A Merseyside wood product manufacturer has been fined £466,666 and ordered to pay costs of £7,475 after a worker was dragged, in June 2016, into a rotating drive shaft. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to adequately guard the production line, allowing access to dangerous parts of machinery, including conveyors and drive shafts during both operation and cleaning.
During a return visit by HSE, in April 2018, it was discovered that the company had changed the layout of the production line, leaving accessible dangerous parts, including an identical shaft to the one which the victim was injured on. A Prohibition Notice and an Improvement Notice were served to address the risks.
The subsequent investigation showed that mill operatives were regularly accessing the strapping section while the machinery was still running, and the Production Director was aware of this.
An international refining company and a contracting company working on the oil refinery have been fined a total of £5.1 Million and ordered to pay costs of over £1.0 Million after an explosion, in 2011, killed four workers and seriously injured another. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the explosion was most likely to have been initiated by the ignition of a highly flammable atmosphere within the tank, during what should have been a routine emptying operation in preparation for further cleaning and maintenance. The investigation also found there had been longstanding failures within the refinery safety management systems and as a result the risks posed by flammable atmospheres were not understood or controlled.
A south-eastern construction company has been fined £833,333, plus costs of £5,478 after a worker suffered three fractured vertebrae when he was hit on the head by a large expanded polystyrene block when it slipped from an excavator bucket. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the lifting operation had not used appropriate lifting accessories to transport the load and had simply trapped the load with the bucket against the dipping arm of the excavator.