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A quarry operator has been fined after an employee had his hand and arm caught in a conveyor belt while carrying out maintenance.

Employees of MacAulay Askernish Ltd were undertaking maintenance work on the conveyor belt. One of the workers had his hand pulled into the nip point between the drive drum and conveyor belt. His arm quickly became entangled in the mechanism, causing severe injury, permanent disfigurement and impairment.

The HSE found the guarding was not adequate and the company had failed to have in place a suitable procedure for the isolation of the unit and to ensure the unit was maintained in good repair as other guard panels were not in place.

Macaulay Askernish Ltd was found guilty to breaching Regulation 6(1) of the Quarries Regulations 1999 and was fined £30,000.

HSE Inspector, Mike Tetley said: “This injury was easily preventable and the risks from this type of equipment are well-known."

Housing association fined after exposing employees to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
Date: 29 March 2018
 
A community housing association has today been sentenced after it failed to effectively manage its employees’ exposure to Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) over a prolonged period of time.

Newport Magistrates’ Court heard how, between July 2010 and May 2015, employees of Tai Calon Community Housing Limited were routinely exposed to vibration in their day to day work. Following the company’s introduction of health surveillance in May 2015, a number of employees were diagnosed with HAVS which has side effects such as pain and loss of strength in the hands and has been known to cause distress and sleep disturbance.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Tai Calon failed to adequately assess the risk to employees from the use of vibratory tools, failed to implement adequate measures to reduce employees’ exposure to vibration, failed to place employees under suitable health surveillance and failed to provide employees with suitable information, instruction, and training.

Tai Calon Community Housing of The Rising Sun Industrial Estate, Blaina, was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and was fined £30,000and ordered to pay £2789.25 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Newton commented: “No one’s health should not be made worse by the work they do. In this case, if Tai Calon had understood why health surveillance was necessary, it would have ensured that it had the right systems in place to monitor its workers’ health.

“This prosecution highlights the health risks from using vibratory tools and the importance of employers having a health surveillance programme in place. Where vibratory tools are used, employers should monitor the health of employees using them and ensure appropriate systems are in place to manage and control the risk from vibration.”
 
 
Egg Producer and Joinery Contractor fined after worker falls from roof
Date: 28 March 2018
 
A Preston egg production company and a joinery sub-contractor were today fined after a worker fell through a roof.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of T& J Leigh had been helping the joinery contractor Harry Jackson to re-roof an old feed mill building when he fell five metres through a gap, to the concrete floor below causing serious head and arm injuries.
The HSE investigation into the incident, which took place at Ghyll View Farm in Longton on 1 November 2016 found the roof work was not properly planned with no measures in place to prevent or mitigate a fall through or from the roof.

T & J Leigh (a partnership) of Ghyll View Farm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and has been fined a total of £50000 with costs of £2855.32.

Harry Jackson of Much Hoole pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £2855.32.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “This avoidable incident resulted in serious injuries, a fall from this distance could easily have been fatal.
“Roof work should always be properly planned with measures put in place to prevent a dangerous fall.

“Companies commissioning roof work should make reasonable checks regarding the competence of a contractor to undertake work at height safely”
 
 
 
Essex engineer sentenced for unregistered gas work
Date: 27 March 2018
 
A worker has been sentenced after breaching a prohibition notice for gas work and for leaving gas appliances in a dangerous state.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that in July 2015 Gary Miller disconnected and removed a boiler from a domestic property in Brentwood, and installed a replacement with associated pipework.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Miller had previously been issued with a prohibition notice for undertaking unregistered gas work in 2013, and had not since gained a registration. The gas work carried out by Mr Miller was inspected by a Gas Safe inspector who found it to be “at risk” meaning that the appliance, if operated, may have been a potential danger to life or property. Mr Miller had intended for a registered engineer to sign off the work, once he had installed the gas appliance, which is also not permissible under the regulations.

Gary Miller, of Fairfield Road, Ongar, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, and Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He has been sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Hills said: “Gary Miller undertook gas work when he knew he was not registered to do so. HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate action against rogue gas fitters who disregard the law and place lives at risk. Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous, so it is vital that this is only undertaken by trained and competent engineers who are registered with Gas Safe.”
Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, added: “Every Gas Safe registered engineer carries a Gas Safe ID card, which shows who they are and the type of gas appliances they are qualified to work on. We always encourage the public to ask for and check the card, and if they have any concerns about the safety of work carried out in their home, to speak to us.”
 
