Author Archives: Shirley Lovegrove

Import Update Covid-19

Dear colleagues,
 
You may have already heard the announcement from the Prime Minister last night. The message was clear to stay at home and avoid meetings of even 2 people or more unless a keyworker. Therefore with immediate effect our office is closed. We will contact you when policy changes and government lifts or amends the restrictions in place.
 
We wish you all well in this uncertain time.

Yorkshire company fined over £1.8m after two workers injured in fall from height

Food manufacturing company, Karro Foods Ltd, has today been sentenced after two workers suffered serious injuries when they fell over 4 metres through a rooflight.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 13 April 2016, the two workers were investigating a leak from the roof at the Malton site of Karro Foods Ltd, which the workers did not realise contained several rooflights. The workers were walking closely together and both stood on the same roof light which consequently fell through due to the weight.

One worker suffered four fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and muscular contusions to his outer right thigh. The other suffered a fractured skull, muscular injuries to his right leg and injuries inside his ear which cause ongoing problems with his balance, memory and mental health.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the roof was made of asbestos cement and had several rooflights situated along it but they were not visible due to the build-up of moss and dirt which had accumulated over the years. Employees had also not been made aware of them.

Karro Foods Ltd of Hugden Way, Norton Grove Industrial Estate, Malton, Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £1,866,000 and ordered to pay £8,019 in costs.

 After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Slater commented: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate controls against the risks arising from working at height.

“Consideration of roof fragility and rooflights, visible or not, should be made, especially on older buildings.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk[1]
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ [2
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk[3]
  4. Please see the link below to the page on HSE’s website that is the best guide to doing it the right way: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg401.pdf

Multiple injuries following fall from height

Company fined after worker suffers multiple injuries in fall from height

Construction company Rivergate Developments Ltd was sentenced today for safety breaches after worker Nathan Howes fell 2.7 metres through an open stairwell.

Leeds Magistrates’ court heard how, on 31 May 2017, Mr Howes, aged 26, was working on the upper floor of a cricket club in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire which was under refurbishment. Mr Howes was removing a ‘genie lift’ from the forks of a lift truck, so that steel beams could be lifted into place, when he stepped backwards and fell through the stairwell opening. Mr Howes sustained multiple injuries including a fractured spine, a fractured skull and a small collapse of one of his lungs, and was hospitalised for six days. Mr Howes still attends physiotherapy as outpatient and has not yet been able to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Rivergate Developments Ltd had carried out a risk assessment which identified there would be gaps in the floor through which a person could fall. However, they failed to put in place any measures to either prevent or mitigate the consequences of a fall. Such measures include the use of fixed edge protection systems to prevent falls or the use of fall arrest bags to mitigate falls.

Rivergate Developments Ltd of Rivergate House, Carrhill Road, Mossley, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £1,020 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey commented: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.

“This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”

Notes to Editors:

    1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
    2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
    3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
    4. Please see the link below to the page on HSE’s website that is the best guide to doing it the right way: www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/workingatheight.htm

Apprentice injured on bending machine

Engineering company fined after apprentice injured on bending machine

An engineering company has been fined after an apprentice suffered serious hand injuries when he was drawn into machinery.

Cannock Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 3 March 2018, the 19-year-old apprentice was forming a piece of sheet metal into a radius using a three-roll bending machine. He was wearing gloves when his hand was drawn in by the in-running nip between two steel rollers. As a result, the apprentice had two fingers severed and also suffered crush injuries to his right hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that a safe system of work, adequate training and effective supervision were lacking. The use of gloves increased the likelihood of being drawn in to the dangerous parts of the machine.

Air Management & Design Ltd of Spencroft Road, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,301.20.

HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said after the hearing: “A young man’s life has been changed because his employer failed to ensure adequate training in and supervision of a safe system of work for the use of a powered three roll bending machine.

“This is a reminder to all companies to check that fully fingered gloves are not worn, and safe systems of work are in place and being followed for operation of dangerous machinery such as three-roll bending machines.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)[1] is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case link to external website[2].

