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Safety 2018 - Major Convictions Already

Safety 2018 - Major Convictions Already
Jan 12
👤 by Brian Shillibeer

8 January 2018

A civil engineering company has been sentenced for safety breaches after father of three Darren Richardson suffered fatal crush injuries.

Sheffield Crown Court heard in December 2014 RMB Contractors Ltd were working on laying a new concrete slab at Ballast Phoenix Ltd, Claywheels Lane, Sheffield. During ground preparation an old cable duct had to be dug out before the concrete could be laid. A 21-tonne tracked excavator was being used to dig out the duct, parked behind it was a stationary dumper truck.

As the excavator was working back towards the dumper Mr Richardson was crushed between the two pieces of plant. Mr Richardson was pronounced dead at the scene.

RMB Contractors Ltd of Ripley Road Belper in Derbyshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £24,482.80 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Medani Close said: “Back to back plant activities should be avoided as both pedestrians and vehicles could be put at a higher risk of coming into contact with each other.

“If the two separate work activities cannot be avoided, then the area should be safeguarded and effectively managed with segregation in place, for example using fencing or barriers to delineate the ‘no go’ areas for pedestrians.”


5 January 2018

An engineering company has been fined after a worker lost his leg from the knee down when he was hit by a forklift truck.

West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court heard how a Puma Engineering and Construction Limited employee was seriously injured whilst carrying out a lifting operation involving the transporting and loading of pipe spools onto a flatbed truck. A forklift truck he was acting as banksman for, drove into the back of his left heel. His left leg had to be amputated.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident, which occurred on 16 November 2016, found the company had failed to properly plan, organise and carry out the lifting operation in a safe manner.

Puma Engineering and Construction Limited of Westwood Business Park, Brunel Road, Southampton pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £8000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3781.04

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said, “All lifts must be properly planned, assessed and carried out in a safe manner. There were other safer, reasonably practicable options that the company could have taken to prevent the forklift coming into contact with the individual. The safest method in this instance was to use tag lines or push sticks to control the load, as opposed to controlling the load by hand.”


4 January 2018

Two construction firms, including Engie Regeneration, have been fined after a tenant suffered serious injuries when she fell through a fragile surface.

Southwark Crown Court heard how the tenant was injured when, in the process of gaining access to her flat, she fell 5.5m through a fragile cement sheet to the balcony walkway below. She suffered serious injuries including a pelvis fractured in five places.

The balcony walkway was the tenant’s sole access to and from her flat and, although construction workers had been working on it for the previous four days, the tenant had not been informed of the work or of any associated risks; neither were there physical barriers in place to prevent her from stepping into the balcony walkway.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident, which occurred on 19 June 2015, found that Engie Regeneration (Apollo) Limited (previously known as Keepmoat Regeneration (Apollo) Limited) were undertaking a programme of remedial refurbishment works at the Du Cane Estate in Hammersmith and Fulham, following an extensive refurbishment project some years earlier, and that the top floor balcony walkways throughout the estate needed to be replaced as part of these works.

Engie Regeneration (Apollo) Limited appointed Superior Roofing and Building Services Ltd to undertake the refurbishment of the balconies and they started this work in June 2014. In August 2014, it came to both companies’ attention that the balcony replacement work involved exposing, and then working around, a fragile surface, when operatives partially fell through the cement soffit within the balcony.

It was only after the incident in 2015 that the companies put sufficient steps in place to protect workers and members of the public from falling from height.

Engie Regeneration (Apollo) Limited were found to have failed to plan, manage, monitor, and coordinate the balcony refurbishment works to ensure the work was carried out without risks to the health and safety of their operatives or members of the public.

Additionally, the HSE investigation found that Superior Roofing and Building Services Ltd failed to ensure the balcony replacement works were properly planned, and that they failed to select suitable and sufficient control measures to prevent operatives or members of the public falling from height during the works.

Engie Regeneration (Apollo) Limited, of Benton Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and has been fined £800,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,518.54.

Superior Roofing and Building Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,693.94.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Sharon Boyd said: “This incident could easily have been avoided if the companies had ensured that workers and members of the public were protected. Companies should be aware that they are at risk of being prosecuted by the HSE if they do not do what is reasonable to protect people.”


4 January 2018

Church Street in Epsom, Surrey was closed through the afternoon and overnight on January 4 after strong winds blew masonry from a commercial building on to the pavement 3-storeys below. A four-year-old boy and his mother were injured in the incident and were taken to hospital. Their injuries were fortunately not life changing. Another man received minor injuries to his leg.

Picture: The masonry fall in Surrey


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