Tag: industrial accident

Business Owner Fined after Man is Injured On-Site

The owner of a fencing business has been prosecuted after a member of the public was injured at the company’s premises.

Incident

George Hallas was visiting Acorn Fencing in Whittington Hill to buy fencing materials. Chesterfield Justice Centre heard how Mr Hallas was moving the materials when an Acorn employee driving a fork lift truck reversed into him.

Injuries

As a result of the incident, Mr Hallas sustained fractures to his ankles, feet and legs.

HSE investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation into the incident and found the owner of Acorn Fencing to be at fault for the accident. Michael James Bend had failed to put a safe system of work in place which adequately segregated vehicles and pedestrians.

Sentencing and fines

Michael James Bend, of Tapton View Road, Chesterfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The business owner was fined £3,032 and ordered to pay costs of £1,627.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Martin Waring said:

“This incident could have been prevented had Mr Bend implemented a safe system of work and properly informed his employees.”

Personal injury claims – expert advice

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, Hampson Hughes Solicitors could help you to secure maximum personal injury compensation. If you would like advice on making a claim, call us today on 0800 888 6888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Accident at Work | Building Contractor & Owner Fined

A company owner and building contractor based in Manchester have been fined after a worker was seriously injured in an accident at work.

Accident at work

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how two men working for Access Flooring Specialist Ltd were using a demolition hammer to knock down a freestanding concrete block wall at the site of a refurbishment project at Manchester One, Portland Street, Manchester.

One of the operatives was cutting into the wall just above the half way point when the second worker took over, using a step ladder for access. As the second man took over, the top half of the wall collapsed, knocking him from the ladder before landing on top of him.

Workplace injuries

The 53-year-old father of two from Salford suffered fractures to his neck and back and spent three months in hospital following the accident at work. He has not been able return to work since the incident on 29 August 2014.

Health and Safety Investigation

An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that workers had not been provided with instructions for carrying out the work in a safe manner. It was also found that there had been no supervision or checks during the injured worker’s training and he had not been given a site induction, nor was the work supervised.

Furthermore, the HSE investigation found that there was no adequate risk assessment in place for the work being carried out.

Sentencing and fines

Workspace Design and Build Ltd of Manchester One, Portland Street, Manchester pleaded guilty to breach of Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,972.

Paul Harrison of Kirkfell Drive, Tyldsley, Manchester pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 relating to his companies’ breach of Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The former director of Access Flooring Specialist Ltd was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,851.

HSE Inspector Laura Moran said after the hearing:

“The risks associated with the demolition of the internal walls at Manchester One were not properly considered and, as a result, there was no safe system of work in place for the operatives to follow.

“Together with a lack of adequate supervision, these failings resulted in one man suffering serious and life changing injuries, which could have been prevented had the work been properly planned and managed.”

Accident at work compensation – expert advice

Compensation may be available if you have been injured in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault. More information can be found via our ‘Accidents at Work’ page.

To begin your accident at work claim, contact us today. Remember, we offer you a FREE no obligation-consultation. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Care Home Fined after Elderly Resident Choked to Death

Image of meatballs on a plate

A care home has been fined after an incident in which an elderly resident choked to death on food that had not been cut into appropriate sized pieces.

Incident

Mrs Margaret Humphreys was a resident at Marlborough House in Fleet, Hampshire at the time of the incident. Mrs Humphreys’ family had arranged for her to stay at the care home and had provided staff with ‘clear’ instructions explaining that her food needed to be cut into very small pieces so that she would not choke. Her family had provided the instructions both verbally and in the form of a laminated card.

HSE Investigation

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors found that staff at the care home had served Mrs Humphreys with a meal of uncut meatballs.

The HSE investigation also confirmed that staff had failed to carry out a suitable assessment of Mrs Humphreys prior to her admission to the home. This assessment would have identified the danger of Mrs Humphreys choking on uncut food.

Sentencing

After failing to discharge the duty imposed upon them by Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Craysell Limited, of Hoppingwood Farm, Robin Hood Way, London, was fined £80,000. The company was also ordered to pay costs of £19,631.

HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said after the hearing:

“This was a completely avoidable tragedy. The home was informed in the clearest terms that if Mrs Humphreys was presented with food that was uncut, she would choke, this crucial information was ignored.

“Had Marlborough House properly assessed Mrs Humphreys, the risk of her choking would have been identified and measures put in place to control this risk.

“This case sends out a clear message to the care home sector, illustrating the importance of listening to residents’ family’s instructions and to also properly assess and provide the same standard of care to respite residents as they would to permanent residents. This tragic case must act as a reminder of the importance of properly assessing new residents and that vital information must be properly communicated to care staff.”

