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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.