Category Archives: Work Accidents

Council Fined after Accident in Which Tractor Overturned and Worker Injured

Magistrates have fined Bristol City Council £20,000 after the HSE investigated an accident in which a tractor overturned and a worker was injured.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation was launched after a female park keeper overturned a tractor and trailer she was using to carry out maintenance work at Netham Park in Bristol in May 2012.

HSE inspectors at Bristol Magistrates Court explained that the unnamed employee had applied the brakes to the tractor as it approached an incline, but the tractor had skidded and in an attempt to avoid colliding with a fence the tractor driver had overturned the vehicle.

The fifty-one year old council worker was thrown from the cab of the tractor and broke her pelvis as she landed. She also sustained a serious Achilles tendon injury for which she will require future surgery, and which has forced her to give up working as a park keeper – a position for which she underwent three years of training.

The HSE investigation into the accident in which the tractor overturned and the worker was injured revealed that there was no seat belt fitted in the cab of the tractor and that the council worker had received inadequate training on how to safely use the vehicle.

Bristol City Council was prosecuted with two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and, after council representatives pleaded guilty to the charges – magistrates fined the council £20,000, and imposed additional costs of £4,700.

One of the inspectors who investigated the accident the accident in which the tractor overturned and the worker was injured – Kate Leftly – said after the hearing that the accident was entirely avoidable and had caused considerable pain and distress to the council worker.

Ms Leftly added that Bristol City Council failed to give their employee the training she needed to perform her duties safely or take into account that the vehicle should have been fitted with a safety restraint.

Bolton Roofer Dies in Accident

A 65 year old roofer from Bolton has died following an incident where he fell off a ladder as he was carrying out repairs on a chimney. The incident occurred when the roofer, Keith Allan Jackson, had been in climbing down from the house’s roof. He subsequently fell as he neared the bottom of the ladder, landed on the ground and sustained severe head injuries.

The accident occurred just before 10am on Tuesday morning. A doctor was brought to the scene by air ambulance. An ambulance was then called and Mr Jackson was brought to the Royal Blackburn Hospital. Unfortunately, Mr Jackson was pronounced dead not long after arriving.

Called to the scene were Detectives from Blackburn with Darwen CID and The Health and Safety Executive following reports that a man had sustained severe head injuries due to an industrial accident.  The police have stated that the cause of death will be determined by a post mortem examination. It is thought that Mr Jackson may have had a heart attack while he was climbing down the ladder.

Mr Jackson began the company Roofkraft in 1965 – he was a self-employed tradesman. It is believed that two members of staff were employed by the company. Roofkraft have confirmed that they are aware of the incident.

The investigation was led by DI Mark Vaughton who stated -

“We received a call from the ambulance service stating a 65-year-old man had been found with head injuries in the back yard of a house in Brandwood Street, Darwen.

“We quickly established the man who is from Bolton had been working at the property.

“At this time his cause of death still remains unknown, but I can say there were no suspicious circumstances.

“I also believe this man did not fall from a great height.

“The paramedics made a valiant effort to save the man who later sadly died.

“My sincere condolences are with the family.”

Paint Company Fined £12,000 After Worker is Injured

Thermaset Ltd, a paint company situated in Tamworth, has been ordered to pay fines of £12,000 by Stafford Magistrates’ Court following an accident where a 21-year-old worker suffered an avoidable arm injury. Mark Capewell’s  arm was dragged into machinery while he was working at the company’s Lichfield Road Industrial Estate site. He sustained serious crush injuries in the accident that occurred on June 2011 and he required intensive physiotherapy. Following the incident he returned to work briefly, however he had to leave again as he still suffers from arm pain and headaches. Thermaset Ltd was fined for failing to implement adequate health and safety regulations.

Mr Capewell had been working for the company for 6 months before the incident occurred. On the day of the accident he was told to remove some product stuck to the machine rollers just before finishing his shift. He was given a handheld scarper to aid this work, however it did not work. He then decided to do it by hand and he reached into the machine – however, the product was hot and wet so it subsequently stuck to his glove and dragged his arm into the roller.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation that discovered that blockages frequently occurred on the extruder machines; however, workers were not provided with a safe system of removing these blockages, nor were they provided with the the basic risk assessment for the extruders. Mr Capewell had been shadowing an experienced staff member beforehand to learn learn the process, however no formal training was provided.

