. The current figures relating to asbestos-related cancer reflect widespread exposures before 1980. Annual deaths are therefore expected to start to reduce after this current decade.

A fuller assessment of work related ill-health and injuries, drawing on HSE’s full range of data sources, will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release on 1 November 2017.

The HSE Chair added:

“We deal daily with the causes and consequences of work-related deaths, injuries and ill health. Today’s updated figures continue to inform our understanding of which areas we need to target.”

“We concentrate our interventions where we know we can have the biggest impact. We hold dutyholders accountable for managing the risks they create in the workplace. This benefits workers, business performance, the economy and wider society alike.”

 

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Paint manufacturing company fined for health and safety failings.

Posted on 4 July 2017

A paint manufacturing company has been fined for health and safety failings after a worker suffered burns while trying to clean the floor of a spray booth.
The Crown Court heard how an employee was using a highly flammable solvent to clean the floor of a spray booth on site, a job he had done several times since the spray booth was installed.
After complaints about how difficult it was to remove the dried paint he was allowed to purchase an industrial floor scrubber to carry out the task. On 18 November 2014 the electric motor on the floor scrubber ignited a cloud of flammable vapour that had built up in the spray booth.
The employee was seriously injured, receiving 26% burns, and was treated at a specialist burns unit.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the planning for cleaning floors using solvent failed to recognise the hazards and level of risk associated with the use of highly flammable solvents to clean floors. The employee who was injured had not been trained to clean floors and was not adequately supervised when carrying out the cleaning activity.

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The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £39,669.40.
Speaking after the case HSE inspector David Myrtle said: “This is a company that handles large quantities of flammable solvent, the hazards are well known and the company has a duty to control the risks arising from the hazards.
“It was custom and practice to clean floors using highly flammable solvents applied using a mop and bucket. In this instance the company failed to adequately control the risks and an employee was seriously injured.”

Million pound fine for steel company after worker severely burnt following explosion

Posted on 30 June 2017

Million pound fine for steel company after worker severely burnt following explosion

A 57-year-old man’s employer has been fined £1m after an oxygen pipe exploded in front of him.

The worker suffered life changing injuries after the explosion on 9 August 2013.

The Court heard that work was carried out by an in-house contractor to fit a valve to an oxygen pipe that carried pure oxygen. The worker was carrying out checks when he heard hissing from the valve. While investigating the noise, the pipe and valve erupted in flames.

The injured person suffered severe third degree burns as a result of this incident. He was initially not expected to survive, having been kept in a coma for several weeks and undergoing several skin grafts.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the oxygen pipe had been fitted with contaminated second-hand flanges and butterfly valve, containing materials unsuitable for use with oxygen. It was foreseeable that work would at some point be undertaken on the oxygen pipelines that ran across the entire site, yet no action had been taken to take control of this line or to implement training or levels of responsibility for management of such work.

THe Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1,000,000 with £58,000.45 costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “This incident could have been avoided if simple checks had been carried out.

“Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the require standard.”

Read more here

Roofing company fined after worker fell through a roof

Posted on 27 June 2017

A London based roofing company has been fined after a 56-year old worker fell through two storeys onto a concrete floor.

The Court heard how the 56-year old, while working for the roofing company, had been completing roof work at a site in London, when he fell from an unguarded rear roof and suffered multiple injuries including internal bleeding on the brain and a broken left leg.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the roofing company failed to implement the required safety measures to ensure the roof work was conducted in a safe manner. It was found the roof in question had no edge protection or guardrails in place to prevent falls from height.

The roofing company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The company has today been fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,580.85.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector said: “The Worker suffered life changing injuries as a result of the company’s safety failings.

“Duty holders must ensure all work at height is properly planned and all necessary equipment is put in place to ensure workers safety.”

Find out more about Work at heights Training here 

NHS Foundation Trust fined over patient death

Posted on 26 June 2017

An NHS Foundation Trust has been fined for health and safety failings after a patient fell to his death.
A patient had been detained as an in-patient at a Hospital when the incident occurred on 9 May 2014.

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The Court heard how the patient was in the courtyard with his mother while being observed by a nurse from inside the ward when he started to climb up onto the conservatory roof.

The nurse immediately ran into the courtyard but was unable to prevent him climbing over the roof. He then climbed up a 130-foot industrial chimney and after attempts to talk him down failed, he fell and sustained fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a series of failures to ensure the risk associated with absconding was properly managed. There was insufficient communication between employees and inadequate systems to ensure the risk identified were addressed and remedied.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE Inspector said: “The Trust failed to make appropriate changes following previous incidents. Had the Trust carried out a suitable assessment and made the appropriate changes they would not have allowed a vulnerable person the opportunity to end his life.”

The NHS Foundation Trust, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,769.00.

Company fined after the death of worker

Posted on 20 June 2017

A North East based contractor has been fined due to failings in their work at height rescue planning.