HSE Become a#DustBuster

Become a #DustBuster and show your support for our health campaign
Our inspectors will be visiting construction sites across Great Britain to see if businesses have measures in place to protect their workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica and wood dust. We will specifically be looking for evidence of construction workers knowing the risk, planning their work and using the right controls. Is your site ready for a health inspection?
Become a #DustBuster and show your support to the campaign by downloading our free selfie cards and sending us your photos via the #DustBuster and #WorkRight hashtags on Twitter at @H_S_E, or on Facebook via @hsegovuk and @SaferSites. We will retweet and repost the best ones so get involved!
I #WorkRight so I don’t die young
I #WorkRight so I don’t die young and miss out on my kids growing up
I #WorkRight because I want to enjoy my retirement
I #WorkRight because I want to look after my kids, not have them look after me
I #WorkRight so I don’t get occupational asthma and miss out on life
I #WorkRight so I can still play footy with my mates when I’m older
Notes to Editors:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case .

 

Fall from height worker severely injured

Company fined after worker severely injured following fall from height

A family-owned and run farming business has today been fined after an employee sustained severe injuries following a fall from height.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard how, on 29 November 2017, Alan Twatt (Potatoes) Limited asked an employee to install an electric cable through four barns at a height of approximately 4 metres. A potato box lifted by a forklift was used as a working platform. The worker fell approximately 2.5-3.5 metres and suffered a head injury as well as multiple fractures.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the potato box was inherently unsafe and should not have been used with the forklift truck in any circumstances. Further, the company had failed to follow their own procedures in relation to safe working at height.

Alan Twatt (Potatoes) Limited of Commerce House, South Street, Elgin, Moray pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Banff and has been fined £40,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, Norman Schouten said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by using the correct equipment, such as a scissor lift. A potato box or other makeshift equipment is never a suitable platform for working at height.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)[1] is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case link to external website[2].

Three companies fined after security guard killed

Associated British Ports, DFDS Seaways PLC and ICTS (UK) Ltd have today been fined after a security guard was fatally injured when he was struck by an articulated vehicle.

Hull Crown Court heard how, on 9 September 2015, a security guard employed at the container terminal at Immingham Docks, approached a HGV which was entering a gate and walked in front of the vehicle. The guard was not visible to the driver, either on approach to the vehicle or as he walked in front of it when he was dragged underneath as it turned towards a warehouse. He sustained multiple injuries and died at the scene.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Associated British Ports and DFDS Seaways PLC had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient workplace transport risk assessment, and had not considered the risks that vehicles entering, leaving and manoeuvring in the gate area posed to others.

Associated British Ports required the security guard at the gate to stop traffic and check pedestrians and vehicles entering the terminal but failed to provide means to do so safely as there was no signage indicating drivers should stop and report to security, and no safe facilities.

ICTS (UK) Ltd failed to provide adequate training, and the risks of stopping traffic without any physical protective measures in place had not been considered.

Associated British Ports of Bedford Street, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £750,750 with £9781.52 costs.

DFDS Seaways PLC of Nordic House, Immingham Docks, Immingham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £166,670 with £9766.02 costs.

ICTS (UK) Ltd of Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £500,000 with £9338.82 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Downes said: “There are more than 5,000 incidents involving transport in the workplace every year, and, like in this case, sadly, some of which are fatal.

“HSE found inadequate consultation between parties and no assessment of the risks to the segregation of vehicles and pedestrians. A properly implemented transport risk assessment should have identified sufficient measures to separate people and vehicles, and provide safe facilities.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)[1] is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case link to external website[2].

Company fined after worker injured during diving incident

A company specialising in underwater civil engineering and commercial diving has been fined following an incident where a working diver was injured.

Beverley Magistrates’ Court heard how on 29 August 2017 a Northern Divers (Engineering) Ltd employee’s finger became trapped whilst fitting a cofferdam underwater at Immingham Port, causing the finger to be severed.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work was not properly planned, managed or conducted in a manner which protected the health and safety of all persons taking part in the project, thereby exposing employees to serious risk of entrapment and injury.

