During the months of Jan, Feb and March there have been 15 Health and Safety Executive regional press releases in the south east of England. Below are a few examples:
Engineering company fined after worker injured
An engineering company has been fined after a worker lost his leg from the knee down when he was hit by a forklift truck.
West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court heard how a Puma Engineering and Construction Limited employee was seriously injured whilst carrying out a lifting operation involving the transporting and loading of pipe spools onto a flatbed truck. A forklift truck he was acting as banksman for, drove into the back of his left heel. His left leg had to be amputated.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 16 November 2016, found the company had failed to properly plan, organise and carry out the lifting operation in a safe manner.
Puma Engineering and Construction Limited of Westwood Business Park, Brunel Road, Southampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £8000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3781.04
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said, “All lifts must be properly planned, assessed and carried out in a safe manner. There were other safer, reasonably practicable options that the company could have taken to prevent the forklift coming into contact with the individual. The safest method in this instance was to use tag lines or push sticks to control the load, as opposed to controlling the load by hand.”
Principal contractor fined after poor safety practices
A Surrey based construction company has been fined after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found safety breaches on site.
Reading Magistrates’ Court heard how HSE inspectors were carrying out a proactive inspection at a domestic property in Sunningdale, Ascot which Portico Design and Developments Limited were appointed as the principal contractor.
This proactive inspection was part of a construction focused inspection initiative and found poor safety standards on site.
It was found that Portico Design and Developments failed to properly manage the temporary work on site and that it was at risk of collapse. A number of walls had been demolished and the remaining walls were held up with acro props.
Portico Design and Developments Limited of Wellington Avenue, Surrey pleaded guilty/found guilty of breaching Regulation 19(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
The company has been fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,674.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Adam Wycherley said: “Portico failed to properly manage this project and allowed work to continue on site when it was unsafe to do so. This case is a perfect example that HSE can and will bring those to justice who fall below the required standard of health and safety practices.”
Company fined after worker hit by falling steel plate
A structural steelwork installation company has been fined after an employee was injured when he was struck by a steel plate which fell from a crane.
Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how the injured person suffered a back injury while carrying out work on a new metal staircase under construction. The task involved using a crane to lift a steel sheet attached to a magnet, but the sheet became detached from the magnet, and fell striking the injured person on the back. The worker fractured his spine and has been unable to continue working as a steel fixer.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which took place on the 10 December 2015 at the University of Bedfordshire, Luton Campus, found the company failed to ensure that the lifting equipment was of adequate strength and stability for each load. Whilst the safe working load was 1000kg the magnet had to be de-rated to take into account the thinness and the length of the metal being lifted. The company also failed to ensure that the lifting operation was planned by a competent person, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.
Tubular Erectors Limited of Sinclair Court, Bletchley pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4 and 8 (1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £32,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3444.80 and a victim surcharge of £120.00.
After the hearing HSE inspector Samantha Wells said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing the 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.”
Food manufacturer prosecuted after worker left seriously-injured
Kamkee Food Limited has today been prosecuted for health and safety breaches after one of its workers was left seriously-injured.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 13 February 2017, the worker was seriously injured when the sleeve of his overcoat got caught in a large industrial food mixer at the company’s factory premises at Kingside Business Park in London. The injuries included broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a large blood clot under the armpit.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found the machine was fitted with an interlock bowl guard designed to prevent access to the rotating mixing arm however it had been deliberately overridden.
Kamkee Food Limited of Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff on Sea , was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,599.60.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicholas Wright said: “These injuries would have been easily preventable had the risk been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Sole trader fined after failing to comply with enforcement notice
A sole trader who repaired cars in a residential area of Bedford has been sentenced after failing to comply with an HSE enforcement notice.
Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Franklin Joseph had been spraying flammable liquids at a premises in Cromwell Road. Electrical equipment used within the area posed a risk of fire and explosion.
The terms of the notice were explained to Mr Joseph, who needed to have an electrician check the system to ensure it was safe to use near flammable liquids. He failed to comply with this notice within the specified period despite being given an extension and receiving advice from the HSE inspector.
Mr Joseph of Hartwell Drive, Kempston pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates’ Court of breaching Section 33(1)(g) Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £180 and ordered to pay costs of £4,500.
After the hearing HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner commented: “HSE aims to raise awareness of fire and explosion risks from spraying flammable substances. It is also important to note that HSE will always prosecute for non-compliance with an enforcement notice. The prosecution could so easily have been avoided by carrying out correctly the remedial action required by the notice.”
Recycling company fined after explosion
A Sussex-based recycling company has been fined following an explosion and fire at their site in Surrey which left a worker in an induced coma.
A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) found that Ereco failed to ensure there was a safe system of work in place to reduce the risk of dangerous substances; this could have been completed through carrying out suitable fire risks assessments and following guidelines in Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002.
Ereco EMEA Corporation Ltd of Lewes Road, Forest Row, East Sussex pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 of failing to take general fire precautions. A sentencing hearing took place at Portsmouth Crown Court in December 2017 and sentence was handed down this month. Ereco EMEA Corporation Ltd was fined £30,000, £15,000 for each offence. The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £30,000.
Paramount Waste Extraction Ltd of Redehall Road, Smallfield, Surrey pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Healthy and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has been fined £16,000 as well as being ordered to pay £16,000 towards court costs.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Michelle Canning said: “All the employees involved in this incident are extremely lucky this explosion didn’t prove fatal. Ereco failed to take the required precautions before starting a process of work with dangerous substances and this failure resulted in this serious, life threatening explosion. Both designers and suppliers must ensure that the risks of using their equipment are eliminated through safe design, and this should include taking into account foreseeable misuse.”
Company fined £1million after delivery driver killed
A plastic product manufacturer has been fined £1million after a delivery driver was fatally injured.
Cambridge Crown Court heard how Gareth Wilson, a delivery driver for Mark Doel Transport Ltd, was fatally injured when he was struck by a fork lift truck which had large coils suspended from the forks.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Glynwed Pipe Systems Ltd failed to properly manage workplace transport in the yard area where employees and members of the public were exposed to the risk of being hit. The investigation also found that the systems of work in place were not, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe.
Glynwed Pipe Systems Ltd of St Peter’s Road, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and have been fined £1million and ordered to pay costs of £27,942.57
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Roxanne Barker said: “There are more than 5,000 accidents involving transport in the workplace every year, and, like in this case, sadly some of which are fatal. The HSE investigation found the yard was not organised to allow safe circulation of people and traffic as appropriate routes were not identified and therefore insufficient in number. A properly implemented Traffic Management Plan should have identified sufficient measures for the separation of vehicles and people including protected walkways, clear signage and barriers.”