The Court heard how in October 2013 a worker was helping to dismantle temporary roofing at a Naval Base using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP). His colleagues found him trapped between a roof beam and the controls of the MEWP. There was a delay in him being lowered to ground. He later died of a pre-existing heart condition.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the contractor had not properly planned the work on a MEWP in restricted overhead areas. It was also found that its other employees had not received suitable training in the emergency lowering procedure of the elevated platforms and no practice drills had been carried out.

The contractor has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has today been fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,388.36.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector commented: “This case highlights the need for duty holders to properly plan all work at height beforehand, including emergency planning and rescue situations.”

Company fined after failing to comply with enforcement action

Posted on 19 June 2017

A company has been fined after failing to comply with enforcement safety notices.

In March 2015, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector visited the construction site in Devon and observed serious health and safety failings.

The Court heard how the HSE visited the site after being alerted of unsafe construction work taking place by the Local Authority, and noticed residents were being put at risk as some homes were at risk to falls taking place, with nearby walls creating drops of two to four and a half metres, with nothing in place to prevent falls from happening.

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An investigation by the HSE and Torbay Council found multiple safety failings. There was overall a failure to take reasonable steps to manage the construction work without risk to the health and safety of both workers and residents.

The company failed to comply with improvement notices served by both the HSE and Torbay Council, relating to site security including the fencing, perimeter and signs that identify the construction site.

The compay has pleaded guilty to a total of eight charges laid by both HSE and Torbay Council for a failure to comply with the enforcement notices and for breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

The company also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

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The company has been fined a total of £90,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said: “This company has a history of failing to comply with Health and Safety enforcement notices, in this case putting residents, some vulnerable, at risk of an accident, which was not acceptable.This case highlights the importance of properly managing construction work from the outset and demonstrates what can happen if companies fail to take action when issued with enforcement notices.”

Company and contractor fined after member struck by fencing wire

Posted on 16 June 2017

A civil engineering company and a contractor working on behalf of a tree surgery company have been sentenced after a member of the public was injured by fencing wire.

The Court heard how a member of the public was in her garden, when she was sprayed with pieces of fencing wire that had become entangled in a mechanical flail. As the head of the flail was lifted, ejected pieces were directed towards her garden. She was struck twice, once in the leg and once in the neck. She needed surgery to remove the piece of metal from her neck.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred in May 2015, found the contractor who had engaged the sub-contractor to carry out the flailing, had failed to properly plan this work to ensure the suitable controls had been identified and implemented.

They both failed to check the area for obstructions or follow safe procedures should such an event occur.

The civil engineering Commpany pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £22,000.

The Contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and has been sentenced to 120 hours community order and ordered to pay costs of £3600.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector commented: “Members of the public have a right to expect to be able to enjoy their garden without any risk of being hit by flying debris from neighbouring work activity.”

Company fined after uncontrolled fire

Posted on 15 June 2017

A company has been fined after an uncontrolled fire at the company’s premises in Middlesbrough.

The Court heard the large fire occurred at the premises in the early hours of May 2014. The fire involved large quantities of dangerous substances including Vitride, which led to this fire being declared a major incident. The Vitride was in drums and each one burst open causing a large fireball.

No one was injured as a result of this fire, but police declared a major emergency and the road was closed for several hours.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA) and Cleveland Fire Brigade (CFB) found that Vertellus failed to adequately maintain its equipment; and failed to ensure the equipment was suitable to control temperature or prevent ignition to an uncontrolled release.

The company has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999.

The company has today been fined £135,000 and ordered to pay costs of £37,632.72.

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Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said: “Luckily no one was injured as a result of this uncontrolled fire.

“Duty holders, particularly those who could be subject to a major incident, need to carry out robust planning to prevent and control major accidents. All engineering disciplines should be used, using outside assistance if needed. Here, there was a failure to recognise how a leak could develop into a larger problem.”

Roofing company fined after safety failings

Posted on 14 June 2017

A roofing company has been sentenced for safety failings related to working at height.

The court heard how numerous concerns were raised by members of the public about work being carried out by a roofing company. The company twice ignored written advice to address the issue of working at height in an unsafe manner.

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In August 2016, a further concern was raised by a member of the public who contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after seeing more evidence of operatives hired by the roofing company working unsafely from height. Inspectors then visited the site.

The HSE investigation found one of the operatives to be working on the flashings of a chimney from a ladder resting on the pitch of the roof at the unguarded gable end of the two storey house. There was nothing at the gable end of the roof to prevent a person falling. There were no suitable measures in place to prevent a person falling from the gable end, a fall which could have caused personal injury. A prohibition was served but the company took no action to rectify the dangerous working conditions.

The company was found guilty in its absence to breaching Regulations 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by virtue of Regulation 3(b). The company was today fined a total of £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,574.

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Speaking after the hearing, an HSE inspector said: “The dangers associated with working at height are well-known and the company had a duty to protect all operatives from the risk of falling from height. Despite repeated advice, the company failed to put in adequate precautionary measures.

