Month: June 2015

Firm in court after employee’s crush injuries

A lifting firm has been in court after a two tonne beam fell onto an employee causing severe injuries.

What happened?

Two employees of Pelloby Engineering Limited were working in the firm’s ‘finishing shop’, moving a seven metre long, two tonne beam across the shop floor.

The beam was connected to an overhead crane using a single, five tonne fabric round sling. During lifting the sling snapped dropping the load to the floor, and landing on one of the employees. His leg and lower torso were crushed and he was pinned to the floor.

The court heard that the workers had been steadying the load by hand and not using ‘tag lines’ to keep them out of the danger zone. In addition to this, the employee using the overhead crane hadn’t been formally trained to use it, and the sling was also found to be in a poor state of repair and lacked the required statutory examination report.

What was the outcome?

Pelloby Engineering Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £12,000 with costs of £1057.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Lyn Mizen, said:

“This employee has suffered some horrendous injuries as a result
of an entirely preventable incident.

“The employee leading the lifting operation was not trained to use the
equipment or to recognise when it was unsafe to use.

“They were also not informed about the use of ‘tag lines’ which are
designed to keep workers out of dangerous areas.

“Pelloby Engineering Limited fell far below the standards expected
of a competent employer, standards which are well publicised
and accepted within the industry.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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Gas firm fined after explosion at primary school

A Halifax-based gas servicing company has been prosecuted after there was an explosion in the boiler room of a local primary school.

What happened?

The explosion happened during a teacher training day, before children returned to Greetland Academy after the summer holidays, and blew out the boiler house door toward a paved area and the school playing field. Fortunately there were no injuries.

Marshall Gas Services Ltd which had held a contract to carry out annual inspections and services of the school for over ten years, had been on site that day to service three boilers and other gas appliances.

An investigation into the incident found that, despite the servicing contract, the boiler showed all the classic signs of poor maintenance, including excessive rust and debris, and had become increasingly dangerous.

The court heard that the build-up of debris and the partial blockage of the injectors would have occurred gradually over a period of time, and that the levels in the boiler were not consistent with a regular annual service regime.

What was the outcome?

Marshall Gas Services Ltd admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £35,699 in costs.

HSE inspector, Jackie Ferguson, said:

“This was an entirely preventable incident. It was pure luck no children
were around at the time as the boiler house was close to the
school playing field and access routes for
staff and pupils alike.

“Marshall Gas Services displayed a reckless disregard for the safety
of the community, and these young children in particular, and
the outcome could have been far worse.

“On the wider issue, all companies who carry out gas work must comply
with their legal duties and responsibilities. Experience has shown
that some operating in the gas sector are prepared to breach
regulations by undertaking gas work while not on the
statutory register and without the
necessary competency.

“There are also instances of registered engineers operating outside
the scope of their competency.”

If you have been affected by an accident such as this, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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Company in court after worker loses arm

An animal feed supplement manufacturing firm has landed in court after an elderly worker lost his arm when handling machinery.

What happened?

71-year-old Frederick Sharp had been adjusting a belt on a production line conveyor that was feeding a bagging point. He removed a guard to access the adjusting screw when his arm was drawn into the in-running nip between the belt and roller.

He sustained extensive injuries to his right arm, resulting in amputation below the shoulder. He also suffered multiple fractures to his right hip and leg which also required surgery to insert a pin and plate.

An investigation into the incident found that UFAC (UK) Ltd had failed to ensure that adequate measures were taken to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery.

Additionally, the court heard that the Health and Safety Executive had issued the company with a Prohibition Notice three years prior to the incident, preventing access underneath a running conveyor, as fixed guards were not in place to prevent the risk of being drawn into or trapped in moving machinery.

What was the outcome?

UFAC (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined £8,000 with £1,633 costs.

Following the ruling HSE Inspector, Judith McNulty-Green, said:

“This was an entirely preventable incident. The dangers of nip points,
or the gaps between a moving belt and a stationary
part of a machine, are well-known.

“UFAC (UK) Ltd should have ensured guarding suitable for the maintenance
of the machine was in place. It is important that companies recognise
the need for and implement safe machinery guarding, not just for
operator safety but also for safety during maintenance.

“UFAC (UK) Ltd had previously been warned by HSE specifically about the
importance of guarding a conveyor and if they had applied the
principles of effective guarding to other conveyors this
incident could have been prevented.

“Instead, as a result of the company’s failings, Mr Sharp suffered
serious life-changing injuries.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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Alton Towers: 4 people injured in crash on Smiler rollercoaster

Timeline: 2nd June 2015, 02:09PM

Two rollercoaster cars have collided mid-ride at Alton Towers. The incident occurred when a car carrying 16 people struck an unoccupied car at speed on the Smiler rollercoaster in Alton Towers. Fire crews built a 25ft platform to allow emergency services to gain access to the injured passengers. Rescue operations continued for over 4 hours.

The Metro reports that guests were aware of complications with the ride earlier in the day. One guest, Sophie Underwood – who was waiting in the queue to board the ride – said:

“They had made quite a few announcements to say there were technical difficulties. They were sending coaches around with nobody on them.”

“And then they said they had sorted it out so they decided to put people on the coach.”

Eye witness Ellis Dyson said:

“They sent a carriage without any people on it first and then sent a carriage with people on and that was the one that crashed. The platform of the ride where we were vibrated and a massive loud crash.”

Smiler facts

Speed: 53mph

Length: 1,179 metres

Duration: 165 seconds

Opened: 31st May, 2013

Number of loops: 14 (highest number in the world)

Alton Towers crash – official statements

Ian Crabbe, director of Alton Towers Resort said:

“Just to recap at around 2pm this afternoon there was an incident on the Smiler ride involving two carriages coming together on a low section of the track. One of the carriages was empty and the other had 16 guests in.

“The park’s first responder team were on site in minutes, and the emergency services shortly after. The emergency services, including the air ambulances, remain in attendance and are assisting resort staff as they work to evacuate those on the ride.

“We can confirm that four guests have sustained serious injuries, and they are being treated at the scene until they can be evacuated.”

Alton towers is run by Merlin Entertainment. Merlin Entertainment’s Chief Executive Nick Varney said:

“Technically, it should be impossible for two cars to be on the same section of track at the same time”

“There are fail safe systems and break locks around tracks to make sure that only one car can be on a section of track at a time and clearly today that didn’t happen, and that is what we need to understand.”

“Reports that there were technical glitches on the ride this morning are ones that we have to look into, and at this moment in time I have no idea whether they were related to the final accident or not.”

Alton Towers has provided a helpline: 0800 230 0770

Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster crash – Air Ambulance response

Four air ambulances were in attendance. Steve Parry, of the West Midlands Air Ambulance Service, said:

“Of the 16 patients involved I can confirm that four of them have significant lower limb injuries and were trapped in the carriages for quite some time. Of the other 12 patients, we now believe that they will all be walking wounded patients”

Smiler rollercoaster – previous complications

  • In July, 2013, two months after opening, the Smiler rollercoaster was temporarily closed and 48 people were rescued following an issue with a loose metal bolt – the bolt fell off the ride, causing a gap to appear in the track.
  • In November, 2013, wheels reportedly fell off the rollercoaster and struck several guests sitting in the front seats of the ride.

Personal injury compensation – expert help

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Our dedicated team of personal injury solicitors offers a FREE no-obligation consultation. For further information about personal injury compensation claims, and to discover whether you have a claim, contact us today on 0800 888 6 888.


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