 
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust fined after deaths of two patients
Date: 26 March 2018
 
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £2m after a series of management failings led to the deaths of two vulnerable patients at different facilities owned by the Trust.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution follows the deaths of 45-year-old Teresa Colvin at a Southampton Mental Health Hospital and the death of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk at a specialist unit in Oxford. Both centres were under the management of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Oxford Crown Court heard both HSE investigations found a series of management failings leading up to both deaths including a failure to control risks, and failures in planning.
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. For the breach relating to Teresa Colvin, the sentence was a £950,000 fine. For the breach relating to Connor Sparrowhawk’s death, the sentence was a fine of £1,050.000.

HSE’s deputy director of field operations Tim Galloway said: “These tragic incidents could have wholly been avoided with better supervision and planning. Instead two families are left utterly devastated and let down by those who had a duty of care for their loved ones.
“The Trust was responsible for caring for those suffering with mental health issues and caring for those with learning difficulties. On these two occasions it failed these two patients and their families.

“Our thoughts remain with Connor Sparrowhawk and Teresa Colvin’s families as they 
continue to come to terms with these avoidable tragedies.
“In particular, we would like to pay tribute to Dr Sara Ryan, Connor’s mother, for her 
continued campaigning on these tragic issues.”

BACKGROUND OF CASE 
Death of Connor Sparrowhawk
On 4 July 2013, 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk died after suffering an epileptic seizure in the bath at the Trust’s specialist unit, Slade House in Oxford.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that despite Mr Sparrowhawk’s vulnerability and previous suspected seizures, he was allowed to use the bath alone with checks from staff taking place every 15 minutes.

Tim Galloway added: “Southern Health was aware of the patient’s condition and there had been a number of warning signs prior to the incident taking place. Allowing Connor to use the bath unsupervised was an obvious risk and a serious management failing.”

Death of Teresa Colvin
Following Connor’s death, NHS England published the independent Mazars report in December 2015 into the deaths of people with a learning disability or mental health problem at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

In response to the report, and following an assessment of all the deaths that occurred on Southern Health premises from April 2011, HSE concluded that one death met the criteria for a full HSE investigation.

On 26 April 2012, Teresa Colvin was found slumped and unconscious at a telephone kiosk at Woodhaven Adult Mental Health Hospital in Southampton. She died a short time later following treatment.

It became clear during HSE’s investigation that the Trust failed to act on the findings of assessments that it could better control the risks associated with the use of phones with cords. There had been a history of patients across the Trust, including those at Woodhaven, using phone cords as a ligature.

Tim Galloway added: “The known risk of patients across the Trust using phone cords as ligature was never sufficiently addressed. This ultimately led to the death of this vulnerable patient.”
 
 
Company fined after apprentice suffers fractured skull at commercial vehicle maintenance company
Date: 23 March 2018
 
A Birmingham based motor vehicle company has been fined after an apprentice suffered head injuries whilst undertaking maintenance work on a commercial vehicle.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how the Central England Municipals Limited (CEML) apprentice employee was working alongside an experienced mechanic replacing air suspension bags beneath a 39,000kg trailer. The air suspension bag was still under pressure and ejected sideways striking the injured person.
The employee suffered a fractured skull and was placed in an induced coma as a result of this incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 5 June 2017, found there was a failure to assess risk, a failure to implement a safe system of work and a failure to ensure that employees were appropriately trained and monitored to ensure the task could be carried out safely.

Central England Municipals Limited (trading as M6 Commercials) of Nechells, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £921.40.
Speaking after the case HSE inspector Christopher Maher said: “If a suitable safe system of work has been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”
 
 
Company fined after worker injured
Date: 21 March 2018
 
A manufacturer of agricultural equipment has been fined after a worker suffered two broken legs when a stack of metal sheets fell onto his ankles.

High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of K Two Sales Ltd accessed the rear of a guillotine to measure some off-cuts. There were around 20 sheets of 4mm thickness stacked on top of each other.  He tried to remove one of them causing the whole stack to fall on him.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 10 January 2017, found the steel sheets were being stored without adequate means to prevent them from falling.

K Two Sales Ltd of Station Road, Haddenham, Bucks pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £22,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,647.20.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Stephen Faulkner said: “This injury could have easily been prevented had the risk should have been identified.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.
 
 
Worker jailed for unregistered gas work
Date: 21 March 2018
 
Mr Cody Stevens, an unregistered gas fitter operating as a director of Master Plumbing Contractors Limited, has today been sentenced for carrying out gas work without being registered with Gas Safe Register.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Stevens undertook gas work in two 
properties in Milton Keynes between 2015 and 2016 when he was served with a prohibition notice on 9 February 2016. At the time, Mr Stevens was also reported to Gas Safe Register for the poor quality of the work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Stevens was not Gas Safe registered at the time he conducted this work. The gas work carried out at one of the properties was inspected by a Gas Safe inspector who found it to be ’at risk’ meaning that the appliance, if operated, may have been a potential danger to life or property.
Mr Stevens of Reynolds Place, Grange Farm, Milton Keynes, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(7), Regulation 26 (1), and two charges under Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He also admitted a breach under Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Mr Stevens was sentenced to a 12-month custodial sentence.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew McGill said: “Mr Stevens undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do. He also ignored enforcement action taken by HSE against him.

“HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate action against rogue gas fitters who disregard the law and place lives at risk. Working with gas appliances is difficult, specialised and potentially very dangerous, so it is vital that this is only undertaken by trained and competent engineers who are registered with Gas Safe.”

Air cargo baggage handling company fined following two incidents at Luton Airport
Date: 26 February 2018
 
Airport baggage and cargo handler Swissport GB Limited has been fined following two accidents at Luton Airport in 2015.

On the 23 June 2015, a ramp agent and team leader for Swissport GB Limited was working at Luton Airport. Using a flatbed lorry and a belt loader the team leader and his team unloaded the bags from an aircraft onto a flatbed lorry. Whilst standing on the back of the flatbed, the worker directed a colleague to take the bags to the airport inbound terminal. The colleague climbed into the cab of the flatbed, checked his mirrors and drove away not realising the team leader was still on the vehicle when it drove away.

The worker fell off the moving vehicle onto the ground sustaining bruising and damage to his spine. He was off work for eight weeks.

On 9 September 2015 a second team leader employed by Swissport was working at Luton Airport on a night shift loading cargo onto an aircraft using a high-loader. A high-loader has a platform that raises cargo from the ground up to the aircraft hold and extends to approximately 9 metres. The high-loader had been partially raised when the team leader began climbing the access ladder. As he was climbing the ladder, one of his feet slipped and he fell backwards to the ground suffering an impact injury to his right foot.

Luton Crown Court heard that Swissport GB Limited had not adequately assessed the risk or implemented a safe system of work to address the risk of employees falling from the rear of flatbed vehicles being driven away with workers still on the flatbed. The court heard that Swissport had failed to ensure that work at height on high-loaders was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

Swissport GB Ltd of Swissport House Hampton Court, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work1974 and Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £502,000 and ordered to pay costs of £44,444.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: “Employers should be aware of their legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees and those not in their employment. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
 
 
Scaffolder sentenced over unsafe working at height
Date: 20 February 2018
 
A 28-year­-old scaffolder has been sentenced after working at height without suitable and sufficient safety measures in place.

Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 30 June 2017, Mr Terrance Murray was witnessed erecting scaffold in an unsafe manner by a concerned member of the public. Photographs were taken of Mr Murray standing on top of the scaffold in Quay Street, Manchester, with no edge protection and no harness attached to any part of the scaffold or building.

The fall height was estimated at between 13 and 18 metres. If he had fallen from this height into the concrete deck of the car park below there is a high probability that he would have sustained fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Murray’s employers had taken reasonable steps to avoid working unsafely at height. Mr Murray was well trained and experienced, and had the correct equipment available to him in order to work safely. He acted alone against his better interest and training to work without edge protection and safety measures in place. Mr Murray was also accompanied by a trainee scaffolder at the time and so was setting an unsafe example.

Mr Terrance Murray of Largs Road, Blackburn pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for one year and 100 hours of community service. Mr Murray was also ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and should be taken seriously.

“This case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to erect scaffolding in a safe manner, which does not cause risk to members of the public and workers using the scaffold. It also serves to remind employees that they have a duty to look after themselves.”

Trailer repair company fined after worker killed
Date: 18 January 2018
A Suffolk-based trailer service firm has been fined after an employee suffered fatal head injuries.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how an employee of the defendant was operating a scissor-lift working platform when this was struck by a Long Goods Vehicle (LGV), causing him to be ejected onto a roadway from a height of 1.5 metres.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 23 January 2015, found that SPR Trailer Services Limited failed to plan and organise work at height in a manner that ensured the safety of their workers. The work at height should have been organised to segregate activity in space and/or time from adjacent workplace transport operations.

SPR Trailer Services Limited of 5 Walton Avenue, Felixstowe, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £120,000.

Speaking after the case, HSE Principal Inspector Norman Macritchie said “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement and monitor safe systems of work. The company did not undertake the simple safety measure of segregating those working at height from adjacent workplace transport operations, in line with widely available industry guidance.”
 
 
Principal contractor and site manager sentenced following asbestos exposure at a construction site
Date: 18 January 2018
The principal contractor and site manager of a construction site in Derby city centre have been sentenced after workers were exposed to asbestos during refurbishment work.

Derby Magistrates’ Court heard how, on or before 5 January 2017, at the St Peters Churchyard site, labourers removed asbestos insulating board (AIB) ceiling panels from a store room, work which should have been completed by a licensed asbestos removal contractor under fully controlled conditions.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that M&S Developments (Bemrose Court) Limited were the Principal Contractor for the site and Adam Campbell was the site manager (operating as Kynersley Management Services Limited). Work was taking place to convert the former office buildings into apartments.