“It is vital for duty-holders to ensure that all issues related to health and safety are suitably addressed, particularly when the issues are highlighted.”

Caring Home Company fined after death of elderly resident

Posted on 13 June 2017

A care home company has been fined almost half a million pounds after an elderly resident fell from her first floor window and died.

The Court heard how the elderly resident was staying at the a Nursing home in Surrey, owned and managed by a Care Home company. In the early hours of October 2013, the woman fell about four metres through her window.

She was reported missing at 1am and found two hours later. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the window restrictor in place, which normally prevents the window from opening fully, was easily overridden and therefore not fit for purpose.

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The Care Home company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was today fined £450,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,762.44.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE Inspector said: “It was clear from our investigation that the window restrictor was simply not doing the job of preventing the window from opening. It is alarming, and tragic, that an elderly resident with dementia was able to defeat it.

The Care Home company therefore failed to ensure the woman’s safety, which is particularly important given its unique position of trust. All windows that are large enough for people through should be restrained sufficiently to prevent such falls. The 100mm benchmark should only be allowed to disengage using a special tool or key.”

Engineering company fined after worker suffers hand injury

Posted on 12 June 2017

An engineering company has been fined after a worker suffered a serious hand injury after a machinery incident.

The Court heard how in December 2015, the worker was working at the site in Hertfordshire using a manually operated metalworking lathe, when his hand became entangled with the rotating workpiece.

This incident resulted in the worker later requiring surgical amputation to part of his left index finger.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the machine operators were using an unsafe system of work. The company failed to identify workers were routinely using this dangerous work practice. The investigation also found the lathe the worker used had a faulty emergency footbrake, which had been reported to the company at an early date, but had not been taken out of service.

The company has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £834.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector commented: “The company failed to identify that employees were routinely carrying out an unsafe work practice when hand applying emery cloth to a workpiece rotating at speed. The company also failed to take the faulty lathe out of service, resulting in the worker not being able to stop the lathe immediately. All companies have a duty to ensure employees carry out work in a safe way and the machinery they are using is in good working order.”

Company fined after worker fell through fragile skylight

Posted on 9 June 2017

A groundwork company has today been fined after a worker fell more than seven metres through a fragile roof.

The Court today heard the worker had been sub-contracted by the groundworks company to carry out roof repairs on a barn in Stranraer.

In May 2016 the worker arrived at the farm to work on the roof. As he walked along the roof he stepped on a translucent light panel which broke under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof to the ground below.

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The worker suffered a compression fracture of the lower back as a result of this incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the groundworks company failed to adequately supervise this work at height and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height.

It was also found that the groundworks company failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.

The company has today been fined £12000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015.

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Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Helen Diamond said: “The Company’s failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height.  Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.”

“Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”

Do you know the Work at Height Regulations 2015? Have you or you staffs been trained in Safe Working at Heights? Click here for more information.

Company and contractor sentenced for uncontrolled collapse of building on High Street

Posted on 8 June 2017

The owner of a building in Kent and the contractor employed to demolish it have been fined for safety failings after an uncontrolled collapse onto the High Street.

The Court heard that the building at the High Street was owned by a company and that the company employed a contractor to undertake the demolition work.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the collapse, which occurred in November 2013, found that the contractor had failed to properly plan the work and then carried out unsafe demolition work.

The company did not make any enquiries into the suitability or competence of the contractor to undertake the demolition.

Neither the company nor the contractor applied for a road closure and members of the public were put at risk.

The Company, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9128.89.

The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 25(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and has been sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years.

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An HSE inspector said after the hearing: “Lives were put at risk when this structure uncontrollably collapsed. Clients have a responsibility to appoint competent contractors to undertake hazardous work such as demolition.Those in control of demolition have a responsibility to plan demolition work and to devise a safe way of working that protects both the workers and members of the public.The job could have been safely carried out by simply undertaking the demolition behind a substantial hoarding.”

Are you a CDM Duty Holder? Do you know your CDM Requirements? Click here for more information.

Construction company fined after member of public drowned

Posted on 5 June 2017

A Glasgow based construction company has today been fined after the death of an elderly man.

The Court heard that in early January 2015 an elderly gentlemen who suffered from a number of age-related illnesses, walked onto the construction site which was closed for the holidays.

While on the site operated by the company, he fell into a flooded excavation and died from drowning.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to install the appropriate level of fencing around the site to prevent members of the public including vulnerable adults and children from accessing the construction site.

The company has pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1) (l) of the Construction (Design and management) Regulations 2007, and the company has been fined £110,000.

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Speaking after the hearing an HSE Inspector said: “This tragic incident could have been prevented, had the company installed a continuous fence around the site.”

Engineering company fined after worker crushed

Posted on 1 June 2017

A company has been fined after a worker suffered life changing injuries as a result of a crush incident.

The Court heard how in March 2016 the worker was operating a foot pedal saw when he came into contact with the rotating blade.

