prosecutions

8th December 2016

Shipbuilder fined £400,000

A Merseyside shipbuilder fined £400,000 and ordered to pay £7,863 costs after a after a worker suffered serious injuries whilst carrying out repair and maintenance to a lathe. The company’s risk assessment failed to identify the risks involved in the common practice of using emery cloth to clean moving parts.

2nd December 2016

Cruise line fined $US 40 Million for deliberate sea pollution

A cruise line company, based in the US, has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up. The company will pay a $40 million penalty– the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution – and plead guilty to charges related to illegal dumping of oil contaminated waste from one of their ships.

The company will also have to operate under a court supervised Environmental Compliance Program (ECP) for five years. The ECP will require independent audits by an outside entity and a court appointed monitor.

The charges concern a cruise ship which used a so-called “magic pipe” to illegally discharge oily waste off the coast of England. The whistle blowing engineer quit his position when the ship reached Southampton, England. The chief engineer and senior first engineer ordered a cover-up, including removal of the magic pipe and directing subordinates to lie.

According to papers filed in court, the ship had been making illegal discharges through bypass equipment since 2005, one year after the ship began operations. The discharge on Aug. 26, 2013, involved approximately 4,227 gallons, 23 miles off the coast of England within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. At the same time as the discharge, engineers simultaneously ran clean seawater through the ship’s overboard equipment in order to create a false digital record for a legitimate discharge

21st November 2016

Council fined £250,000 for causing worker’s hand arm vibration

A District Council has been fined £250,000 and was ordered to pay £18,325 in costs after a worker was left with permanent injured after being diagnosed with hard arm vibration (HAV). The council had not taken steps to eliminate or control the exposure of their workers to HAVs. They also failed to educate their workers on the risk and train them on how to control their exposure to the vibrations caused by the power tools.