An asbestos refurbishment survey completed prior to construction work starting clearly indicated that the lower ground floor store room contained an asbestos insulating board (AIB) ceiling. During construction work this AIB ceiling was accidentally damaged and the site manager instructed two young labourers to remove approximately 4-6 square metres of it. Suitable asbestos control measures were not in place and the workers involved were not trained in asbestos removal.

Following the involvement of HSE in January 2017, a licensed asbestos removal contractor was brought in to clean the area. Asbestos containing floor tiles located around the site were also identified as at risk of damage from the construction work and arrangements were made with the principal contractor for these to be removed under controlled conditions by trained staff.

The investigation found that the principal contractor and their site manager failed to suitably manage the site asbestos containing materials. They failed to ensure that the asbestos containing materials (ACM) identified in the asbestos refurbishment survey were removed prior to any potential for disturbance during the construction work and the site manager failed to respond appropriately once the AIB ceiling had been accidentally damaged in the lower ground floor store room.

M&S Developments (Bemrose Court) Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £9,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,336.
Kynersley Management Services Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,531.66.

Adam Campbell pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 via Section 37 in his role as a Director of Kynersley Management Services Limited. He was given a community order to carry out 120 hours unpaid work and was also ordered to pay costs of £1,531.66.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said:
“This incident could so easily have been avoided by the duty holders simply carrying out correct asbestos control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies and individual site managers should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action including prosecution against those that fall below the required standard for managing asbestos containing materials during refurbishment work. Most types of asbestos containing material work (ACM) require a licensed removal contractor with suitably trained and licensed workers.”
 
 
Toilet roll company fined after worker injured by machinery
Date: 16 January 2018
A 22-year-old man had part of his finger severed whilst working at a toilet roll manufacturing company in Blackburn.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how the worker lost the top of his right index finger when he touched a moving blade as he fed paper between two rollers, as part of the manufacturing process.
The incident took place on 14 May 2016 at Accrol Papers Limited, Roman Road, Blackburn.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found it was possible for employees to place one hand on the perforating blade, whilst pressing a button to move the rollers with the other.

The risk of serious injury arising from this operation had been identified by the company prior to the incident, but no action had been taken. The court heard that threading belts, which should have been used to safely feed the paper between the rollers were missing at the time of the incident. It was also possible to operate the machine with one hand and reach between the rollers with the other.

Accrol Papers Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1)(a) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9326.40.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Leona Cameron said: “After the incident, the company moved the controls for the machine so that operators could not reach the blade when the machine was moving. Had this been done beforehand then the injury could have been avoided.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.
 
 
Company fined after worker covered in chemicals after tank failure
Date: 16 January 2018
An Essex based chemical company has been sentenced today after an employee was injured when a storage tank failed.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 17 September 2016, Mr Anthony Nichols, an employee of Industrial Chemicals Limited, was working at the company’s premises at Waggonway Road Industrial Estate, Hebburn, Tyne and Wear when a storage tank failed without warning. He was covered in a flood of chemicals and washed over a handrail, he was taken to hospital as a precaution, having ingested some chemical and getting it in his eyes. Mr Nichols has since returned to work following this incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that, despite a previous prosecution for a tank failure at another site, local management did not fully disclose how the tank was used to their engineering team.

The investigation also found that the tank should have been used for water based washings, but was instead used for hot and heavy material. The tank was therefore filled with material beyond its design limit, causing it to fail without warning, which could have injured anyone working nearby.

Industrial Chemicals Limited of Hogg Lane, Grays, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The company has been fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,169.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Stephen Britton said: “Employers who use bulk storage tanks should be aware that if they fail, the release of large quantities of material is dangerous. They should ensure that they are suitable for the materials kept in them and inspected.”
 
 
Lewisham council fined after failing to control risk
Date: 11 January 2018
The London Borough of Lewisham has today been found guilty and fined for failing to manage and control the risk of persons falling into vehicle inspection pits at their Wearside Service Centre in Ladywell.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, a visitor to the Wearside Service Centre fell into a vehicle inspection pit striking her head while work was being undertaken at the site. Lewisham Council had failed to heed their own independent health and safety consultant’s findings from two sets of risk assessments that recommended guarding around or over the open pits. 

Lewisham Council also ignored HSE guidance on the need to guard against persons falling into vehicle inspection pits.
London Borough of Lewisham of Lewisham Town Hall, Catford Road, London were found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The council has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £65,000.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Ian Shearring said: 

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work fatalities in this country. The risks associated with working at height are well-known. Lewisham Council had been repeatedly warned of the risk and what they needed to do, and have today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of persons visiting their site.”