The worker severed his hand and wrist, which required surgical intervention to reattach.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found PESL failed to install the machine correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, meaning that it could be operated from a position that took the operator very close to the saw’s moving blade.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 17 (2) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998, has been fined £24,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2087.16.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE Principal Inspector noted: “The company failed to ensure the machinery was set up in a safe manner and as a result the worker suffered life changing injuries.
“To prevent future, similar accidents it is essential that duty holders install and set up machines correctly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.”

Wigan building contractor sentenced after safety failings

Posted on 31 May 2017

A Wigan based building firm has been fined after serious safety failings.

A preventative inspection, part of a Construction Inspection Initiative, was carried out at the company’s site by an Inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in February 2016.

The company was responsible for managing work at a house renovation in Wilmslow.

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During the inspection of the site it was found that standards of safety, relating in particular to work at height, slips and trips and tidiness, were extremely poor. Edge protection was found to be missing or removed, rendering workers vulnerable to falls from height. Debris was not removed from the site but tipped at the rear, burying the footings of scaffolding and making access unsafe.

Manchester Magistrates Court heard the supervision by management at the site was inadequate, resulting in a failure by all workers to deal with the risks present. During the inspection, a Prohibition Notice (PN) was served immediately halting all work on site except to make good the defects relating to falls from height, and an Improvement Notice was served to clear excessive waste.

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The company pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 18(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4095.60.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE Inspector commented: “Numerous failings were found on this site, including serious risks of falls from height and site tidiness that could have resulted in major injuries or even death.
“The company showed scant regard for the safety of the workers they were responsible for and it was fortunate that nobody was seriously injured or killed.”

Council fined after apprentice’s fingers crushed

Posted on 30 May 2017

A City Council has been fined after an apprentice suffered serious hand injuries.

The Court heard how a 22-year-old worker was on site at a Primary School in August 2014, when the lawnmower he was using became blocked. The court heard how the worker was trying to unblock the machinery when his hand came into contact with the rotating blade. His right index finger was severed and he also suffered serious cuts and ligament damage to other fingers on his right hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the council had removed some of the manufacturer’s safety measures of the machinery, and replaced it with its own design which was not to the required safety standard.

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The council failed to suitably control the risks posed by the physical equipment in use and also didn’t fully consider training needs of the employees to operate the machinery in a safe and appropriate manner. Failures were also identified in the levels of supervision provided for the lawn mowing activity by apprentices.

The Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(2)(a) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974, Section 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment 1998 and Sections 3(1) and 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.


The body has been fined £33,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector said: “The Council’s failings in this case have led to the worker suffering life changing injuries. The Council had for many years been removing a part of the lawnmower fitted by the manufacturer which prevented operators from gaining access to the blade.   This meant that those operating the lawnmower were exposed to risk”
“This was a preventable incident which would have been avoided if suitable control measures, levels of training, supervision and monitoring were applied.

North West company fined after worker was injured by a fork lift truck

Posted on 25 May 2017

A North West manufacturing company has been fined after an employee was struck by a fork lift truck in Chester.

The Court heard that the company had failed to take effective measures to ensure its workers were correctly segregated from fork lift trucks.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was launched after an employee collided with a fork lift truck which resulted in him breaking his arm.

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The inquiry, following the incident on 14 December 2015, also found that the clarity of segregation was well below the standards expected.

The company had a poor system of work which was not enforced for the workers who were most exposed to the risk.

The court was told that the company had been served with an Improvement Notice (IN) in 2007 for poor segregation in the yard and warehouse areas. There had also been another incident involving an FLT in 2008 when an employee was injured.

The Company pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 17 of The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations and was fined £500,000 with £7,290 costs.

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An HSE inspector said “Poor segregation leads to accidents. There was a failure to properly plan work and this accident highlights the risks that are involved. Incidents relating to work place transport can be avoided if effective measures are taken.”

Company and director fined after worker fell from height

Posted on 19 May 2017

A company and its director have been fined after a worker fell from height at a farm in Cornwall.

Taunton Magistrates Court heard how the worker had been fitting solar panels on a fragile roof at the farm in May 2015. He fell more than three metres through a fragile skylight and broke his back in three places.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to take adequate precautions to prevent workers falling from height. There was no edge protection, under-roof netting or boarding provided on site. The company instead relied on an ineffective use of harnesses.

Unsafe working had been taking place for months before the accident and then continued for months afterwards.

The investigation also found that the above failure was attributable to the neglect of the director.

The company has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £115,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2879.60.

The director of the company was found guilty of breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at work Act 1974 and has been fined £5000 and ordered to pay costs of £1957.40.

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Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said: “The worker is lucky to have not sustained more life threatening injuries from what we found to be a serious breach of the law. This case highlights the importance of directors being vigilant and acting on their obligations.”

