Two companies have been fined a total of £700,000 and a director has received a suspended prison sentence following the fatal crushing of four workers on a Norfolk excavation site, in January 2011. The men were constructing a large steel structure, as part of a foundation, which collapsed onto them. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found serious flaws in the planning, management and monitoring of this complex project.
A Kent construction company has been fined £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,875 following two inspections of a project carried out by the HSE in 2013 and 2014.
During the first inspection, it was found that while a refurbishment and demolition (R&D) survey had been carried out the company had failed to act upon it. This resulted in up to forty workers being exposed to asbestos during the early demolition phase of the project.
The second investigation found that despite engaging a licensed asbestos contractor to remove the remaining asbestos materials, dangerous practices were continuing. In addition, the company was unable to provide documentation to show that asbestos materials identified in the survey had been correctly removed.
An oil company has been fined £1,650,000 with costs of £57,644 following an explosion at a refinery in Cheshire. The HSE investigation of the incident, which occurred in November 2013, found that:A safety critical valve was ordered and installed incorrectly and the company failed to correctly validate its operation The company failed to adequately assess the installation of a new safety critical trip as they failed to recognise the system had a by-pass line which defeated the trip’s operation. The company’s policy was to isolate main fuel lines to the furnace however, the hydrocarbons entered the furnace via a secondary fuel line which had not been isolated when shut down.