Tag: working at height

Firm Fined after Worker Suffers Chemical Burns

A Hampshire based electropolishing firm has been prosecuted following an incident in which an employee suffered chemical burns.

On 13 February 2015, Keith Brown, an employee of Poligrat (UK) Limited, was working at their Aldershot site when he was instructed by his manager to dispose of waste cleaning chemicals. The agreed method to carry out this task was to pour caustic pearl granules into an ‘intermediate bulk container’ (IBC) filled with acid, neutralising the chemicals inside.

Once Mr Brown started to pour the caustic pearl granules into the container, an exothermic reaction took place and the contents of the container erupted over him. Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Brown was knocked to the ground by the explosion and his glasses were blown off. As a result, the 51 year old suffered ulcers to both corneas and alkaline burns to his eyelids, as well as burns and grazing to both legs.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, it was found that the substances and activity used in the process were not adequately risk assessed.

After pleading guilty to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Poligrat (UK) Limited, of Waverley Lane, Farnham, Surrey, was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,072.

HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said after the hearing:

“The use of an IBC as a reaction vessel was wholly inappropriate. IBC’s are designed for the storage of a range of substances. They are not designed for use as a chemical reactor. Other safer reasonably practicable options were available, such as using a waste management company to remove and safely dispose of the chemicals.”

Accident at work – expert advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk.

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Crane Hire Company Prosecuted by Health & Safety Executive

A national crane hire company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for safety breaches following an incident in which a crane collapsed, killing two men.

Incident

In September 2006, Jonathan Cloke, 37, fell to his death as the crane he was operating collapsed. A member of the public, Michael Alexa, 23, also died after the crane fell onto him.

Southwark Crown Court heard that parts of the tower crane started to separate when 24 bolts failed due to ‘metal fatigue’. The tower or mast of the crane and the crane itself (the jib) separated and fell to the ground as the bolts, a significant safety feature of the structure, failed.

HSE Investigation

After an investigation into the incident by the HSE, it was found that the company had failed to look into a similar incident with the same crane just nine weeks earlier. During this earlier incident the bolts had also failed and required replacing.

Following their inspection, HSE determined that Falcon Crane Hire Ltd’s system of managing the inspection and maintenance of their fleet of cranes was lacking. It was also found that the process the company had in place to investigate the primary cause of a components’ failings was also inadequate.

Southwark Crown Court also heard that the bolts failing in an earlier incident was an ‘exceptional and significant occurrence’ that should have been acknowledged by the crane hire company.

Sentencing & Fines

Falcon Crane Hire Ltd was fined a total of £750,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,000 after being found guilty of breaching Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act.

Michael’s mother, Lilliana Alexa, said on behalf of her family:

“Michael was a lovely son, a wonderful big brother and a devoted father. His son has had to grow up without the love and support of Michael, who adored him. He was denied that opportunity because his life was taken away and with his, ours too.

“The memories of that day will never leave our family. We heard the crash and felt the ground shake. I found Michael and it’s an image that haunts my nightmares. If only we had stopped to chat or parked the car somewhere else he would still be alive. We know we are not to blame but it does not stop us all feeling guilt.

“We cannot comprehend how our beloved son, brother, father and friend who was so full of live has gone. The whole crane industry must learn from our tragedy and the devastation it has caused. We do not want another family to endure the same pain of losing their child.”

HSE Head of Operations, Mike Wilcock said:

“Jonathan and Michael’s deaths were tragic, needless and entirely avoidable. These two men need not have died had Falcon Crane Hire taken the right, decisive action when the bolts failed the first time. The company fell far short of its health and safety obligation.”

Accident at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Automotive Firm Fined after Worker Loses Finger

An automotive company based in Birmingham has been fined by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker lost his finger in an accident at work.

A welder at Lander Automotives Limited was working on a machine, one of a variety of jobs as required by production, when his glove became entwined with the drill bit. The employee suffered partial amputation to the third finger on his right hand following the accident work incident on 17th June 2015.

An investigation by HSE found that the automotive company had failed to provide workers with a safe system of work or adequate training. HSE also found that neither a risk assessment nor method statement had been provided by the firm.

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Lander Automotive Limited, of Clapgate Lane, Birmingham was fined £27,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,574. The company was also ordered to pay a victims surcharge of £120.

