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Sunday, 24 June

Vehicle Crushes Pedestrian & Other Cases

Vehicle Crushes Pedestrian & Other Cases

A worker has been sentenced after seriously injuring pedestrian - we have the disturbing CCTV footage of the incident plus news of another six convictions.

 

Recycling Company Fined After Explosion

On Feb 27, a Sussex based recycling company was fined following an explosion and fire at their site in Surrey which left a worker in an induced coma.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard how a massive explosion occurred at Ereco EMEA Corporation Ltd site on 3 October 2011 at Hobbs Industrial Estate, Lingfield, Surrey, following the storage of print toner on site. Eight people were injured as a result of the explosion, five seriously. A 30-year-old worker was placed in an induced coma and remained in hospital for 15 weeks.

A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) found that Ereco failed to ensure there was a safe system of work in place to reduce the risk of dangerous substances; this could have been completed through carrying out suitable fire risks assessments and following guidelines in Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002.

The investigation also found that Paramount Waste Extraction Ltd, the company who designed the machinery that was used to shred and process the toner cartridges, did not consider the likely misuse of the machine by overloading the processing of toner with more than a residual amount of toner powder left inside; it was found they relied on generic data to determine whether an explosive atmosphere may arise.

Ereco EMEA Corporation pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 of failing to take general fire precautions. A sentencing hearing took place at Portsmouth Crown Court in December 2017 and sentence was handed down this month. Ereco EMEA Corporation Ltd was fined £30,000, £15,000 for each offence. The firm was also ordered to pay costs of £30,000.

Paramount Waste Extraction also pleaded guilty. The company has been fined £16,000 as well as being ordered to pay £16,000 towards court costs.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Michelle Canning said: “All the employees involved in this incident are extremely lucky this explosion didn’t prove fatal.

“Ereco failed to take the required precautions before starting a process of work with dangerous substances and this failure resulted in this serious, life threatening explosion.

“Both designers and suppliers must ensure that the risks of using their equipment are eliminated through safe design, and this should include taking into account foreseeable misuse.”

Following the sentencing, Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Despite warnings, Ereco failed to deal with the risk of fire at its plant leading to a catastrophic explosion of flammable toner powder. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service works with employers to help them comply with fire safety laws but where a lax approach puts people at risk won’t hesitate to take enforcement and legal action.”

 

 

 

Air Cargo Baggage Handling Company Fined Following Two Incidents At Luton Airport

On Feb 26, Airport baggage and cargo handler Swissport GB Limited were fined following two accidents at Luton Airport in 2015.

On the 23 June 2015, a ramp agent and team leader for Swissport GB Limited was working at Luton Airport. Using a flatbed lorry and a belt loader the team leader and his team unloaded the bags from an aircraft onto a flatbed lorry. Whilst standing on the back of the flatbed, the worker directed a colleague to take the bags to the airport inbound terminal. The colleague climbed into the cab of the flatbed, checked his mirrors and drove away not realising the team leader was still on the vehicle when it drove away.

The worker fell off the moving vehicle onto the ground sustaining bruising and damage to his spine. He was off work for eight weeks.

On 9 September 2015 a second team leader employed by Swissport was working at Luton Airport on a night shift loading cargo onto an aircraft using a high-loader. A high-loader has a platform that raises cargo from the ground up to the aircraft hold and extends to approximately 9 metres. The high-loader had been partially raised when the team leader began climbing the access ladder. As he was climbing the ladder, one of his feet slipped and he fell backwards to the ground suffering an impact injury to his right foot.

Luton Crown Court heard that Swissport GB Limited had not adequately assessed the risk or implemented a safe system of work to address the risk of employees falling from the rear of flatbed vehicles being driven away with workers still on the flatbed. The court heard that Swissport had failed to ensure that work at height on high-loaders was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

Swissport GB pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work 1974 and the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £502,000 and ordered to pay costs of £44,444.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: “Employers should be aware of their legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees and those not in their employment. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”


 

Company And Director Fined After Worker Falls From Height

On Feb 23, Prior Homes Limited and company Director Paul Prior were sentenced after the failure to control the risks associated with working on a fragile roof led to a worker sustaining serious injuries.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how two men were removing panels on a fragile roof when one of them fell through to the floor approximately five metres below.

An investigation by the HSE found that Prior Homes Limited had failed to plan the work on the roof or to carry out this work safely. In addition, the investigation also found that, as the Director Paul Prior was personally in charge of this work, he had consented to the unsafe working practices.

Prior Homes pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £9,334 and ordered to pay costs of £6,398.20. Paul Prior pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was sentenced to a custodial sentence of 8 weeks suspended for 12 months and ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.

Speaking after the case, HSE principal inspector Keith Levart said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work fatalities and serious injuries in this country. The risks associated with working at height are well-known.

“Prior Homes Limited and Paul Prior had established an unsafe and poorly planned working practice which lead to a serious injury to one of the workers, and have today been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of persons working on their site.”

 

 

 

Company Fined After Flammable Gas Release

An oil refinery company was sentenced on Feb 22 for safety breaches after flammable butane gas was released when valves were left open.

