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.
The director of a South Wales furniture factory and three of its managers have received suspended prison sentences for ongoing health and safety failings.
The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) has been targeting woodworking premises for inspection, as they are considered a high-risk industry because of dangerous machines and hazardous substances including wood dust and glues. Ten Improvement Notices were served on the company in February 2015, following a visit by HSE Inspectors which found poor control of wood dust, no maintenance of work equipment including fume and dust extraction, noisy conditions and inadequate toilet and washing facilities.
Despite ongoing intervention by the HSE, there was little progress and conditions remained poor. Seven of the Improvement Notices were not complied with.
The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted two waste management companies for breaching the conditions of their permits.
An Essex company was fined £ 8,136 and ordered to pay £12,000 costs for storing waste so high that it exceeded the site’s permit height restrictions by six metres. Unprocessed mixed waste was found to be overflowing out of the site’s shed and a number of fires had been reported on the site.
A London company was fined was fined £15,000, ordered to pay costs of £13,878.34 and a victim surcharge of £120 for storing an excessive quantity of waste in the yard outside of the waste reception building. The height of the waste exceeded the level allowed in the permit.