Making Sense of Health and Safety

Health and Safety News

We scour the Internet for Health and Safety related news items on an almost daily basis.

The news articles and clippings, curated by MD Safety, highlight the requirements for compliance with UK Health and Safety Legislation and best practice across all industry sectors.

The majority of the information and cases will apply to a greater or lesser degree to our broad range of Clients and lessons to be learned will be able to be gained.

Company fined after worker suffers crush injuries

A construction company has been fined after a worker was injured when a water pump set weighing over 700kg fell on him at a construction site.  Southwark Crown Court heard that, on 15 January 2016, a pipe fitter working for Fascel Group Limited was working on the transfer of a pump set from its pallet to a raised platform in Goodman’s Fields, East London. The pump set fell on him. As a result, the worker was pinned beneath the unit, and he sustained serious injuries including multiple fractures and dislocations.

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HSE reacts to sentencing of man for threatening inspector

A senior inspector at Britain’s workplace regulator has stressed that the organisation will not tolerate violence, aggression or abuse of its staff after a man was sentenced for a public order offence.   A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector was conducting an inspection of a waste and recycling site belonging to Jacob Alexander Thompson in August 2019.  Attending the Teesside premises on 23 August 2019, the inspector became aware of an individual pointing at him across the yard. The individual, Thompson, then crossed the yard towards the inspector, shouting obscenities. 

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David Lloyd leisure group to be prosecuted after swimming pool death

David Lloyd Leisure is to be prosecuted over alleged health and safety breaches following the death of a three-year-old boy in one of the firm’s pools.  Leeds City Council made the announcement last week after an inquest jury returned a conclusion of accident at a hearing in Wakefield.  The jury heard how Rocco Wright died after he was pulled from the water by his father at the David Lloyd centre in Leeds on 21 April 2018. The hearing was told that there was only one 17-year-old lifeguard on duty at the time of the incident.

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Tyre company director sentenced for fire safety failings

The director of a scrap tyre yard has been handed a suspended prison sentence for a series of fire safety offences after an emergency fire door was nailed shut in a building where workers were living.  Sentencing Tyre Channel Ltd (TC Ltd) and its director Anup Patel at Southwark Crown Court His Honour Judge Hehir described the premises in Croydon as “a tinder box in the making”.  Patel and TC Ltd each pleaded guilty to three separate charges relating to breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The company was ordered to pay a total of £70,000. Patel was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

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Construction materials company fined after employee suffers life-changing injuries

A company that designs, manufactures and distributes construction materials has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries, resulting in his left arm being amputated.  Loughborough Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 13 August 2017, a 48-year-old employee of Saint-Gobain Construction Products UK Limited was seriously injured when a rock handling belt failed at the company’s plant in Barrow-Upon-Soar, Leicestershire. Two employees had been clearing rock that had built up around the belt; as the belt had become so compacted it was difficult to remove by hand. Both men went to the isolator end of the belt and removed the local isolation with the guards still removed and pressed the ‘start/stop’ button. On checking the tail-end of the drum they saw it had not cleared itself of rock. One of the men went to the opposite side of the tail-end drum to remove the rock and the pair were no longer in visual contact. His colleague pressed the start/stop button again whilst his colleague’s arm was in close proximity to the rotating drum and his arm was drawn in.

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Council fined after worker falls from stepladder

Central Bedfordshire Council has been sentenced after a worker fell from a roof.  Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 19 December 2017, the injured person was climbing on to the roof of a school from a stepladder to retrieve a child’s shoe when he fell. He sustained eight broken ribs, a grade four lacerated liver and a punctured lung.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Council did not have a risk assessment or safe system for working at height in place to retrieve items from the roof.

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Roofer fell six metres onto concrete floor

The failure to properly plan and appropriately supervise work at height has led to a £60,000 fine for a Basingstoke roofing firm. Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard that on 21 June 2017, a man was working on the roof at the Lok N Store facility, Basingstoke with two other roofers as part of a 10-week long roof replacement project.  The old asbestos cement sheet roof was being removed and replaced with trisomet sheeting. The man and a colleague were working up on the roof and another colleague was working within the building to remove bolts from the underside of the old roof.

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Stone-works firm on trial after five-tonne machine topples on employee

AN OXFORDSHIRE firm has gone on trial accused of health and safety failings after an employee was struck by a five-tonne piece of machinery.   Stoneworld Oxfordshire and G J Harris Engineering Services both deny one count of a failure to discharge a duty in relation to health and safety regulations.    Prosecutors at Oxford Crown Court claim that this failure led to one Stoneworld employee being injured by a toppling Pellegrini wire cut saw.

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Engineering company fined after employee fall

An engineering company has been fined after a 31-year-old employee fell through a hole in a mezzanine floor during construction work being carried out in Bristol.  Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard that on 13 November 2018, an employee of N&C Engineering Services Limited was involved with the installation of flooring at Albion Dockside Works, Hanover Place, Bristol. An opening had been cut in the boarded‐out mezzanine floor through which the employee fell three metres to the ground, suffering serious head injuries.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the contractor failed to adequately plan, manage and monitor the construction work, so as to ensure that appropriate methods to prevent or mitigate a fall during the construction work, were in use.

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Company fined after vehicle struck an overhead power cable

Fairhurst Stone Merchants Ltd has been fined for safety breaches after a vehicle made contact with an uninsulated overhead electric power line. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that on 25 July 2018, a wagon delivering materials to the company’s ready-mix plant in Settle was directed to tip its load close to the overhead power lines. During the tipping procedure the vehicle moved forward and made contact with the power lines which were live at 11,000v, nobody was injured in the incident.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that two years previously, a wagon had made contact with the same power lines. No one was injured but the electricity supplier gave advice regarding avoiding a repeat incident. The only action taken by the company was to put up two small warning notices that the driver failed to see. In addition, the first incident was not reported to HSE as required by the RIDDOR regulations.

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