Accident at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly accident at work advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Solar Panel Firm Fined after Worker Falls Through Roof

A solar panel company has been fined £153,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries after falling through a skylight at a private residence in Kent.

Incident

On 30 April 2013, a three man team of workers were carrying out work on the roof of an outbuilding which housed a swimming pool. The workers, employed by P V Solar UK Limited, were replacing faulty solar panels that had originally been fitted by the same company in 2011.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that one of the workers was walking across the roof whilst carrying a solar panel. He then fell through a roof light, fracturing his shin and vertebra as his body hit the side and flooring around the pool below. The worker was unable to return to work for approximately nine months and when he did return, he was unable to carry on working on a full time basis.

HSE Investigation

An investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that P V Solar UK Limited should and could have done more in order to prevent the fall.

HSE recognised that safety harnesses, as well as a scaffold tower and ladder had been provided for the work at height. However, none of the three men carrying out the work had received formal training or instruction on how to use the equipment, meaning that it was useless. HSE also found that further safety measures could have been implemented but weren’t, such as providing hard covers for the roof lights and full scaffolding.

Previous Warnings

Regarding the initial installation of solar panels at the property in Kent in 2011, HSE found that the safety equipment provided on this occasion was also inadequate and placed the workers at risk. The court heard that HSE had also, in the same year, provided P V Solar with a Prohibition Notice to ‘stop unsafe work on a fragile roof’ in Bristol in May.

HSE established that the firm was fully aware of the need to ensure sufficient measures were in place to avoid falls during work at height.

Sentencing & Fines

After pleading guilty to three separate breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, P V Solar UK Limited, of Cambuslang Road, Glasgow, was fined a total of £153,000 and ordered to pay a further £29,480 in costs.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said:

“The injured worker suffered serious injury in the fall and could have been killed. He and his colleagues were effectively left to their own devices with equipment that was not wholly suited for the task at hand. In short, better equipment, training and supervision should have been provided.

“Working on or near a fragile roof or materials is not a task to be undertaken without proper planning, and without having the appropriate safety measures in place at all times. There is considerable free guidance available from the HSE regarding the precautions needed when working at height, including on or near fragile roof coverings.”

Accident at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Contracting Firm Fined after Worker Suffers Burns to Face & Hands

A contracting company has been prosecuted following an incident in which a worker suffered burns to his hands and face after he hit an underground cable whilst carrying out refurbishment work.

On 1st September 2011, a worker for Stewart and Shields Limited was digging holes in order to erect a fence at Heatheryknowe Primary School in East Kilbride. As he dug, the worker struck a 430v underground electric services cable, causing minor ‘flash burns’ to both his face and hands.

Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that Stewart and Shields Limited had access to site reports that included details of ‘buried services’. However, the company failed to provide workers with this information and to clearly mark where the cables were located. The HSE also found that the company failed to ensure all workers using digging devices were correctly trained.

Stewart and Shields Limited pleaded guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court to breaching Regulation 34(3) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company received a fine of £7,500.

Graeme McMinn, HSE Inspector, said:

“There is an obligation on contractors to ensure that workers are informed of the dangers from buried underground services, and the need to ensure those services are located, checked and clearly marked.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Family Partnership Fined after Worker Falls through Skylight

A family run firm, based in Pembrokeshire, has been fined following an incident in which a worker fell through a skylight.

Incident

The Rees family partnership (consisting of father Gwynne, mother Margaret and son Richard) hired Evans Agri Contracting (EAC) to complete a one day silage harvest on 17th June 2014.

On the day of the silage harvest, an employee of EAC was assisting members of the Rees family, under direction, to sheet the silage by lowering plastic sheeting from the roof of the cattle shed.

It was whilst carrying out this work – work that was being undertaken independently by the Rees family and was not part of the harvest contract – that the worker tripped and fell through a skylight. After falling at least four meters onto the concrete floor below, the 24 year old was left with a broken right arm and elbow. He also suffered severe bruising.

HSE Investigation

Following an investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive, it was discovered that the work carried out on the roof had not been planned. It was also found that there was no risk assessment or safe system in place regarding the prevention of falls off or through the fragile roof.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 17 June 2014 found that the work on the roof had not been planned and there was no safe system for preventing workers falling off or through the fragile roof.

After pleading guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Rees family partnership, of Dinas, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1121.55.

