19th October 2017

Two companies fined a total of £3.8 Million following a fatality

A manufacturer of large concrete panels and a plant hire company were fined a total of £3.8 Million and ordered to pay £27,844 costs following the death of an employee at a factory in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

The deceased was working in the raised basket of a mobile elevating working platform (MEWP) removing the lifting attachments from the top of a concrete panel, which weighed about eleven tonnes and was stored on a transport pallet. The accident took place when the panel started to topple and struck the MEWP throwing him from the basket. It also caused a number of other concrete panels to topple, one of which fell onto him.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that the frame used to secure the panel was not properly connected to the pallet, as a locking pin had not been correctly reinserted after the frame had previously been replaced, and there was no system of pre-use checks. The pallets were in a poor condition, with defects including missing support bearers and stabilising legs. Other failures included the storage of large freestanding concrete panels in the finishing area, which should have been secured in storage racks, and a lack of sufficient planning. The investigation also identified concerns with the wider systems for the storage of concrete panels at the site

9th October 2017

Essex haulier fined £170,000

An Essex-based road haulage firm has been fined £170,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,268 after an employee was crushed, in October 2015, between two articulated vehicles and subsequently died from his injuries.  His vehicle rolled forward out of control whilst he was coupling the HGV tractor unit to a trailer.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the company had failed to implement safe systems of work or monitoring arrangements to ensure that its drivers were consistently undertaking coupling and uncoupling operations safely, in line with widely available industry guidance. As a result of this, a culture developed whereby its drivers were not always applying trailer parking brakes.

2nd October 2017

Recycling firm fined £100,000

A Northamptonshire recycling company and its two directors have been fined a total of £100,000 and ordered to pay £21,000 costs after being prosecuted for multiple safety failings.

In less than two years the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served fifteen enforcement notices on the company and three on each of the two company directors. These covered a range of topics including work at height, work equipment and electrical matters.

An investigation by HSE found employees were instructed to carry out work at height even after a Prohibition Notice was served and staff felt pressurised to complete their work even when they had raised concerns about their safety. The investigation also found fork lift trucks were left with broken lights and windscreen wipers and emergency stop buttons on machinery were marked as broken but not repaired over a long period of time.