12th January 2022

Water firms fined £395,000

A contractor and a water management company were fined a total of £395,000 with combined costs of £34,000 after a worker sustained an open compound fracture of his tibia and fibula when he was hit by a 1.5 tonne water valve.  A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that both companies had failed to risk assess the work and also the additional hazards introduced by a change in the scope of work.

3rd January 2022

Construction company fined £400,000

A construction company was fined £400,000 with £5,300 costs after a groundworker received burns having struck a 415v power cable whilst carrying out excavation work.   An Investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that site plans for buried cables had not been consulted and a cable avoidance tool had not been used to locate buried services in advance of carrying out the work. In addition, there was a lack of properly trained labour and supervision in place for the excavation works. One of the directors was sentenced to fourteen months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 150 hours of community service.

31st December 2021

County council fined £300,000

A County Council was fined £300,000 with £13.165 costs after a man walking his dog was struck and killed by part of a falling oak tree.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the tree, located within the boundary of a council owned walking trail, had defects from which it was foreseeable that it was likely to fall and cause injury. Local authorities are required to manage the risks and hazards posed by the trees within their responsibility remit. HSE brought the prosecution under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.  This section places a duty on employers “to conduct their undertakings in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety”.