HSE Prosecution results

Construction

Construction firm fined after worker was seriously injured

A construction company has been fined after an employee was struck by the placing boom of a concrete pump, causing serious injuries. Brighton Magistrates Court heard how on the 5 March 2019, concrete footings were being poured at a site at Ditchling Common, East Sussex. Due to the soft ground, vehicles could not get close to the work, so a concrete pump with a 52-metre boom was used.

During the pour, the ground beneath one of the pump outriggers collapsed, causing the concrete pipe and boom to strike the employee, dislocating and fracturing his hip, fracturing his spine and tearing ligaments and muscles. He was also later diagnosed with a brain injury. He is still undergoing regular physiotherapy, and suffering from post-traumatic stress, but does not know the long-term effects of the brain and nerve damage.

Axio (Special Works) Limited of Portslade, Brighton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and were fined £20,000, plus a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £5,285.70.

 

Cornish construction company fined after dangerous demolition

Bodmin builder Thomas Sturgess, has been sentenced after concerns over an unsafe demolition site were raised.

Bodmin Magistrates’ Court heard that during December 2017, concerns were raised by members of the public about potentially dangerous demolition taking place in Webber Street, Falmouth. HSE received a number of photographs from concerned members of the public showing extremely poor and unsafe working practices. Workers were observed standing on top of the building to demolish it with no control over working at height safely. The pictures suggested workers were at risk from falling through or from the buildings undergoing demolition and members of the public were very close to the site which was inadequately fenced off. An unannounced visit was made by the HSE whereby all further demolition work was prohibited.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that safety measures fell significantly below the expected standard. The buildings were being demolished in an unsafe manner with little or no planning with regard to their structural stability. There were no welfare facilities on site, no risk assessments and no demolition plans or asbestos survey available. Overall there were a number of health and safety concerns and there was apparent lack of skills, knowledge and experience on behalf of the defendant due to his lack of site management experience, knowledge of relevant health and safety legislation and safe working practices and completely ineffective skills, knowledge and experience to undertake such a project.

Thomas Sturgess of Lanviet, Bodmin pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 20(1) of Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015, he has been given a 180 hour Community Order and ordered to pay costs of £9428.84

Manufacturing

Metal pressings manufacturing company fined after worker was struck by a forklift truck

G-Tekt Europe Manufacturing Limited, a company that manufactures metal pressings and sub-assemblies for the automotive industry, has been fined after a worker was struck by a forklift truck and suffered a serious brain injury. Newport Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 23 November 2018, a worker needed to be placed in an induced coma after a forklift truck struck him at a premises in Crown Business Park, Dukestown, Tredegar.

G-Tekt Europe Manufacturing Limited of Gloucester Business Park, Golf Club Lane, Brockworth, Gloucester entered a guilty plea* for breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992* and was fined £520,000* and ordered to pay costs of £8,014.40.

 

*This post was corrected on 28.10.20 to read ‘Regulation 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992’  rather than ‘Section 4(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992’.

*This amount was corrected on 29.10.20 to state £520,000 rather than £525,000 as it originally said.

 

Woodworking company fined after worker suffers serious injuries

Woodworking company, Peter Ramsey & Sons (Denholme) Timber Ltd, has been fined after a worker became entangled in an unguarded drive shaft and suffered serious injuries. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 8 March 2018, the worker was working on an automated wood planer machine which is used to process large pieces of wood into different sizes ordered by customers at the company’s Wellington Street sawmills in Bradford.

The worker reached over an unguarded rotating driveshaft to adjust a piece of wood after it had come out of the machine, his hi-vis jacket and t-shirt became entangled, drawing him into the machine. He sustained a torn tendon in his left fourth finger, a broken left wrist, a break to his little finger and nerve damage to his left arm.

Peter Ramsey & Sons (Denholme) Timber Ltd Wellington Street sawmills Bradford pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £56,000 and ordered to pay £3,484.84 in costs.

Transport

Transport company fined after employee fatally crushed

A transport company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured when the pallet of stone tiles he was attempting to deliver fell onto him. High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 23 November 2016, an agency driver was carrying out a delivery for Reason Transport UK Limited at Fraser Road, High Wycombe. The driver was delivering a pallet of stone tiles using a tail-lift and a manual pallet truck. He spent several minutes struggling to lift and manoeuvre the pallet onto the truck’s tail-lift. When he eventually succeeded in doing so, he lost control of the pallet, which fell onto him, causing him to suffer fatal crush injuries.

Reason Transport UK Limited, now in liquidation, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £5,000.

 

Company fined after forklift truck fatality

A pallet transport company has been fined after a forklift driver was killed when his forklift overturned. Mr Reginald Bacon was working as a forklift driver at Fortec Distribution Network Limited’s pallet hub at Watling Park, Watford Village, Northamptonshire. Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard how on 13 October 2016, Mr Bacon was unloading goods from the trailer of a large goods vehicle (LGV) and whilst his forks were inside the trailer to remove a pallet, the LGV drove forward; this caused the forklift to tip over on its side. Mr Bacon was not wearing his seatbelt correctly and tried to jump clear from his truck but sustained fatal head injuries.

Fortec Distribution Network Limited of Coronation Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £107,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,436.97.

Local Government

Council fined after teacher assaulted by pupil

Luton Borough Council has been sentenced today after a teacher was assaulted by a pupil. Luton Crown Court heard how on 17 June 2016, the assistant headteacher at Putteridge High School was called to deal with a disruptive pupil who was refusing to go into a detention room. After clearing the classroom of the other pupils, the pupil launched a sustained assault on the teacher, using a mobile phone and inflicting life-changing injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there were significant shortcomings in relation to the measures at the school, regarding violence and aggression posed by the pupils to others. No effective consideration was given to the risk of injury or death posed by the pupils to others and measures were not taken to reduce that threat to as low as reasonably practicable.

Luton Borough Council did not ensure that the school had people with sufficient competence in the management of health and safety involved in running the school to ensure that the threat was addressed. The Council did not see to it that staff members at the school had the training either to remedy that shortcoming or to deal with violent and aggressive pupils in a way which did not expose them to risk. The Council also failed to monitor the adequacy of the measures Putteridge High School had in place and the Council, therefore, failed to pick up and address the shortcomings.

Luton Borough Council of Town Hall Upper George Street Luton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £104,000 with £60,000 costs. The fine was reduced from £300,000 due to the Council’s lack of revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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