Companies fined after worker killed by reversing vehicle

Posted on 18 May 2017

A construction company and its groundwork contractor have been fined after a worker was killed by a reversing vehicle.

The Court heard how an employee of the construction company was working for the groundwork contractor at a construction site in Devon when he was crushed by a reversing telescopic material handler.

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The employee was crushed by the vehicle after it reversed while he was walking alongside it and was later pronounced dead after suffering multiple injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident in June 2013 found that he principal contractor for this site, failed to ensure this area of the construction site was organised to enable pedestrians and vehicles to move safely.

The construction company had not fully considered the risks to their employees at this part of the site.

The principal contractor was found guilty to breaching Regulation 36(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000 and the construction company was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

An HSE inspector commented: “There were no control measures in place to segregate vehicles and pedestrians in the area where the incident happened”

Read more about the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 here.

 

Company and general manager fined after safety failings

Posted on 17 May 2017
A company and its general manager have been fined for failing to maintain health and safety standards at work after multiple improvement notices were issued.
 
The Court heard how the company failed to maintain suitable standards of work after several inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The company had received six previous improvement notices and written advice.  It had initially complied with these notices but then failed to maintain standards.
 
A HSE inspection visit in March 2015 resulted in three Prohibition Notices and four Improvement Notices. The inspection found the company should have adopted standards identified in previous inspections and not allowed them to lapse.
 
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The Company was found guilty of breaching:
Regulation 7 (1) of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Regulation 5(1) of The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005,
Regulation 11(1) of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
Regulation 11(1) (B) of Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
 
The company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.
 
The Gneral Manager pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 with regard to the four above charges and  was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £700.
 
An HSE inspector has said: “This case highlights the importance of continuing to comply with health and safety law. The HSE will consider prosecuting both a company and individuals even if there are no reported cases of injury or ill-health.
 
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“Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure they have suitable competent advice to be able to fully understand the risks employees face, and implement adequate control measures so they can work safely. They also need to ensure they are able to identify early signs of deteriorating health which may be an indication of inadequate control measures. In this case the company and its General Manager failed to do so.”

Steel manufacturers fined after worker’s hand crushed

Posted on 12 May 2017

A steel manufacturing company has been fined after a worker suffered crush injuries to his hand.

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A worker was removing leftover steel from the a machine called the Koch Straightener, used for straightening steel wire, when he trapped his hand between the rotating rollers inside the machine.

The worker suffered serious crush injuries to his hand and lost the top of his right index finger as a result of this incident at the company’s site.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company failed to identify the risks associated with workers manually operating this machine, nor were steps taken to ensure the machine was correctly guarded.
It was found the company also failed to provide the required level of supervision to this activity and as a result led to the worker suffering these injuries.

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The company was found guilty of breaching Regulation 11 Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,200.63.

An HSE inspector commented: “This man suffered a life-changing injury. The company failed to protect the worker from harm by not properly considering the risks associated with manually operating dangerous machinery such as this.”

Click here to find out more about the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

Construction Company fined after worker trapped in trench

Posted on 11 May 2017

A construction company has been fined after a worker had to be dug out of a trench that collapsed onto him.

The Court heard how a 43-year-old employee of the company suffered a broken shoulder and collarbone as well as punctures to both of his lungs and fractures to all but two of his ribs.

Emergency services helped the rescue operation following the incident in September 2011 at a house renovation in Falkland.

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A trench was being dug with an excavator to help connect the drainage system of the old property with a new extension. When the workers came across a boulder preventing them from further digging, the excavator was used to try and move the rock. The injured man, who was in the trench laying the new piping, was trying to help guide the excavator. During this operation one of the trench walls, nine feet deep, subsided, burying the worker under the dislodged earth.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the trench had not been supported or ‘stepped back’, to control the risk of the trench collapsing. Inspectors also found that nobody had formal health and safety training for managing a construction site and that work involving the excavated trench had not been risk assessed. As a result, workers were given instructions through verbal briefings rather than detailed, mapped out planning.

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The Company pleaded guilty to breachingSections 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company was today fined £14,000.

Speaking after sentence, an HSE Inspector said: “The risks associated with collapsing excavation walls are well known, as are the necessary control measures which could easily have been employed. On this occasion, the company failed to identify the risk and consequently there was a total absence of any control measure which would have prevented this incident from occurring.  The injured worker sustained serious, permanent injury and is extremely lucky to still be alive.”

Construction company fined three quarters of a million pounds after asbestos failings

Posted on 8 May 2017

A Construction company has been fined after repeated asbestos failings.

The Court heard how the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out two investigations of working practices of the site in 2013 and 2014 while the company were converting into flats a former nine storey office building in Kent, which was known to contain asbestos.

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The first investigation arose from a routine inspection during one of HSE’s refurbishment campaigns. The Court was told that while a refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey had been carried out the company had failed to act upon it. This resulted in up to 40 workers being exposed to asbestos during the early demolition phase of the project.