Matt Lea, a HSE inspector said that the company have improved their safety measures since the incident occurred. He then stated –

“It has guarded the machines appropriately, has a documented safe system of work and has ensured that all operatives are suitably trained.”

But he added: “If these safeguards had been in place before Mr Capewell suffered a painful injury, the accident could easily have been prevented.”

UK Coal Mining Ltd Fined £125,000 for the Death of Locomotive Driver

UK Coal Mining Ltd has been fined £125,000  by Nottingham Crown Court over the death of John Harbron, a locomotive driver from Nottinghamshire at Thoresby Colliery in July 2009. The company, however, is unable to pay the fine or the £175,000 in legal costs due to the fact that it restructured last year. Furthermore, it has ceased trading and has no assets to speak of. UK Coal Mining Ltd admitted guilt to violating the Health and Safety at Work Act.

47-year-old Mr Harbron had been in the middle of unloading 40 steel pipes from a rail car when suddenly they rolled on him. Mr Harbron was pronounced dead at the scene after he sustained several severe injuries.

Four written reports had been written by locomotive drivers in the 18 months before the death of Mr Habron concerning the instability of these pipes. The managers, however, failed to act on these concerns or implement changes to improve safety at the colliery. The company has claimed that they have made safety improvements since Mr Habron’s death.

Sharon,Mr Harbron’s widow, expressed the fact that she was “not very happy” following the hearing:

Port Talbot Tata Steel Plant Worker Suffers Burn Injuries

A worker has sustained burn injuries in an accident at the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot; it has been announced by the company. Tata says that there was a molten steel spillage which was being poured from a crane vessel in the continuous casting plant. Another two workers were treated for shock following the dangerous incident on Tuesday night and all three have been taken to Morriston Hospital in Swansea. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been made aware of the accident.

A spokesman from the HSE said: “It’s an initial inquiry at the moment. An inspector will be visiting the site.”

According to Tata Steel, the injured worker was in a good condition in hospital recovering from their burns which were attributable to the heat, as the worker did not have any direct contact with the molten material. His two colleagues have since been discharged from hospital. The workers were administered medical treatment by the on-site emergency services until paramedics arrived at the scene. Fire services and police services were also alerted under the site emergency plan.

Robert Dangerfield, a Tata spokesman, has said that health and safety has always been the company’s number one priority and that an investigation of the incident is underway. On the matter he said -

“We always look to learn what we can from any incident. We are working at a high capacity at the moment and are in full production,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with our colleague who’s been hurt.”

South Wales Police have established that they were called to an incident at the Tata steel works in Port Talbot at 22:45 BST on Tuesday, April 2nd.

Aviation Worker Dies in Factory Accident

A 47-year-old aviation worker from Cambridge died following a crushing incident Saturday afternoon in a factory run by CAV Ltd near Newmarket Road in Cambridge. According to reports, the employee was trapped under “a piece of heavy metal”. The ambulance service has stated that the injuries he suffered were internal and traumatic. His body has not yet been identified.

CAV Ltd is an aerospace manufacturing firm, the factory in question stores components for aircraft wings. The Marshall company, who leases the factory to CAV, was alerted to the accident and offered assistance at the scene to police and paramedics.

Terry Holloway, a spokesman for Marshall said –

“Our security staff assisted the emergency services with handling the accident and we also provided medical assistance from within Marshalls.”

An East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust Spokeswoman has said paramedics were contacted at 1.23pm about a man who had been crushed by heavy metal material and could not be accessed easily. Sent to assist at the scene were a clinical manager, a double-staffed ambulance and an air Fire and Rescue.

A helicopter crew from the emergency medical charity Magpas were also sent to the location of the accident to aid the crushed man; however he later died at the scene. Police were at the site over the weekend and an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive was also carried out. The Civil Aviation Authority has been informed about the death.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police stated – “We are working with the Health and Safety Executive to look at the circumstances around the incident to see if any offences have been committed.”

Owen McFarlane, CAV Ltd group chief executive, said that the man who died was an agency worker from another company. He was working at the time that the accident occurred. He went on to say that the company are co-operating fully with the investigations and that condolences go out to the deceased aviation worker’s family.

