Tag: The Health and Safety Executive

Man Has Both Legs Amputated after Accident at Work

A landfill company in Wales has been fined after an employee had to have both legs amputated following an accident at work.

Accident at work

In November 2015, a worker was walking across the Bryn Posteg Landfll site in Llanidloes, when he was struck by a large shovel loader. The worker suffered serious injuries to his legs, both of which had to be amputated at the mid-thigh. He was also required to spend a total of six months in hospital.

HSE investigation

The Health and Safety Executive ~(HSE) launched an investigation into the incident which found the company did not have measures in place to protect workers from traffic and vehicles on site. The risk had previously been identified, however it was not acted on.

Sentencing and fines

Sundorne Products (Llanidloes) Limited, part of the Potter Group, in Henfaes lane, Welshpool, Powys pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 and Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work (1974) Act. The company was were fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,657.10.

Mhairi Duffy, HSE inspector, said after the hearing:

“It is extremely important to identify how to protect your workers but you must back this up with action. This worker and his family lives have been changed forever because Sundorne Products Ltd failed to take action and protect their workers from being run over by vehicles on the site.

“All businesses that have high volumes of vehicles on their site can learn from this case.”

Accident at work – 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

Worker Seriously Burned in Accident at Work

The director of a construction firm has been jailed for safety failings after a young employee was injured in an accident at work.

Accident at work

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the worker had been instructed to stand on the top of a skip containing burning waste and pour flammable thinners into the waste to speed up the process.

The thinners ignited, causing a fireball – the force of which threw the worker across the room. He sustained substantial to his arms and legs.

HSE investigaton

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found a number of safety failings. Firstly, the company director did not ensure that the burning of the waste materials was carried out in a safe and appropriate manner. Secondly, after the incident occurred he failed to administer any first aid or send the young injured worker to hospital. Lastly, the director failed to immediately report the accident at work incident to the HSE, which is a legal requirement. The incident was instead reported by a third party sometime afterwards.


David Gordon Stead of Mildred Street, Beddau, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and also pled guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

He was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison, half on release under licence. Mr Stead has also been banned from being a company director for seven years.

HSE inspector Adele Davies said after the hearing:

“David Stead failed his employees. His actions could have resulted in the death of this worker. The young man suffered unnecessary life threatening injuries due to poor working standards.

“We hope this sentence sends out a message that directors of businesses must take their health and safety responsibilities seriously.”

Accident at work – 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.

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.


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