The second investigation culminated in a visit to the site in June 2014 following complaints being made about the health and safety practices at the site. It was found that despite engaging a licensed asbestos contractor to remove the remaining asbestos materials, dangerous practices were continuing. In addition the company was unable to provide documentation to show that asbestos materials identified in the survey had been correctly removed. When the work on site was halted for the second time about 160 people were working inside the building.

It was found in both HSE investigations that these incidents could have been prevented if the company had ensured they had effective management controls in place to avoid the risk of exposure to asbestos.

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The Construction Company who had pleaded guilty to two offences of breaching Regulation 22 (1) (a) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 at an earlier hearing, has been fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,874.68.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: “The company’s failings in this case has put many workers at risk to the exposure of asbestos.
“It was clear there was an endemic failure to effectively manage the construction work on the site in a way which ensured that asbestos materials were not disturbed until removed under appropriate conditions. Failing to prevent the breathing in of asbestos fibres on the site is reckless.”

 

DO YOU REQUIRE ASBESTOS AWARENESS TRAINING? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION

Solar panel firm fined after worker fell through roof void

Posted on 5 May 2017

A Bristol based solar panel installation company has been fined after a 49-year-old worker fell more than 3.5 metres through a void in a roof.

The fall inflicted serious injuries on the man, including bleeding on the brain, a fractured spleen and fractured ribs.

The Court heard how the worker was one of several contracted by the company at the time, to undertake roof works ata school in Bristol in June 2015.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to ensure physical guarding was in place to prevent the worker and his colleagues from falling through voids in the roof. The inquiry also found the company failed to appropriately supervise the work.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,073.14.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector commented: “The company failed to properly organise the work and make sure the workers knew what safety measures were needed, as well providing appropriate supervision to ensure work was not undertaken without the measures being put in place.
“As a result, serious harm was caused to one worker and others were put at serious risk.”

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Do you require Working at Height Training? Click here for more information.

Worker jailed for unsafe gas work

Posted on 4 May 2017

A worker has been sentenced to serve 16 months in prison for carrying out unsafe gas work.

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Cambridge Crown Court heard how the plumber carried out gas work at four properties in the Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire areas. Concerns were raised in 2014 and the homeowners of each property separately made complaints to Gas Safe Register.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards (CCCTS) found the plumber had carried out the gas work at the properties when he was unregistered. The work he conducted at several properties was deemed unsafe, putting homeowners and residents at risk of harm.

He pleaded guilty to 14 breaches under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Fraud Act 2006, and today he was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.

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Speaking after the case an HSE inspector  said: “He put the homeowners and residents at risk of harm, when he conducted gas work while unregistered. Both CCCTS and HSE worked closely and collaboratively in the investigative stages of this case and throughout to get this result.”

Food manufacturer fined after workers death

Posted on 3 May 2017

A North West food firm has been fined after a worker died when plastic bales fell on top of him.

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In February 2015, a gentleman was cleaning a storage yard when a number of plastic bales weighing 703kg fell towards him.

 The Court heard how the company had failed to consider and properly plan the stacking and storage of the bales.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was unsafe stacking of bales of plastic. The company had failed to implement properly planned safe systems of work for their employees who were exposed during the stacking of the bales. There was also no formal training in stacking bales and lack of monitoring in the bale area.

The company plead guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work at 1974 and was fined £2million with £32,595.10 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, an HSE inspector said: “The company fell far short of the required standard expected. Not only should proper planning have been carried out in relation to the storage and stacking of waste bales, but also a system of work subsequently put in place to mitigate those risks. The company failed on both of these counts with devastating consequences.”

Girls’ School fined after teacher seriously injured in fall from height

Posted on 28 April 2017

The Court has heard how in May 2016 a teacher who was conducting rigging and adjustments to spotlights and cabling in the school drama studio fell from a stepladder. A fellow teacher present in the room turned to find her colleague had fallen from the ladder and was unconscious on the drama studio floor having suffered multiple fractures to the skull, wrist and elbow as a result of the impact.

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The court also heard that the defendant, a Girls’ School  in North London, had inadequately risk assessed work at height in its Drama Studio and had failed to provide the teachers conducting the work with sufficient training for work at height, despite these matters being requirements in its own health and safety policy, and despite the presence of a health and safety e-learning tool available for teachers and other staff to use, which included a module on work at height, but which was only made mandatory after the incident.

The School pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005, was fined £2000 and ordered to pay full prosecution costs.

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Speaking after the hearing, an HSE Inspector commented: “If the school had conducted a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the light rigging task and ensured that employees undertook the appropriate information, training and instruction available this incident could have been prevented.”

Click here for more information on Working at Height Training.

E-Learning Working at Height Training also availablee, click here for more information.

Construction company fined after death of worker

Posted on 27 April 2017

A Construction Company has been sentenced following the death of one of their workers.