Grimsby Magistrates’ court heard that, in March 2015 following a planned shutdown for maintenance at Total Lindsey Oil Refinery, a high point vent on a butane line had been left open. This resulted in a loss of around 50 tonnes of butane.

An investigation by the HSE found that, although new pipework had been connected by a contractor, the whole line was not checked to ensure it had been re-instated properly and all valves closed. In addition, it should have been pressure tested to ensure it was ready to re-introduce flammable substances.

Total Lindsey Oil Refinery pleaded guilty to breaching the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 and was fined £400,000.00 with £15,794.85 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Kay commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should have effective management procedures in place to ensure all hazards are properly identified.”

 

 

 

Company And Sub-Contractor Fined After Worker Falls From Height

Advanced Industrial Roofing and Cladding Solutions Limited (AIRCSL) and Stephen Bell were  fined on 21 Feb, after a worker fell through a fragile skylight while carrying out work on a roof.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how AIRCSL and Stephen Bell had been in the process of installing a new industrial roof over the existing asbestos cement roof, at Brunswick Industrial Estate, New Southgate, when the worker stepped backwards onto a neighbouring unit and fell through a fragile roof light suffering serious injuries.

An investigation by the HSE found AIRCSL failed to take suitable measures to prevent persons falling whilst working at height; and that Stephen Bell, a sub-contractor, failed to plan, manage and monitor the works carried out by workers under his control.

AIRCSL pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Stephen Bel pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

AIRCSL was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,278. Stephen Bell was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Jack Wilby said: “This is sadly another incident involving someone falling through a fragile roof and it is lucky that the injuries were not more severe. This incident highlights the importance of planning work at height and putting in place suitable control measures, including those preventing or managing access to fragile roofs.”

 

 

 

Recycling Company Fined After Worker Injured

On Feb 20, a Rochdale recycling company was fined after an employee’s arm was dragged into unguarded machinery.

Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 23 March 2016, the Anglo Recycling worker suffered a compound fracture whilst working on a carpet recycling line, when his arm was drawn into machinery and trapped between a conveyor and roller.

An investigation by the HSE found the company had failed to assess the risk and guard the rear access point on the machine. At the time of the incident, the injured worker had brought the company’s attention to the missing rear guard but no action had been taken to address it.

Anglo Recycling pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,500.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sharon Butler said: “This case is a stark reminder of the consequences of a failure to adequately guard machinery and implement safe systems of work.”

 

Scaffolder Sentenced Over Unsafe Working At Height

On Feb 20, a 28-year old scaffolder was  sentenced after working at height without suitable and sufficient safety measures in place.

Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 30 June 2017, Mr Terrance Murray was witnessed erecting scaffold in an unsafe manner by a concerned member of the public. Photographs were taken of Mr Murray standing on top of the scaffold in Quay Street, Manchester, with no edge protection and no harness attached to any part of the scaffold or building.

The fall height was estimated at between 13 and 18 metres. If he had fallen from this height into the concrete deck of the car park below there is a high probability that he would have sustained fatal injuries.

An investigation by the HSE  found that Mr Murray’s employers had taken reasonable steps to avoid working unsafely at height. Mr Murray was well trained and experienced, and had the correct equipment available to him in order to work safely. He acted alone against his better interest and training to work without edge protection and safety measures in place. Mr Murray was also accompanied by a trainee scaffolder at the time and so was setting an unsafe example.

Mr Terrance Murray pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for one year and 100 hours of community service. Mr Murray was also ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and should be taken seriously.

“This case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to erect scaffolding in a safe manner, which does not cause risk to members of the public and workers using the scaffold. It also serves to remind employees that they have a duty to look after themselves.”

 

 

Worker Sentenced After Seriously Injuring Pedestrian

An employee of a skip firm was sentenced on Feb 16, after causing serious injury to a pedestrian.

Southwark Crown Court (main picture) was shown CCTV footage of the incident which took place on 2 August 2017. The footage showed Mr Daividas Rupeika driving into another excavator at the site in Wimbledon, South West London. He then proceeded to reverse the excavator at speed, resulting in a pedestrian being crushed against a shed wall and sustaining serious injuries.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident found that Mr Rupeika had not complied with his duty to take reasonable care for himself and others whilst operating the excavator.

Mr Daividas Rupeika pleaded not guilty to two charges of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. One charge related to him deliberately driving his excavator into another which was being driven by a workmate and the second charge related to him driving too fast in the circumstances.

A jury found Mr Rupeika guilty of both counts after a five-day trial. He was sentenced to six months in custody suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Sarah Pearce said: “Employees should take care of themselves and others whilst at work. 23% of those fatally injured at work in the waste industry were struck by a moving vehicle. This incident could so easily have had more severe consequences for all involved. Employees should be aware of the dangers and potential consequences of operating plant in an unsafe manner.”

Picture: For illustration purposes only. Please note the video below is extremely disturbing CCTV footage of a pedestrian being crushed against a shed wall and sustaining serious injuries. 

 

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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