Northern Divers (Engineering) Ltd of Humber Place, Hull, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (1) of the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 in relation to the incident and have been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,369.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Booker 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.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)[1] is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case link to external website[2].

Director fined £30k after workers narrowly escape roof collapse

A director of a construction firm has been fined £30,000 after three roofers narrowly escaped the partial collapse of a roof.

Director fined £30k after workers narrowly escape roof collapse

Partial roof collapse of the building in Barnsley

Jason Lycett, a director of Brooke Ren, was found guilty of breaching s 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court over the incident, which took place on a building project in Barnsley, South Yorkshire on 24 February 2016. He must also pay £7,027 costs.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Brooke Ren, which was the principal contractor on the development at Church Street, Jump, Barnsley, had ignored instructions given in the preconstruction phase that the development’s roof structure needed to be designed by a specialist. The project involved demolishing a former public house and constructing two, two-storey blocks of flats. Timber roof structures had been constructed for each block and were being tiled.

The HSE found the three roofers had been working on the roof of Block B and were transferring tiles from ground level using a tile hoist and distributing them over the surface of the roof when the hoist broke down. Two of the roofers had climbed down from the roof and the third was descending a ladder from a scaffold when the roof collapsed, demolishing a small wall at eaves level and distorting the scaffold.

None of the three roofers was injured. However, the investigation found that, had the tile hoist not broken down, the workers would have been on the roof when it fell in. The roof structure was not able to withstand the loads.

The HSE found that Brooke Ren, which had failed to employ a specialist to design the roof structure at the preconstruction phase, only did so after the incident.

HSE inspector Alan Sheldon said: “Principal contractors have an important role in managing health and safety risks during the construction phase, so they must have the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, organisational capability to carry out this work.

“Although there were no injuries, matters could have been very different had the workers still been on the roof at the time of its collapse.”

Article Nick Warburton is deputy editor of IOSH Magazine 

Jail for fake construction skill cards fraudster

Fraudster jailed for selling fake construction skills cards

A man who sold counterfeit work-based qualification cards has been jailed for more than three years.

Fraudster jailed for selling fake construction skills cards

Warwickshire City Council Trading Standards brought the prosecution against Andrew Weeks, 53, after he was found producing the fake cards at his printing company Nuneaton Print and selling them online for up to £30.99 each.

Forged documents included cards for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS), the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS).

Other fake documentation included occupational health cards, driving licences, qualification certificates for first aid, and City & Guilds certificates.

A Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) investigating officer was able to purchase a CPCS card from Weeks without providing evidence that he was trained to operate machines such as dumper trucks and excavators.

Solicitors acting for the construction industry served a cease and desist order, which Weeks signed agreeing to stop producing the counterfeit documents. However, he changed his company’s name to Yorkshire Novelty Print and continued trading.

Warwickshire trading standards officers then launched their own investigation and raided Weeks’ business premises.

Weeks pleaded guilty to one offence under s 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 at an earlier hearing and was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court to three years and eight months imprisonment. He claimed in his defense that the “novelty item” disclaimer sent out with his products made his actions “acceptable”.

His Honour Judge Barry Berlin said that producing counterfeit licences and qualification certifications had serious ramifications for public safety and described Weeks’ actions as “fraud to foster more fraud”.

He was also sued by CSCS for copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of £6,000.

The names of those who had purchased fake documents from Weeks are now in the hands of the certificate awarding organisations.

Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, portfolio holder for community safety, said: “Mr Weeks has committed an incredibly serious offence that could mean that hundreds of people across the UK are employed in jobs and trades that they are unqualified to undertake and in some cases, particularly in construction, electrical installation and caring professions may be putting lives at risk, not to mention those who may be driving on our roads today with fake licences.”

Ian Sidney, fraud manager at CITB, added: “The use of fake cards could easily lead to accidents, injuries or even fatalities where contractors do not have the required skills, training or qualifications. Employers must remain vigilant when checking workers’ documentation and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.”

Keeley Downey is assistant editor of IOSH Magazine