The Court heard the deceased was employed by the company as a ground worker. In October 2013 he and his colleagues were constructing and installing drainage boxes at a site in West Sussex when he was struck by a concrete drainage cover as he was standing in the excavation area and later died as a result of his severe head injuries.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company failed to properly plan this lifting operation and also failed to supply workers with the safe and appropriate equipment to carry the work. It was also found the lifting chains used were too long for the work and were not attached safely to the cover or the excavator.

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The Company has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 and has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,918.

Speaking after the hearing, an HSE inspector commented: “Our investigation was prompted in the most tragic of circumstances. The Company should have properly planned the lifting operation regarding this work activity. If the company had done so this death could have been avoided.”

Company fined after death of employee

Posted on 26 April 2017
A company has been sentenced following the death of a 54-year-old man.
 
The Court heard how the deceased (a catchment operator) was working on the sand filtration unit of a Waste Water Treatment Works on 30 December 2013 when a colleague discovered him face down in water. He died at the scene having drowned.
 
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He was last seen working on the top of the unit several hours before he was found by his colleague who was responding to the lone worker system.
 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to identify the risk of drowning with the maintenance activity which was undertaken by the deceased and his colleagues on a regular basis.
 
The Company pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, was fined £1.8million and ordered to pay costs of £41,607.71.
 
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Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said: “This tragic case could have been prevented if the company had reduced the size of the hatch used to access the sand filters, and properly considered the hazards of the operation, including how close he was to the water.
 
“He was exposed to the risk of drowning which could have been easily been controlled if the task had been properly planned and simple measures adopted earlier which the company failed to do so adequately.”

Contractor fined after worker fatally crushed

Posted on 25 April 2017

A company has been fined after its sub-contractor died when working on large construction project in London.The Court heard that he had been contracted by the company to work on an Institute project. He was fatally crushed on 6 November 2013 by a concrete staircase that was in the process of being installed.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no safe system of work in place for the installation of the staircases throughout this project. It was also found the company failed to appropriately supervise this work activity.

The Company has pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and has been fined £185,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,606.14.

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Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said: “This incident could have been prevented if the company had properly planned the lifting process before work had begun.

“Duty holders have the responsibility of ensuring that safe and suitable lifting plans are in place before carrying out any work involved with heavy loads.”

Roofing contractors sentenced over unsafe roof work

Posted on 24 April 2017

Two local roofing contractors have been sentenced after putting their workers at risk of harm during roof replacement works in Oldham.

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One of the companies had been employed as the principal contractor to carry out a roof replacement on one of the buildings at a site in Oldham.

The company subcontracted part of the project, which involved replacing a northern light roof structure with a modern composite roof ; which effectively meant employees from two companies were working alongside one another.

Concerns were raised to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claiming that men were working on the roof with nothing in place to prevent them falling off the edge or through the roof onto workers below.

The subsequent HSE investigation confirmed these hazardous working conditions were in place, with workers from both companies at risk. Inspectors also established that these working practices continued during snowy weather.

The roof was covered in fragile skylights which had not been covered to prevent any person stepping onto them and falling through. Additionally no measures were taken to prevent a worker falling through the large gap created after the skylight had been removed. Some of the workers were also at risk from being hit by falling tools or debris.

Prohibition Notices were served stopping the works until a safe method could be found and put into place.

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The company working as the principal contractor had the primary responsibility for the health and safety of workers. They failed to effectively plan the safe completion of the project and failed to put in place measures to prevent anyone falling from the unguarded sections of the roof.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £66,000 with £3938.38 costs.

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The company working as a sub-contractor had a duty to protect its own workers as well as anyone affected by its works. By allowing its employees onto site without a suitable and sufficient planning being in place, or any physical safeguards to prevent a fall from height, the company exposed its own workers to those risks.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was also fined £66,000 with £3938.38 costs.

An HSE inspector commented that both companies “failed in their duties to protect the roof workers and anyone working below them in the mill from a foreseeable risk of serious harm. The risks to workers here were obvious, and neither company thought it necessary to manage the work at height risks properly.”

 

To find out more information on Safe Work at Height Training or Construction Health and Safety Awareness Training please see the links below or ring us on 08000 842 297.

 

http://mbosafetyservices.co.uk/training/working-at-heights-including-ladder-safety/

http://mbosafetyservices.co.uk/training/hs-awareness-staff-inductions/

Food company fined after worker suffers crushed hand

Posted on 21 April 2017

A company has been fined after a worker’s hand was crushed in a meat separating machine at the company’s Moat House base in Coventry.

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Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard that in May 2016 the worker was loading meat into the machine, when he fell and his hand entered the machine.

The worker suffered serious injuries to his hand which later required surgery and skin grafts.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed implement a safe system of work for separating the meat using this machinery. It was also found, the company failed to equip the machinery with the appropriate level of guarding to protect the workers from harm.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 33 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and has been fined £366,666 and ordered to pay costs of £10,978.09.

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An HSE inspector commented: “This case highlights the dangers of failing to assess risk. All duty holders must ensure that all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of guarding in place to avoid serious injury like in this case.”