Personal injury claims – expert advice

We are the personal injury experts. If you think you may be eligible to claim compensation following an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch today. Call us on 0800 888 6 888 or send an email to info@hh-law.co.uk for your FREE initial consultation.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Training Contracts For Rising Stars

Image of trainee solicitors at Hampson Hughes Solicitors

Hampson Hughes Solicitors, the specialists in no win no fee personal injury compensation, has awarded five of its rising stars with legal training contracts.

The paralegals, who work in the firm’s specialist road traffic accident team, are now well on their way to becoming fully qualified solicitors.

These are: Richard Crail; Stephen Weston; Alex Lyall; Nicholas Cowley and Gary Doward.

They will now undertake a period of recognised training where they will apply their knowledge and skills within the working environment.

Upon successful completion of the training programme they will each be able to seek admission to the Roll of Solicitors and apply for their first practising certificate.

Commenting on the news, Craig Ralph, a director at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, said:

“We are thrilled to be able to invest on our staff in order to meet the growing demands of our business.

“We have been blown away by the level of ingenuity, talent and professionalism of applicants from within the firm and are proud to support them on their journey towards becoming fully qualified solicitors.”

Image: Front Row (left to right) is Stephen Weston and Richard Crail. Back row (left to right) is Gary Doward, Alex Lyall and Nicholas Cowley.

Construction Firm Fined after Hoarding Hits Passer-by

Image of a construction site with a red warning sign that reads caution site entrance relating to an accident at work incident

A Cambridge based construction company has been fined following an incident in which temporary hoarding from one of their sites collapsed, injuring a member of the public as they walked by.

Incident

Mrs Margaret Gardiner was walking along Bedford high street at around 10am on 7th July 2015 when she was knocked over and pinned to the ground by a 10m long piece of hoarding, in place to block access to the sight from the public, as it collapsed. The 68 year old suffered extensive bruising all over, including to her head, and also injured her hip during the incident.

Luton Magistrates Court heard how workers at the site had received no instruction whatsoever on how to construct the hoarding and there had been no supervision in place during its erection. The court also heard that the fact that the hoarding had not been sufficiently supported, tied back or inspected resulted in the structure collapsing and falling on top of a member of the public.

Sentencing

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and to breaching Regulation 19(2) Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, Frazer Stannard Limited was fined £100,000 in total (£50,000 for each offence). The construction company was also ordered to pay costs of £2,425.16.

Stephen Manley, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive said after sentencing:

“This incident could have easily been a fatality and was entirely preventable. Had Frazer Stannard Limited recognised the work they were doing as temporary works and managed matters properly they would have realised the hoarding was not fit for purpose.

Construction companies must learn from this case and plan their work properly ensuring workers are given proper instructions and well as supervision.”

Personal Injury Claims – Expert Advice

If you have been affected by an incident similar to that outlined in this article, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com. Remember, we offer a FREE no obligation consultation – speak with our friendly advisors and find out if you have a claim today!

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Smiler Crash: Merlin Attractions fined £5million

The owners of Alton Towers, Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd, have been fined a total of £5million following a roller coaster crash that injured 16 people in June last year.

Recap – Smiler crash

On 2nd June 2015, four people were seriously injured on the Smiler ride when a cart carrying 16 people collided at speed with an empty test cart.

Passengers were suspended at a 45 degree angle over 7 meters off the ground and rescue efforts went on for over four hours. Fire crews had to erect a 25 ft. platform in order to allow emergency services to gain access to the injured passengers.

During the incident, two passengers – Leah Washington, 17, and Vicky Balch, 20 – sustained such serious injuries that they each required leg amputation. Leah and Vicky’s partners, Daniel Thorpe, 27, and Joe Pugh, 18, were also seriously injured in the crash. Daniel suffered leg injuries and a collapsed lung, while Joe’s knees were shattered during in the accident.

A fifth passenger, Chanda Chauhan, 49, was also treated following the crash after sustaining internal injuries and a further eleven passengers suffered whiplash injuries.

Internal investigation

Merlin accepted responsibility for the crash following an internal investigation, during which it emerged that the incident was caused due to ‘human error’. Staff – who could not see the stationary carriage on the track – overrode the ride’s safety measures, sending the carriage with passengers on a collision course with the empty carriage.

In the months following the incident, Alton Towers implemented technical improvements to the ride and changed their systems, including safety features such as improved access and a policy of closing the ride when winds exceed 34mph.