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Energy Company Fined after Worker Falls Through Roof

A clean energy company based in Cornwall has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an incident in which a worker fell through a fragile roof.

In August 2015, an employee of Clean Earth Energy Limited was installing solar panels onto a roof at Homeleigh Garden Centre in Launceston. Whilst the worker, a senior roofer, was negotiating his way across the roof it gave way. The worker fell approximately fifteen feet to the floor, sustaining numerous injuries including multiple fractured vertebrae.

After an investigation by the HSE, it was decided that the work had not been suitably planned or properly supervised whilst it was carried out.

After pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Clean Earth Energy Limited, of Bess Park Road, Trenant Industrial Estate, Wadebridge, Cornwall was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,704.

After the hearing an inspector for the HSE, Nicole Buchanan, said:

“Working on fragile surfaces is a particularly high risk activity in which many serious accidents occur. Duty holders should do everything possible to protect their workers from the risk of a fall.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Didcot Power Station Collapse Leaves One Dead & Three Missing

One person has been killed and others are receiving hospital treatment following the ‘major incident’ at Didcot Power station. Expert search teams are currently surveying the area in an attempt to locate the three people that remain missing since part of the Oxford power station collapsed yesterday (Tuesday 23rd February 2016).

Partial Collapse

A large building, approximately 300m long and ten storeys high, at the site of the former coal-fired Didcot A plant partially collapsed. At around 4pm yesterday search and rescue teams, along with ambulance, police and fire crews were called to the area.

The building at the Didcot A site had been due for demolition sometime this year; however the collapse of the building, which has been closed since 2013, was not planned.

nPower, the owner of power stations Didcot A and B, released the following statement via a spokesperson:

“We can confirm that shortly after 4pm this afternoon part of the boiler house at our former Didcot A power station site in Oxfordshire collapsed while an external demolition contractor was working in it. Our thoughts are with the families of all those involved in this tragedy.”

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the firm responsible for the upcoming planned demolition, Birmingham based Coleman and Company, told the Oxford Mail that the site was “under demolition”. However she could not confirm if there were explosives at the site at the time of the collapse. Coleman and Company have not yet released an official statement regarding the incident, but they sent the following tweet on Tuesday afternoon:

“We are aware of an incident at Didcot A Power Station. We are working with all stakeholders to establish facts and will keep you updated.”

Nathan Travis, Oxfordshire’s deputy chief fire officer, said:

“It is with great sadness that I have to confirm one person has died during this incident. Our priority now is to find the three missing people.

“The search will be a considerable undertaking due to the instability of the site. We expect the search will continue through the night and possibly into the coming days.”

Travis told reporters at the site that at the height of the commotion, there were around 60 firefighters and at least three fire engines at the scene. He explained that the methods being used to locate the three missing workers was one that has previously been implemented & trialled abroad by specialists after earthquakes. When asked if his officers had handled something of this magnitude before, he replied:

“In terms of Oxfordshire it is unique.”

Travis also added that there was no sort of indication as to how long the search operation would last.

Search & Rescue

Along with numerous fire engines from Oxfordshire, six ambulances, Thames Valley police and specialist search teams with sniffer dogs, two air ambulances also attended the scene.

Urban search and rescue teams from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are reported to have offered assistance in the form of eleven people and for search vehicles. Their involvement has led to the theory that there are people trapped in the rubble of the building.

Casualties from the collapse are being transported to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. According to Oxford university hospitals NHS foundation trust, the public have been asked to steer clear of the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford unless it is a “serious or life-threatening emergencies”.

It has been reported four casualties are in stable and non-life threatening condition, while one man is in a serious but again, not life-threatening condition. A further two casualties were being treated for minor injuries.

RWE nPower tweeted:

“We are working with our contractors Coleman and Company to establish the facts re the tragic events at #Didcot”

A GMB union official told the Press Association:

“We understand that workers were preparing two boilers for demolition in the coming weeks. This led to the collapse of a building.”

The official added that he did not consider the collapse to be the result of an explosion.

Ed Vaizey, MP for the Didcot and Wantage areas, tweeted:

“Very concerned about terrible events at Didcot power station. Praying for workers and their families.”

While Bill McKinnon, who witnessed the collapse, told the BBC:

“I was sitting in my front room, I can see the power station quite clearly from where I am, it’s only about 400 yards away.

