May Health & Safety Updates Waste management company fined after employee killed
Sanders Plant and Waste Management Limited have been fined after an employee was fatally injured when he was struck by a reversing JCB loading shovel.
Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court heard that, on 15
th June 2015, a wheeled front-loading shovel was being operated in the main waste processing shed at the company’s waste recycling facility in Morpeth. The vehicle, driven by another employee, was loading waste into both a trommel (a large waste separation and sifting machine) and a parked haulage vehicle. During the course of this operation the vehicle struck a site operative, Mr George Richardson. Mr Richardson was fatally injured and died at the scene from his injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found evidence of a lack of pedestrian and vehicle segregation in the waste shed meaning that pedestrians and vehicles could not circulate in a safe manner. The company had carried out a risk assessment prior to the incident that identified some control measures to reduce the risks from operating the loading shovel and a Fork Lift Truck on site. However, these control measures had not been fully implemented nor were they sufficient to manage the risk of collision between vehicles and pedestrians. There was also no risk assessment or traffic management plan considering the safe movement of vehicles across the site.
Sanders Plant and Waste Management Limited of 40 Butterwell Drive, Pegswood, Morpeth pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £500,000 with costs of £14,041.96 costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Catterall said, “The HSE investigation found an inadequate assessment of the risks of vehicle movements in the waste shed and a lack of segregation of vehicles and pedestrians. There are more than 5,000 accidents involving transport in the workplace every year, and, like in this case, sadly, some are fatal.”
“A properly implemented transport risk assessment should have identified sufficient measures to segregate people and vehicles and provide safe facilities.”
Kerry Richardson speaking on behalf of George’s family also said: “More than anything my whole family don’t want anyone else to lose their life and another family to go through what my family has gone through and is still going through.”
Electrical contractor fined after two injured falling through uncovered floor hatch
An Aberdeen electrical company contracted to rewire and install new heating systems in Aberdeenshire Council properties has today been fined for failing to put in place adequate barriers and physical warning signs around open floor hatches in a residential property. As a consequence of this failure the resident of the property and her brother-in-law fell into one of the uncovered floor hatches and both sustained injuries.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that on 19
th and 20 th February 2018 employees of the company were working at a residential property when they failed to put in place suitable and sufficient measures to prevent persons from falling into the uncovered floor hatches.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that there was nothing in place to prevent either the resident of the property or her brother-in-law from falling through the uncovered floor hatch at the rear of the property. If adequate barriers and physical warning signs had been in place around the uncovered floor hatch then these incidents would have been preventable.
R.B. Wilson (Electrical) Limited, of 1 East Craibstone Street, Aberdeen pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £24,000.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Elaine McAllister 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 standard.”
Hoteliers fined after failing to assess the presence of asbestos during refurbishment
A Devon based hoteliers has been sentenced today after materials containing asbestos were disturbed during a major refurbishment at The Park Hotel in Barnstaple.
Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court heard that between October 2016 and May 2017 construction work was undertaken to refurbish the hotel on Taw Vale. Parts of the hotel were originally constructed during the 1960’s and 1970’s when asbestos was a popular building material. The project aimed to refit and refurbish bathrooms and bedrooms.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that, att an early stage of the work, an employee raised concerns about the potential presence of asbestos containing materials (ACM) within the rooms under refurbishment. Enquiries were made but no physical testing of the materials being disturbed was undertaken. Work continued for several more months and concerns about the materials within the bedrooms and bathrooms were raised again by external contractors. Testing of the material being disturbed was eventually conducted in February 2017 and the presence of ACMs was confirmed.
Percy R Brend and Sons (Hoteliers) Ltd of Taw Vale, Barnstaple pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They have been fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,999.60.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Jo-Anne Michael said: “The dangers associated with asbestos are well known and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other organisations.
“Identification of the hazard is key. Duty holders should not undertake any work which either exposes or is liable to expose their employees to asbestos unless they have carried out a suitable and sufficient assessment as to the presence, location and condition of asbestos in the premises. Those persons tasked with undertaking the assessment should have the necessary skills.”
Salford company fined after worker falls through collapsed stairs
A construction company has today been sentenced after an employee sustained serious injuries to his back after falling through stairs that had been partly installed.
Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 17 February 2017, Mr Emir Slattford, a bricklayer working for ASA Property Management Limited, was working on the top floor of a building at the company’s construction site in Worsley. Mr Slattford began walking down a set of stairs which collapsed from the second floor of the building, resulting in a fall to the ground floor stairs below. Part of the collapsed stairs fell on top of the worker and he suffered serious back injuries as a result. Mr Slattford has been unable to work for over two years since the incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that on the day before the incident, the joiner on site had advised the site manager that the stairs were not fully installed, and that expected completion was on 18 February 2017 – the day after. Poor communication between the joiner and site manager, and the absence of a formal handover procedure, led to a failure in understanding the risks involved in using the incomplete stairs.
ASA Property Management Limited of Linnyshaw Industrial Estate, Walkden, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company has been fined £9,400 and ordered to pay costs of £3,138.50.
HSE inspector David Norton said after the hearing: “This injury could have easily been prevented and the risk should have been identified.
“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”
Priory Healthcare fined £300,000 following death of 14-year-old patient
A healthcare provider has today been fined £300,000 for its failings following the death of 14-year-old patient Amy El-Keria.
Lewes Crown Court heard how Amy, who had complex mental health care needs, had been a patient in the high dependency unit (HDU), upper court, at Priory Ticehurst House Hospital since 24 August 2012. She had been transferred to the East Sussex facility after one of several attempts to ligature at home.
On 12 November 2012, Amy was found with a ligature around her neck in her room. The 14-year-old was taken to hospital but had suffered irreparable brain damage and failure of multiple organs, so a decision was taken to withdraw life support. Amy was sadly pronounced dead the following day, on 13 November.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which began in 2016 following the coroner’s inquest, found Priory Healthcare Ltd had failed to identify or put in place control measures that would have better managed ligature risks.
Priory Healthcare Ltd of Hammersmith Road, London pleaded guilty to a breach under Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,801.38.
Speaking after the hearing, inspector Michelle Canning said: “This is a heart-breaking case. Our detailed investigation uncovered a number of failures. Our thoughts remain with Amy’s family and we are so very sorry for their loss.”
HSE found the company’s main failings were as follows:
Failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment relating to the presence of ligature points and ligatures on upper court; Failure to identify the control measures necessary to reduce ligature risks, so far as is reasonably practicable; Failure to consider relevant industry and NHS guidance to inform its risk assessment process and determine the correct fixtures and fittings for units where patients were at high risk of self-harm and suicide; Failure to ensure an adequate review was carried out of the systems and control measures relating to ligature risks at Ticehurst House following concerns raised by external bodies; Failure to ensure all staff working on upper court were trained and their work practices appropriately monitored with respect to life support techniques.
Check out last months safety updates