Inquest Rules that Lithuanian Factory Worker Died Accidentally

An inquest jury has ruled that 23-year-old Zydre Groblyte, a Lithuanian factory worker at RGE Engineering in Godmanchester who died on April 27th after being crushed and sustaining a severe head injury by a printing machine which started while she was inside it, died accidentally. Nevertheless the standards of the supervision and training that is provided to staff in the company has been questioned – particularly with regards to staff who have a poor grasp of English.

Ms Groblyte had been an employee at the factory for eight months. She was working at making panels for use in washing machines when the unfortunate incident occurred. The jury concluded that Miss Groblyte had inadvertently got through a safety gate, perhaps by stepping over it or going through a gap in it.

The jury came to a verdict of accidental death on the final day of Ms Groblyte’s inquest. The head juror stated –

“The jury believes on the balance of probability that the ongoing supervision of temporary workers, particularly those with poor or little English skills, was neither consistent nor adequate. Inconsistency and inadequacy in training and supervision of a colleague was therefore a contributing factor, more than minimally, negligibly and trivially to the death of Miss Groblyte.”

The juror went on to say –

“We believe more likely than not Miss Groblyte’s colleague accidentally activated the machine by either pushing the start button or pedal.”

The jury also came to the agreement that it should have been known by management at the factory that workers were accessing the machinery other than through the safety gates. They also believed a contributing factor to Miss Groblyte’s death was a failure to provide a safety guard that would deactivate the machine when someone was inside it.

the Health and Safety Executive is STILL conducting an investigation into the accident.

An RGE Engineering spokeswoman stated that the firm “respects the verdict by jury in this matter”.

She then stated –

“The circumstances surrounding Zydre’s death remain under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive so it would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time. Our sympathies remain with Zydre’s family and friends.”

Manager Awarded £30,000 Compensation after Permanently Damaging her Foot

A 26-year-old woman has been left with a metal frame in her foot forever following an incident where she suffered severe ankle injuries after slipping on a loose wooden pallet  in February 2011 while she was at work.  At the time of the incident she was an operations manager at Bereco Ltd, a manufacturer of window frame and door frames based in Rotherham.

She was staying late, carrying out the role of her colleague who was out sick. This involved making sure that a delivery was dispatched on time. She made sure that pallets for delivery had been loaded on to a lorry, however, there remained some loose bundles of handles and frames.

Katrin tried to reach the final bags by climbing over a different pallet which had a sheet of plywood covering it, which served to conceal the edges of the frame.  When she had collected these items, Katrin then climbed down off the pallet, however she suddenly slipped and fell,. This resulted in her twisting an ankle and sustaining ligament tears in the other.

Katrin now has a five-and-a-half inch scar on her ankle and a metal frame inside her foot following extensive medical treatment. She has been awarded a £30,000 compensation settlement. The injury she suffered rendered unable to work for more than a year. She has undergone physiotherapy and numerous pain-filled operations; however she still has not healed completely.

About the incident Katrin has stated –

“I was off work for 14 months and spent a lot of that time in pain and discomfort. Being unable to get around and do things for myself was so frustrating, and really got me down.

“My ankle has improved a lot since the last surgery, but it still swells up and feels sore when I walk on uneven ground. It hurts every day, but it’s still a relief to be at this stage compared to where I was a year ago.”

Maintenance Worker Dies Suddenly after Work Accident

40-Year-old Graham Vincent from died suddenly three weeks after being injured at work. Mr Vincent worked for South West Highways near Exeter. It is believed that the accident occurred when Mr Vincent had been working with a strimmer on a roadside border. He received medical treatment at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. The father of three had been at his home in Kentisbeare allowing himself time to recover from the accident when he suddenly died on Saturday, November 24.

A South West Highways spokesman has stated that theMr Vincent had been a friendly man and his death has saddened staff after having spent seven years at the company. He extended his condolences to Mr Vincent’s family. He then stated –

“SWH wishes to maintain an atmosphere of complete respect at this sad time and will not be making further comment to the press.”

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed about the incident and a spokesman stated -

“We are aware of the incident which was reported to us. We will be looking to decide whether it is suitable for investigation.”

Construction Company Fined After Worker Crushed by Digger

A building company, Parkstone Construction Ltd, has been fined thousands of pounds by Mansfield Magistrates’ Court after a groundworker suffered multiple injuries when he was run over by a seven tonne digger on a supermarket construction site in Mansfield on 8 November 2010. Michael Tomlinson, from Birmingham, sustained a ruptured bladder and a fractured wrist, amongst various other injuries, when he was struck on Jubilee Way South.