“About 4 o’clock, when I heard the explosion and the very loud rumbling, by the time I had got up and looked out of the window there was a huge cloud of dust which came through and over our village.

“When that had cleared I noticed that half of the old power station, where they used to keep the generators, half of that was missing.

Mr McKinnon added:

“I was a little bit surprised because normally the contractors let us know when they are going to do explosions, so I was a bit surprised because we hadn’t heard anything.

“Very shortly afterwards the air ambulance turned up and then fire engines and ambulances started arriving, and a little while after that another air ambulance turned up, and I think they are still there.”

David Cooke, of Thames Cryogenics, has a building overlooking the power station. He said:

“Our building shook and as we looked out of the window, the end of the main turbine hall collapsed in a huge pile of dust.

“It totally obscured the towers and must have drifted across the roads and main rail line. What’s left looks a tangled mess.

“The dust was hanging over the area for five to 10 minutes.

“First thought was, it didn’t looked planned, followed by the thought that people are going to have been hurt.”

Thames Valley police tweeted:

“We remain at Didcot Power Station following a report of collapsed building. We will share more details as soon as they are confirmed #Didcot”

Didcot B Site

The former coal-fired station, Didcot A, opened in 1970 and was eventually converted in order to able to generate power from natural gas. Three of its six cooling towers were due to be demolished in the coming months, following the controlled demolition of the other three last year. Several large buildings on site were also due to be demolished soon with the RWE npower website stating that demolition of the entire site is due to be completed by the end of 2016.

It is not yet clear if modern gas-fired power station, Didcot B, situated next to the collapsed plant, has been affected by the incident.

Injury at work – expert advice

If you have been affected by an accident at work, we could help you to understand all of your options. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation. For further information, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

Source: BBC; The Guardian

Director Falls Through Skylight in Accident at Work

Two firms have been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after a director suffered serious injuries after falling through a skylight in an accident at work.

Incident

Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court heard Touch Access Limited (TAL) was contracted to clean out the roof gutters of buildings at the site of Beagle Technology Group Limited (BTGL) on 11 July 2013.

The company director of TAL was carrying out the work when he lost his balance and fell through a plastic skylight. The director suffered a broken elbow, cuts to his face and broke both wrists after falling approximately fifteen feet.

HSE investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that BTGL had failed to provide TAL with sufficient information regarding the potential risks workers might be exposed to whilst carrying out the work at height.

The investigation also found that TAL had failed to ensure that the work was carried out safely and with proper planning.

Outcome & Fines

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Touch Access Limited, of Wordsworth Avenue, Bournemouth, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,144.

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Beagle Technology Group Limited, of Stony Lane, Christchurch, Dorset, was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,144.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Damien Milbourne said:

“Working on roofs is a high risk activity because it involves working at height. Falls through fragile materials, such as roof lights and asbestos cement roofing sheets, account for more deaths as a result of falling from height than any other single cause.

“The risks of working on fragile roofs are well-known, but so too are the ways to manage those risks, and all parties involved with work on fragile roofs must ensure the work is correctly planned and managed to ensure the safety of all involved.”

Accident at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have an accident at work claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive

Salad Company Fined after Worker Loses Tips of Fingers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have prosecuted a company responsible for growing and packing salads, following an incident in which a worker lost the tips of two fingers.

Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard how in April 2015, a worker operating a bagging machine reached beneath the protective guard of the machine to pull film through. As he did this, the cutting jaws and heat sealing part of the machine closed on two of his fingers, severing the tips of his left middle and ring fingers.

Following an investigation into the incident by the HSE, it was found that there was a hole cut into the interlocked guard of the machine in order to enable larger bags of salad onto a conveyor. However, this hole also enabled access to the dangerous heat sealing and cutting jaws.

After pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), Vitacress Salads Limited, of Lower Link St Mary Bourne, Andover, Hampshire, was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,088.

Kate Clark, HSE inspector, said after the hearing:

“Cutting a hole in the guards led to access to dangerous parts being possible. The company had not properly considered the risks from making this alteration.”

Injury at Work – Expert Advice

If you have been injured in the workplace you could be entitled to personal injury compensation. Remember, we offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation – discover today whether you have a claim. Speak to one of our professional and friendly advisers today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.co.uk

Source: Health & Safety Executive