A Somerset pre-cast concrete products manufacturing company has been fined £660,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,563 after a maintenance fitter was fatally injured when trapped by machinery. HSE told the Court that when the site was inspected after the incident a spare key was discovered, which meant that access to machinery in the incident area was possible without turning off and isolating the machine. During the investigation HSE also found there was insufficient supervision over the isolation of machines; the company’s procedures for safe maintenance work were not consistently understood or applied, pointing to deficiencies in instruction and training; it was common for people to access dangerous areas while machines were running; and there were other spare keys which were easily accessible.
A recycling company has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £30,000 following an explosion and fire at their site in Surrey. Eight people were injured as a result of the explosion, five seriously and a thirty-year-old worker was placed in an induced coma and remained in hospital for fifteen weeks. An investigation found that the company had failed to ensure there was a safe system of work in place to reduce the risk of dangerous substances. The investigation also found that the company who designed the machinery which was used to in the recycling process, did not consider the likely misuse of the machine and that they had relied on generic data to determine whether an explosive atmosphere may arise.
A Shropshire care home operator has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £41,997after the death of a vulnerable patient in one of its residences. The patient was found at the bottom of a flight of stairs leading to the cellar with his wheelchair on top of him. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that although the door to the cellar had a key pad latch and was fitted with a self-closing device it opened inwards directly onto the stairs without a sufficient landing area. The investigation also found that a risk assessment had not been produced for access and use of the cellar. The inspector commented that the door was in regular use by kitchen and maintenance staff and as the deceased was unlikely to have known the key pad number to the door, the door cannot have been properly closed and locked.