Mr. Tomlinson was working as a groundworker for the Birmingham-based company in preparations for a supermarket’s foundations. A digger hit Mr Tomlinson as it reversed when the driver did not notice he was behind it. The digger subsequently knocked him to the ground and he was crushed underneath.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the incident and discovered that Parkstone Construction Ltd had failed to make sure that workers were separated safely from moving vehicles while work was being performed. The company was fined £15,000 with costs of £6,447 after pleading guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Following the hearing, Nic Rigby, a HSE Inspector stated

“This incident was entirely preventable, and Mr Tomlinson could have avoided serious and painful injuries had work at the site been better managed Those in charge of construction sites must ensure that pedestrians and vehicles are effectively and safely segregated. There is clear guidance on how to achieve this and ensure incidents of this kind can be avoided.”

Merseyside Firm Prosecuted after Worker Suffers Brain Injury

CME Ceilings, a Merseyside firm, has been ordered to pay fines of £5,000 in addition to £5,000 costs following an incident where a 43-year-old worker suffered a brain injury on January 18 last year. The man, who is from West Derby, fell from scaffolding at Croxteth Sports and Wellbeing centre and subsequently sustained a brain haemorrhage, a fractured skull, a collapsed lung and broken bones.

The company was prosecuted and fined following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which discovered that the scaffolding tower had been unsafe. After the accident the worker was in intensive care for two weeks. The brain injury he suffered has had a long-term impact on his personality. He has been unable to return to work as a consequence of his injuries.

The accident occurred when the company was carrying out a job that involved installing a suspended ceiling at the Croxteth Sports and Wellbeing centre. Originally a scissor lift was going to be utilised in order to reach the ceiling, however they did not properly arrange for the scissor lift to be delivered to the site, so a scaffolding tower was used instead. The use of the scaffolding tower was made hazardous due to the fact the brakes of the wheels had not been applied in addition to the fact that no edge protection had been positioned around the work platform to stop workers from falling.

When the tower suddenly started to move across the room while the man was working he fell two meters to the ground below. The HSE also discovered that scaffolding tower consisted of parts from numerous manufacturers and that these parts were in poor condition. The company admitted guilt to violating the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Mark Baker , a HSE inspector had this to say about the incident –

“One of CME Ceilings’ employees has suffered severe physical and mental injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life.

“The scaffolding tower the company provided simply wasn’t up to the job and his life was put in danger the minute he started to climb it.

“This case should act as a warning to firms not to cut corners and to make sure they use the right equipment for the job they’re doing.”

Birmingham Recycling Plant Prosecuted for Worker’s Broken Arm

Hawkeswood Metal Recycling , a scrap metal recycling firm, is likely to be ordered to pay ample fines by Birmingham Crown Court following an incident where a worker’s arm was caught in a piece of machinery at their factory in Birmingham. The worker in question, Ansumana Jammeh suffered, a broken arm when his right arm was trapped between a conveyor belt and a piece of equipment at the plant which is located in Aston Church Road, Nechells.

The unfortunate accident happened when Mr Jammeh was in the midst of sorting scrap metal when a piece of metal fell in between the roller and the belt, which subsequently caused the belt to bob up and down. He first attempted to remove this metal with the end of a mop and when that was not successful, he reached in to remove it with his hand.

However, his hand was subsequently trapped in the mechanism and he was unable to reach the machine’s emergency stop button. His co-workers did not immediately notice what had happened so it was several minutes before help was sought for Mr Jammeh. A protective guard should have been covering the machinery according to the law, however there was not one.

Mr Jammeh had been employed by the firm for six months was awarded an undisclosed amount of compensation from Hawkeswood Metal Recycling. Wayne Hawkeswood pleaded admitted guilt on account of the company to one charge of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Regan Peggs, the defending solicitor, said that since the unfortunate occurrence, the company had obtained newer and safer equipment to replace the old unsafe machinery and the company had gone “above and beyond” what the Health and Safety Executive had recommended.  Birmingham Magistrates Court adjourned the case for sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court on July 26.