Engineering firm fined after worker crushed in machinery

Posted on 20 April 2017

A company has been fined after a worker was injured at the company’s site in Lincolnshire.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that the engineer was checking the blades on the cutting line when the machine restarted and he wasn’t able to move his hand away from the blade he was inspecting when the machine started up. The worker suffered deep laceration to his hand as a result of this incident.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to implement a safe system of work in relation to isolating procedures when maintaining the machinery in the production line.

The Lincolnshire based company have pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and have been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,924.

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Speaking after the hearing a HSE Principal Inspector commented: “Duty holders must put measures in place to ensure there are safe procedures in place which are then followed when checking faults on machinery.”

Company fined after worker suffers hand injuries

Posted on 19 April 2017

A company has been fined £36,000 after a worker lost his thumb while working on passenger lifts in north London.

The Court heard how the worker was replacing the lifts at a London underground station. In October 2015, while lowering and guiding weights down the lift void, the load fell and amputated his thumb.

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the lifting activity was not properly planned, or carried out safely. All four employees of the company were also exposed to serious work at height risks.
 
The Company pleaded guilty, was fined £36,000 and was ordered to pay full costs of £1173.60, plus a victim surcharge of £120.
 
 
Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said: “This was a preventable incident which happened as a direct result of the failure of the company to plan the lifting operation, or carry it out safely.”
 

Have you or your staffs had your Health and Safety Awareness Training? Click here for more information.

Bakers fined after workers suffer hand injuries

Posted on 18 April 2017

A Penrith based bakery has been fined after two workers suffered hand injuries while operating machinery on site.

Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard that in January 2016 a worker lost the top of their right hand middle finger, after it caught the moving blade of a dough-dividing machine.

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The second incident occurred in March 2016 when an employee’s left index finger made contact with the cutting jaws of a wrapping machine.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to equip the machinery with the correcting guarding to avoid incidents like this occurring.

The Bakery pleaded guilty to breaching two charges of Regulation 11, of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and have been fined £40,000 for the first offence and £30,000 for the second offence and ordered to pay costs of £7990.

Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said: “This case demonstrates the importance of checking and assessing all dangerous equipment and machinery to prevent injuries to employees operating such machinery.”

Find out more about Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 here.

Manchester Hostel owners sentenced over asbestos failings

Posted on 12 April 2017

Two family run companies have been fined after admitting health and safety failings at a site in Manchester, where they were carrying out a basement conversion.

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The project involved the full strip out and refurbishment of the basement, a former restaurant unit, into a bar venue.

An unannounced visit by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was conducted to inspect the ongoing refurbishment works.

During the visit it was discovered there had been no asbestos survey carried out before tradesmen started stripping out the majority of the space.

The companies were found guilty of breaching Regulation 4(3) and Regulation 5(a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and were fined £10,000 and  £24,000  respectively.

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According to an HSE inspector: “Both Companies failed in their duty to protect their workers, subcontractors and visitors to his site from harm. Asbestos related diseases are currently untreatable and claim the lives of an estimated 4000 people per year in the UK.

“The requirement to have a suitable asbestos survey is clear and well known throughout the construction industry. Only by knowing if asbestos is present in any building before works commence can a contractor ensure that people working on their site are not exposed to these deadly fibres.

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Electrician fined after apprentice left with life changing injuries

Posted on 11 April 2017

A Birmingham electrician has been ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community after his trainee fell three and a half metres through a plasterboard ceiling.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the apprentice electrician (trainee) spent 23 days in hospital after suffering head injuries. He was installing wiring above the false ceiling.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no proper planning for work at height and the electrician did not fulfil his duty of care.

The electrician was found guilty of breaching Work at Height Regulations 9(2) 2005,  and was given 120 hours unpaid Community work and ordered to pay full costs of £1152.24.

 
An HSE Inspector commented:

“It’s important that employers put the safety of their workers, especially young inexperienced apprentices, at the forefront of their plans and consider precautions when working at height. This incident could have been prevented if there was proper planning in place using boards above or scaffolding below.”

Have your staffs been trained in Safe Working at Height? Click here for more information.

Haulage company fined after worker crushed

Posted on 10 April 2017

A company has been fined after one of its workers was crushed by a hydraulic extension on one of its vehicles on the roadside in Plymouth.

The worker suffered life changing internal injuries as a result of this incident.

Plymouth Magistrates Court heard how on 7 January 2015 the worker was unloading one the trailers. As the man moved out of the way of another approaching vehicle, he came into the path of the hydraulic extension that he did not know was moving.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to implement a safe system of work for this work activity.

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The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £46,667 and ordered to pay costs of £6,228.04.

Speaking after the hearing HSE an Inspector said: “This case highlights that duty holders have the responsibility to implement safe systems of work to avoid serious incidents like this.”

South Devon engineer sentenced for unregistered gas work

Posted on 7 April 2017