15th January 2020

Derbyshire firm fined £700,000

A Derbyshire steel fabrication was fined £700,000 and ordered to pay £169,498 costs, having been found guilty of causing the death of an employee, in June 2015, whilst pressure testing cylinders. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that prior to installing the test fittings a mineral oil-based corrosion inhibitor had been placed into each of the cylinders. The incident occurred because the inhibitor contaminated the leak test manifold during venting of cylinders which caused an ignition and the failure of the test equipment.

10th December 2019

Water company fined £300,00

A water and wastewater company has been fined £300,000 and instructed to pay costs of £16,419 following a breach of the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997.   Three workers were carried down a sewer by a torrent of water resulting from the collapse of a 150-year-old penstock (gate).  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that while the company had planned individual work activities, it failed to properly coordinate these as the permission and authorisation system was fragmented. The company had no effective means of collating, comparing and adapting to the impact of multiple work activities. While the workers suffered only minor physical injuries they have  required treatment for long-term traumatic stress.

3rd December 2019

County Durham manufacturer fined £150,000

A County Durham plastic packaging manufacturer has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £1,061 costs after an accident resulted in an employee suffering multiple fractures to their pelvis and legs. While reversing a forklift truck, it caught a stacked bulk bag (FIBC) tearing it and causing it to spill its contents. The employee attempted to repair the tear but a FIBC higher in the stack, weighing about 1 tonne, fell and struck the employee. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the FIBCs were stacked in an unsafe manner at a height of approximately 2.2 metres.