Derbyshire Contractors Fined £400,000 after Crane Operator Left Paralysed

An incident where a crane collapsed on June 6, 2009 that left 55 year old Iain Gillham paralysed and caused much destruction at a Liverpool city centre apartment block has been ruled as being a preventable incident. The two construction firms involved in the accident had previously made disastrous errors that led to a 200ft crane falling through the Chandlers Wharf apartments which culminated in millions of pounds of destruction

The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) have stated that it was  extremely lucky that many people were not killed. Derbyshire based contractors, Bowmer and Kirkland, were ordered to pay fines of £280,000 and in addition to almost £200,000 in costs by Liverpool Crown Court after being found guilty of violating safety laws which served to endanger both the lives of both workers and residents. Bingham Davis, a Liverpool structural engineering company, would have been ordered to pay £400,000 fines, however they will only be liable to pay £1,000 as the company is in liquidation and possesses no assets.

It was found that a redesign of the crane’s foundations was flawed and this caused it to be hazardously unstable. When it toppled over it flung Mr Gillham from the crane’s cab and crashed into the flats beside the building site where seven apartment blocks and a new eight-storey hotel were being built. Nobody who had been inside the building was injured, however residents were subsequently evacuated

The crane lost stability after the firms decided that it would be a good idea to cut off steel bars that were essential from four concrete foundation piles in order to sit the crane’s feet on top on them. The steel bars were replaced with four steel rods in each concrete foundation pile which served to reduce how much force the foundation could endure. All of this subsequently led to the crane collapsing.

Mr Gillham is now paralysed for life. He suffered substantial injuries, such as a fractured skull, 13 fractures in his chest and spine, a brain haemorrhage in addition to a collapsed lung and serious crush injuries. He will never be able to walk again. The judge stated that Mr Gillham was “entirely free” from blame.

Following the hearing, Warren Pennington, a HSE inspector, stated –

“Whilst it is bad enough that Iain Gillham will be unable to walk for the rest of his life as a result of the failings of both parties it is no exaggeration to say it was only by pure chance that this catastrophic event did not result in multiple fatalities.”

Network Rail Fined for Breaching 1974 Safety at Work Act

Network Rail has been ordered to pay fines of £4m by Preston Crown Court because of the safety failings that caused the fatal train derailment in Grayrigg, Cumbria on February 23, 2007, which killed one passenger and injured 86 others. Network Rail is responsible for the upkeep of railways to an adequate standard and ensuring their safety. The firm accepted responsibility for the Virgin Pendolino tilting train which derailed near the remote village.

Network Rail pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act last month and a sentence has just been passed. The London to Glasgow express derailed at 95mph when it struck an inadequately maintained and defective set of points. All of the train’s nine carriages derailed.

The train’s wheels came off the tracks due to the failure of Stretcher bars responsible for holding the moveable rails a certain distance apart when the points are operated.  A Rail Accident Investigation Branch compiled a report following the crash and concluded that the poor maintenance of the failed points were the “immediate cause” of the derailment.

If Network Rail had not pleaded guilty then their penalty would have been £6m. The firm was also ordered to pay £118,037 costs. Chief executive of Network Rail, Sir David Higgins stated –

“Within hours it was clear that the infrastructure was at fault and we accepted responsibility, so it is right that we have been fined.”

The director of railway safety at the Office of Rail Regulation, Ian Prosser, had this to say about the incident with regards to the safety of British Rail –

“Britain’s railways are safe and are one of the safest in Europe. But there is absolutely no room for complacency. Where failings are found those at fault will be held to account and the entire rail industry must continue to strive for improvements to ensure that public safety is never put at a similar risk again.”

 

Recycling Firm Fined £10,000 After Worker Breaks Foot

Countrystyle Recycling Ltd has been fined £10,000 by Maidstone Magistrate’s Court following an incident where a 19- year old worker’s foot was broken by a 16-tonne shovel. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the recycling firm for its failure to implement a safe work system at its site in Kent.

The accident in which a 16-tonne shovel which crushed Mr Brown’s foot resulting in 16 bones occurred on February 22 2010. Daniel Brown was busy sorting waste when the tyre of a 16-tonne shovel ran over his right foot. The incident rendered Mr Brown unable to work  and all hopes were lost for his potential motocross career. Recurring foot pain and arthritis are still issues that he must deal with.