HSE investigation

However, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found no fault with the track, the cars, or the control system that keeps the cars apart from each other when the ride is running. Instead, inspectors found that the collision occurred due to ‘a lack of detailed, robust arrangements for making safety critical decisions’. They found that the engineers who overrode the Smiler’s control system did so without the knowledge and understanding to ensure it was safe to proceed.

Stafford Crown Court heard that whole system, from training through to fixing faults, was not robust enough to prevent a series of errors by staff when working with people on the Smiler ride.

Sentencing

After pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc, 1974, Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd of 3 Market Close, Poole, Dorset were fined a total of £5million. The company was also ordered to pay costs in the amount of £69,955.40.

Head of operations for HSE in the Midlands, Neil Craig, said:

“People visiting theme parks should be able to enjoy themselves safely. On 2 June last year Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd failed to protect their customers, they badly let them down.

“This avoidable incident happened because Merlin failed to put in place systems to allow engineers to work safely on the ride while it was running. This made it all too easy for a whole series of unchecked mistakes, not just one push of a button, to result in tragic consequences.

“Since the incident Alton Towers have made improvements to the ride and their safety protocols, and the lessons learned have been shared industry wide.”

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 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

If you would like further information about legal issues surrounding serious injury, contact us today via the details above for expert advice.

Source: Health & Safety Executive; BBC News

Training Contract Completed

Black and white image of Liverpool's Albert Dock with Liver building in background

We would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Jasmine Dalton on the successful completion of her training contract here at Hampson Hughes Solicitors. Jasmine is now a qualified Solicitor within our ever evolving in-house Costs Department.

Background

Jasmine attended Notre Dame Catholic College for secondary school and sixth form, before completing her Law Degree at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Jasmine has been with Hampson Hughes Solicitors now for four and a half years, and completed her LPC on a part time basis at LJMU not long after joining the firm.

Thoughts on the training process?

‘I enjoyed the training process as it was very hands on and I was able to run my own files rather than just assisting others, it allowed the transition from trainee to solicitor to be easy as my day to day role remained the same.’

Going forward

Jasmine explains that her role has very much stayed the same, and she is continuing to deal with a variety of matters within the Costs Department. Going forward Jasmine has expressed she is looking forward to continue to build upon the experience gained during her training contract.

Hampson Hughes Training Contracts

Under the guidance of our Training Principal Niamh Forbes, Hampson Hughes encourages trainees to contribute to all aspects of working life. As well as developing legal skills, we provide an introduction to management and require our trainees to support junior members of staff.

We are passionate about training the next generation of solicitors and are committed to providing the best possible professional development for all our trainees.

Restaurant Owner Jailed for Gross Negligence Manslaughter

The owner of a North Yorkshire based Indian restaurant has been jailed for six years following the death of a customer with a peanut allergy, after they were served a curry containing the nut.

In January 2014, 38 year old Paul Wilson ordered a tikka masala at the Indian Garden, Easingwold, North Yorkshire. He stressed to the staff that he was allergic to peanuts and asked that they ensure there was no trace of the nut in his takeaway meal.

Mr Wilson was found dead in his bathroom after suffering a severe anaphylactic shock.

Investigation

Teesside Crown Court heard that following Mr Wilson’s death, an investigation of the Indian Garden was launched by police and trading standards. They found that groundnut powder stored in the kitchen had contaminated other ingredients. Furthermore, a secret shopper visited the restaurant the day after Mr Wilson died and was assured by staff that he could order a nut-free curry.

Manslaughter by gross negligence

This week, the restaurant’s owner, Mohammed Zaman, was convicted for gross negligence manslaughter at Teesside Crown Court. The court heard how in a bid to cut costs and despite warnings, Mr Zaman swapped almond powder used in recipes for cheaper groundnut mix, which contains peanuts.

Mr Zaman was accused of manslaughter by gross negligence, perverting the course of justice and six food safety offences. He denied all charges, claiming that he left managers to run his restaurants, including ordering stock and hiring staff. He was not on the premises when the curry was sold. However, Mr Zaman was found guilty of all charges except perverting the course of justice.

Previous incident

Three weeks prior to Mr Wilson’s death, at another of Mr Zaman’s six restaurants, a teenager suffered an allergic reaction after being assured by staff that her meal would not contain nuts. The young lady had to be hospitalised due to her symptoms.

‘Reckless attitude’

Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, said:

“Mohammed Zaman received numerous warnings that he was putting his customers’ health, and potentially their lives, at risk. Tragically for Paul Wilson, Mohammed Zaman took none of those opportunities and ignored all of the warnings he was given.

“His was a reckless and cavalier attitude to risk and one that we, the prosecution, would describe as grossly negligent.”