An investigation conducted by the HSE discovered that there was no system of segregation between moving vehicles and pedestrian, apart from informing employers verbally to stay clear. The HSE issued an Improvement Notice at the beginning of its investigation to segregate vehicles and pedestrians in a proper manner.

Countrystyle Recycling Ltd admitted guilt to violating section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the incident. The firm was ordered to pay fines of £10,000 in addition to £6,221 in costs.

Stephen Green, a HSE inspector, stated -

“The injured worker was lucky not to be killed as a result of this incident, which could have easily been avoided if the long list of failures with this vehicle and systems had been addressed earlier.

“HSE has plenty of helpful guidance that could have been followed, and if the company had implemented a safe system of work, segregating moving vehicles from pedestrians, then a young man wouldn’t have broken a bone for every tonne of weight that rolled over his foot – 16 in total. There is no excuse for not having a safe system of work in place.”

Following the prosecution, a statement issued by Countrystyle stated –

“The Group takes health and safety matters seriously and has significantly strengthened its safety procedures in light of this incident.”

B&Q Fined £60,000 for Forklift Truck Accidents

DIY supplier chain, B&Q, has been ordered to pay fines of £60,000 by Exeter Crown Court following an incident where two workers sustained severe injuries from accidents involving fork-lift trucks at their two stores in Exeter, which both occurred within the space of 18 days in 2010. The employees who were injured were a 47-year-old garden centre worker and a 43-year-old delivery driver – they both sustained broken limbs and are still recovering.

The garden centre worker, Stephen Durrant was injured at the Alphington Road store in May. He sustained a broken arm and leg after half a ton of topsoil was knocked off shelving at the store and subsequently hit him. The topsoil was being stored on the highest shelf even though the company had banned this. Andrew White, the delivery driver, was injured at the Sowton store when he was hit by a reversing fork-lift truck. He ended up sustaining a serious heel injury and has been unable to work as a result.

Both accidents illustrated the fact that B&Q’s methods of risk assessment and safety procedures were not up to par. For instance, with the first incident, the forklift driver had very little room on either side to manoeuvre. The second accident occurred because employees did not obey the official company rules that state that delivery drivers should stay in the truck until cargo has been unloaded.

B&Q was ordered to pay fines of £60,000, with £25,317.50 costs and £60 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to four offences against the Health and Safety Act.
Judge Phillip Wassall stated -

“The incident at Alphington Road was an accident waiting to happen. The problem at Sowton was that the company’s rules were simply not being enforced on the ground and over time B&Q bear heavy responsibility for that.”

Nestle Fined £180,000 after Factory Worker Dies

In December 2008 factory worker, Nazar Hussain, a father of three from Halifax, died in an accident while working at a Nestle factory in Bailey Hall Road. The fatal accident occurred when he was inside a depalletiser machine and his colleague restarted it, unaware that Mr Hussain was still inside.

It is thought that Mr Hussain had entered the machine to clear a blockage following the machine’s alarm sounding.  When the machine’s alarm again sounded, Mr Hussain’s co-worker went to investigate why. He inspected the machine to see if anybody was inside and it appeared to be empty. He then restarted the depalletiser, however it stopped just a few seconds later. Mr Hussain’s body was then found inside and he was pronounced dead.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation discovered that workers at the Nestle factory had not been made aware of the fact that there was a safety key available for the machine. Mr Hussain’s death was ultimately avoidable and due to safety failings demonstrated by Nestle. HSE referred to the cause of Mr Hussain’s death as being ‘inexcusable negligence’

Additionally, there was no written safety advice provided by Nestle about improving the guarding on the machine which had been acquired by the company in 2002. Nestle UK Ltd were fined £180,000 and were also ordered to pay £41.826.33 in court costs after pleading guilty to violating the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Following the court hearing inspector for the HSE, Jackie Ferguson, stated -

“Companies should be aware HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall so far below the required standards.”

Mr Hussain’s daughter, Sameena, spoke about her family’s loss in a court statement -

She said: “The death of my father came as a complete shock and my mother has been left in pieces by his death. She grieves to this day and still asks questions as to how and why it happened. Our lives have undergone a complete change, and for that we blame Nestle for not having the proper fail-safes in place to stop something like this occurring.”

Several Injured at Explosion in Fox’s Biscuits Factory

Several people sustained injury and one man was severely burned after an explosion occurred at the Fox’s Biscuits factory located on Wellington Street in Batley. At 10.45am the emergency services were called when a spark ignited fuel in an old heating oil tank at the back of the building. The man who suffered burns on his legs is a contractor that was apparently dismantling this tank at the time. Treatment was administered at the site and he was subsequently brought to hospital; his injuries are not thought to be severe. Another five workers were also provided with medical treatment at the scene.

The incident occurred Wednesday the 22nd and resulted in the evacuation of the factory as fire-fighters tried to prevent the fire spreading from to a boiler house adjacent to the factory. The fire was extinguished in just a few minutes; however they remained at the factory for several hours afterwards to cool the tank.

A Fox’s Biscuits spokesman said that no damage had been done to the building as a result of the explosion and that the firm’s 450 employees had been able to return to work at the factory at 3pm. He went on to say -

“At approximately 10.45am there was a small blast in the area around the three diesel tanks at the back of the building.

“Contractors were draining and cleaning the diesel tanks and there was a source of ignition that caused the incident and one member of the contractor team sustained burns to his legs.

“He is in hospital receiving treatment and is sitting up and talking. We await a further update as to his condition.

“The response to the incident from colleagues on site was excellent, the evacuation was done quickly and orderly and we remained fully in control at all times.

“The incident management and evacuation has been commended by the chief fire officer on the scene.”

The spokesman also stated that the Health and Safety Executive were conducting an investigation and that the company had also launched their own investigation in conjunction with the contractors and site teams.

Skip Worker Receives £175,000 Compensation after His Hand is Crushed

Enviro Skips Ltd has been ordered to pay £175,000 compensation following an incident where a 42-year-old worker crushed his hand and had his thumb and finger cut off due to an accident at work in January 2009. The accident occurred when skip worker, Heath Riley, was delivering a skip for the company and the skip had been stacked insecurely inside another skip.

Mr Riley’s right hand was severely crushed after the top skip came loose and fell on his hand. Subsequently, Mr Riley’s thumb was amputated on the site of the accident and was brought for specialist microsurgery at the Royal Preston Hospital. Here, his index finger had to be amputated by surgeons.

Furthermore, two more of Mr Riley’s fingers have now been rendered useless and he can no longer use his right hand – his dominant hand. This has left him unable to carry out everyday tasks, such as DIY hobbies. He can no longer work in his former industry.

Mr Riley has this to say about the matter –

“No amount of compensation will take away the pain and suffering I have endured as a result of the accident, nor does it make up for the fact that I cannot return to a manual labour job due to my injuries.

“This significant settlement will go some way in assisting with the ongoing pain relief and medical treatment costs I will need in the future, also allowing for the loss of earnings that I will suffer.”

Enviro Skips accepted liability for breaching health and safety regulations by stacking and delivering skips that were damaged and unsafe and dangerous for use.

Rotherham Firm Prosecuted by HSE for Safety Failings

Yorkshire Spin Galvanising, a Rotherham firm, has been prosecuted by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failures in safety following a maintenance engineer being crushed by a 1.5 tonne weight that landed on his back on 27 September 2010. The worker sustained multiple injuries, such as a broken shoulder, two cracked ribs and the tops of three vertebrae being snapped off.  The HSE conducted an investigation following the incident occurring.

The accident had happened when the worker was investigating a fault and climbed onto a gantry which was in the machine. After it had cleared, he made his way to the back of the gantry – where the operator could not see him – in order to look at another repair that he had carried out recently. He leaned over a guardrail in order to get a better view, however, the machine was still running and the counterweight descended – which subsequently pinned him against the junction box. Before he lost consciousness, he was able to shout ‘stop’ to alert his co-workers and a co-worker at the control panel was able to free him from the weight.

The company, which is registered at East Parade, Leeds, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs by Rotherham Magistrates’ Court after it admitted guilt to the violation of Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at their Rotherham plant.

HSE Inspector, Denise Fotheringham, said that the accident could easily have been fatal and that the company had poor safety standards, especially when it came to the safety of maintenance workers. He then went on to say -

“There were no systems to isolate the machinery and engineers relied on emergency stops and interlocks. That’s woefully inadequate as there is a risk the machine could be re-started with the engineer inside.

“Machines should always be fully isolated from the power supply and if an engineer has to go in, it needs to be locked off with a padlock that only the engineer can undo once the work is complete.”