Mr Wright added:

“Time and again he ignored the danger and did not protect his customers. The evidence will establish that Mohammed Zaman put profit before safety and that he cut corners at every turn.”

Source: The Guardian

Smiler Crash: Merlin Attractions Admit to Safety Breaches

The owners of Alton Towers theme park, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. (Merlin), have admitted to breaching health & safety laws regarding the highly reported crash involving the park’s Smiler roller coaster last year.

Recap – Smiler Crash

On 2nd June 2015, four people were seriously injured on the Smiler ride when a cart carrying 16 people collided at speed with an empty test cart.

Passengers were suspended at a 45 degree angle over 7 meters off the ground and rescue efforts went on for over four hours. Fire crews had to erect a 25 ft. platform in order to allow emergency services to gain access to the injured passengers.

During the incident, two passengers – Leah Washington, 17, and Vicky Balch, 20 – sustained such serious injuries that they each required leg amputation. Leah and Vicky’s partners, Daniel Thorpe, 27, and Joe Pugh, 18, were also seriously injured in the crash. Daniel suffered leg injuries and a collapsed lung, whilst Joe’s knees were shattered during in the accident.

A fifth passenger, Chanda Chauhan, 49, was also treated following the crash after sustaining internal injuries and a further eleven passengers suffered whiplash injuries.

Previous Incidents

Last summer wasn’t the first time that the theme park had experienced issues with the Smiler roller coaster; there had previously been two issues not long after the ride opened in 2013.

In July of that year, just two months after the ride’s launch, a bolt came loose from the ride, causing a gap in the track. As a result the Smiler was temporarily closed and 48 people had to be rescued. Then in November 2013, wheels detached from the roller coaster and struck several passengers in the front carriage of the ride.

Internal Investigation

Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, said in the immediate aftermath of the crash:

“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.”

Merlin accepted responsibility for the crash following an internal investigation, during which it emerged that the incident was caused due to ‘human error’. Staff – who could not see the stationary carriage on the track – overrode the ride’s safety measures, sending the carriage with passengers on a collision course with the empty carriage.

Guilty Plea

On 22 April 2016, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. at North Staffordshire Justice Centre, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

District judge John McGarva said the firm faces a “very large fine” when it appears at Stafford crown court next month. The judge also added that there is a possibility that the fine could reach seven figures.

The company’s guilty plea is believed to make Alton Towers the first major theme park in the UK whose owners have admitted a criminal breach of health and safety laws.

Health & Safety Executive

Neil Craig, head of operations for HSE in the Midlands said:

“We welcome the guilty plea entered by Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. Merlin has acknowledged that it failed in its legal duty to protect people on the Smiler ride.

“Those injured on 2 June last year had every right to expect a carefree and fun day out.

“The incident was profoundly distressing for everyone involved, both physically and mentally. It left some with life changing injuries.

“We hope this first milestone will help those affected to continue their recovery from this tragic incident.”

Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd. is to appear at Stafford court on 20 May for sentencing.

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 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

If you would like further information about legal issues surrounding serious injury, contact us today via the details above for expert advice.

Source: Guardian; Guardian; Health & Safety Executive

Fairground Operator Fined after Two People are Injured

A Hampshire based fairground ride operator has been fined for safety failings after an incident in which two members of the public fell from a ride.

Incident

The lap bar at on the ‘Music Trip’ ride at Andover Carnival came loose not long after the ride had started, the bar rose upwards and two members of the public slipped underneath and fell to the floor. They suffered bruising and cuts following the two meter fall from the ride.

Investigation

Basingstoke Magistrates’ court heard that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the lap bar was not fully operative. The bar had not been correctly adjusted meaning that the ride could be operated whilst the lap bar was not properly in place. Along with this, HSE found that maintenance of the ride was poor, with the padding of the lap bar having become loose and worn over time.

Sentencing

John Searle, of The Shack, London Road, Hook, Hampshire, was one of the rides operators at the time of the incident, which took place on 20 July 2014. After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Mr Searle was fined £865 and ordered to pay costs of £1,808.

Karen Moss, HSE inspector, said after the hearing:

“This should be a warning to other ride operators that it is simply not acceptable for people to be ejected from rides. Rides must be adequately maintained and properly adjusted to ensure that riders are not put at risk. Fairgrounds should have an illusion of danger but an underlying assurance of safety.”

Personal Injury – Expert Advice

If you or someone you know has been affected by a similar type of case, our expert team is on hand to offer free and friendly, no obligation advice. Call Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com for more information.

Source: Health & Safety Executive