27 people were killed in the manufacturing sector during 2010/11 and just over 3,800 major injuries were reported according to the latest statistics from HSE.

Lighting Company Fined for Health and Safety Breaches

Academy Signs Ltd, a lighting company in Lincoln, has been fined and prosecuted for not implementing adequate health and safety measures. The company pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for work that was carried out in The Ritz pub on July 8, 2010.

The company had failed to carry out adequate risk assessment checks, had taken inadequate measures in the case of an employee suffering a fall and had not assessed the risk of those who were not employed by the company. Academy Signs Ltd. Has been ordered to pay over £13,000 in fines and costs by Lincoln Magistrates Court and the City of Lincoln Council.

Paul Rohowsky, the Health and Safety Inspector at the City Council, said:

“The City of Lincoln Council has an enforcement responsibility for many businesses operating within the city and we will always investigate employers who demonstrate a blatant disregard for health and safety.

“The reckless manner in which Academy Signs Ltd went about replacing lighting tubes to JD Wetherspoon The Ritz on High Street put both their employees and members of the public walking on the footpath at risk of serious injury.

“The fine imposed by Lincoln Magistrates Court confirms that working at a height without any safety measures is unacceptable.”

 

Kimberly-Clark Fined After Factory Worker Dies

Kimberly-Clark has been ordered to pay fines of £180,000 after a 28 year old worker was killed at one of their Andrex factories located on Park Road in Barrow-in-Furness in November 2007. Christopher Massey , the worker in question who is also a former Barrow Raiders rugby player, died while working on his night shift when he was struck by a piece of machinery.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the company and the incident and discovered that the dangerous piece of machinery that is used in the production of Andrex toilet paper was not sufficiently guarded. Before the accident occurred, Mr. Massey was making sure that the toilet paper was being fed through correctly by examining a gap in the machine. When he did this a large, two-metre wide reel of tissue was moved into place and hit him in the head.

The HSE also discovered that machine had been altered four months earlier with the addition of another piece of machinery. This was the cause of the dangerous gap that Mr Massey and other co-workers would often peer through to make sure that the Andrex toilet paper was being fed through correctly. Kimberly-Clark Ltd accepted liability for failing to ensure its employees health and safety by pleading guilty to violating the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Following the court hearing, Mark Dawson, the HSE principal inspector, stated that the workers at the Andrex factory had not been provided with adequate training with regards to how how the machine should have been used following its modification. He went onto say that this lack of care on the part of Andrex “meant that, for several months after the change, their lives were put at risk.”

Two Companies fined after Death of Electrician

Grandad-of-three Peter Cole, 61, an electrician from Chesire, died following an incident where – as he was fixing streetlights in Seaforth, Merseyside – the cherry-picker he was using collapsed. Mr Cole was nicknamed “the king of the road” by his co-workers due to his extensive and devoted four decade long career in street maintenance. The two construction companies involved in his death have been sentenced at Liverpool crown court after pleading guilty for the health and safety violations that were attributable to the accident that occurred in August 2006.

The two highway maintenance companies, Amey Infrastructure Services and Mouchel Parkman Services, were each fined £30,000 for their failure to carry out record checks which were essential for ensuring the cherry-picker or mobile elevating work platform’s (MEWP) safety. The machine that Mr Jones was using, which was hired from Highland Access – a now defunct firm –  was nine years old and had gone through numerous repairs before this tragic incident.

Nigel Lawrence, who prosecuted the two companies on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) described the accident and how it occurred –

“Mr Cole decided to use this vehicle in order to deal with a problem which had arisen with a lighting column. Accordingly Mr Cole climbed into the basket of the MEWP, raised himself up to the lights and dealt with the problem. As the basket was being lowered, the boom of the MEWP collapsed, causing Mr Cole to fall around 7m to 8m from the basket on to the lorry bed. He sustained serious injuries from which he sadly died.”

The HSE investigations also revealed that the cherry-picker had been overused and that many complaints had been made about the machine previously. However, neither of the companies had maintained the machine sufficiently since it had first been acquired and a system of safety checks for it did not exist.

Despite the fact that both companies did have good safety records when it came to the well-being of staff, this was simply not the case when it came to statutory checks on the machine. After death of Mr Jones, they vowed to only use new or almost-new MEWPs. Both companies where ordered to pay fines  of £30,000 and £32,500 in costs.