700,000 Fines and Costs for Parcel & Express Mail Company DHL and JCB after Worker is Crushed and Nearly Killed To: All Branches
Two companies have been fined after a worker was seriously injured by a trolley carrying hydraulic rams. Stafford Crown Court heard how Martin Addison of DHL Services Limited (DHL) was auditing in-coming deliveries of equipment in an outside yard at JCB’s headquarters when he was struck from behind by falling machinery. The machinery was being towed by an electric tug and weighed approximately 770kg. The trolley toppled on its side trapping Martin Addison between it and a storage cage. He suffered multiple serious injuries including fractures and internal injuries. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident on 16 October 2013 found there were safety failures related to this auditing activity and the segregation between employees and vehicles using this area, leading to an unsafe system of work. DHL Services Limited pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £266,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,370.22. JC Bamford Excavators Limited pleaded guilty to two criminal safety offences, and was fined £375,000 with £37,235.42 costs. HSE inspector David Brassington commented: “The dangers of failing to provide effective segregation between pedestrians and vehicles are well known. Both of these companies were well versed in workplace transport risk management and both fell well below the required standard in ensuring that such risks were effectively managed in this area.” He added: “These failings allowed a pedestrian worker into a busy area where vehicles were coming and going and as a result the worker sustained serious injuries from which he has still not recovered. DHL Express is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL providing international courier, parcel and express mail services. It is also a competitor of Royal Mail.
Other Recent Reports From The Courts – Health & Safety Convictions
£14,000 Fine Following Trench Collapse Accident
Wallace Roofing and Building Ltd of of Glenrothes, Fife, was fined £14,000 at Dundee Sheriffs Court after it pleaded guilty to the criminal safety breaches following a trench collapse that led to injuries that left worker Julian Kilbane in intensive care for six days. None of the firm’s workers had received safety training.
£80,000 Fine Following Worker Killed by Reversing Vehicle
Cavanna Homes and Steve Hoskin construction company, its groundwork contractor were fined a total of £80,000 including costs, at Exeter Crown Court after a worker was killed by a reversing telescopic material handler vehicle. No risk assessments had been carried out and there were no control measures in place to segregate vehicles and pedestrians in the area where the accident happened. Separating pedestrians and vehicles by introducing measures such as walkways with barriers, could have prevented John Small’s death.
£200,000 Fine After Worker’s Hand Was Crushed
Cardiff-based steel manufacturing company Rom Ltd has been fined £200,000 plus £17,200 Costs at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court after a worker suffered a serious crushed hand between the rotating rollers on a steel wire straightening machine. The company failed to risk assess the manual operation of the machine and failed to ensure it was correctly guarded. The company also failed to provide the required level of supervision.
£120,000 Fine after Chainsaw Injury
Growing Green Limited has been fined £120,000 plus £2000 costs after a worker was seriously injured by a chainsaw while felling trees. Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard that the employee suffered deep lacerations to an arm and damaged nerves. The man had not been trained to operate the chainsaw, nor had he been provided with the necessary personal protective clothing clothing, gloves, helmets, safety boots and eye protection. There was no supervision and no proper planning of the work.
£48,000 Fines for Firm and boss fined for persistent safety failings
Flooring company Cambridge Timbertec Ltd and its general manager have been fined after failing to abide by a succession of legal safety enforcement notices. Cambridge Magistrates’ Court heard how Cambridge Timbertec Ltd failed to maintain satisfactory work safety standards after several inspections by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The company had received six previous improvement notices and a written advice and finally it received three prohibition notices and four improvement notices. The company pleaded guilty to criminal breaches of the management of H&S Regs, Noise Control Regs, Hazardous Substances Regs and Work Equipment Regs. It was fined £44,000 inc costs. General Manager Craig Butler was fined £4,000 inc costs.
£7,500 Fine and £10,000 Compensation Following Worker Getting Fingers Cut Off
G&D Pallets boss Alexander Mackay was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay an injured worker £10,000 compensation at Dundee Sheriff Court after casual worker Michael Rice tripped over a broken pallet and fell into a moving sawblade, slicing off three of his fingers. The HSE visited the company after the incident on 20 December 2011 and issued an immediate prohibition notice shutting down operations. 65-year-old Maclay admitted a criminal safety offence. Surgeons were only able to reattach one of Mr Rice’s fingers, leaving him permanently disfigured and impaired. The victim had been employed as a casual worker for in 2010 and 2011 and had never been given basic training or refresher training. Sentencing Mackay, the Sheriff Alastair Brown told Mackay he could have gone to jail. He added that this was a gross management failure. It was Mackay’s responsibility to protect the employees and that cannot be delegated on to or shuffled off on others. There was obvious dangers which Mackay should have seen but failed to take even the most basic steps to protect employees and therefore is seems that a prison sentence would normally be appropriate.
£750,000 Fine for Asbestos Crimes
North London construction firm Barroerock Construction Limited was fined £750,000 at Canterbury Crown Court for putting 200 workers at risk of asbestos exposure and was prosecuted after repeated asbestos failings. The HSE carried out investigations of working practices in 2013 and 2014 while Barroerock were converting into flats a former nine storey office building in Ashford, Kent, which was known to contain asbestos. The court was told that company ignored and failed to act on a refurbishment and demolition survey which resulted in workers being exposed to asbestos during the demolition phase of the project. A further visit was made following complaints about safety practices and the HSE found that dangerous practices were continuing with the company failing to prevent the breathing in of asbestos fibres on the site. Barroerock Construction Limited, pleaded guilty to two criminal safety offences and was fined £750,000 plus £14,874.68 costs. The £10m a year business has gone into liquidation and sole company director Sean O’Connor has since launched a new ‘phoenix’ company operating from the same address.
£250,000 Fine for Solar Panel Firm after Worker Falls through Roof
Bristol solar panel installation company Solarjen Limited, known as Paul O’Brien Solar Installations (SW) Ltd at the time, has been fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,073.14 after a 49-year-old worker fell more than 3.5 metres through a roof void at Fairlawn School, Bristol in June 2015. The victim suffered serious injuries, including bleeding on the brain, a fractured spleen and fractured ribs. Bristol Magistrates Court heard how the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to ensure physical guarding was in place to prevent workers from falling through voids in the roof. The HSE also found the company failed to appropriately supervise the work. Solarjen Limited pleaded guilty to a criminal breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The HSE found that the company failed to properly organise the work and train workers to make sure the workers knew what safety measures were needed. No supervision was providing to ensure work was not undertaken without safety measures being put in place. As a result, serious harm was caused to one worker and others were put at serious risk.
£125,000 Fines and Costs For Solar Panel Firm and Its Director after worker breaks back in fall
Eco NRG Solutions Ltd, a solar panel company and its director Jon Luke Antoniou have been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries in fall through a roof at a farm in Cornwall. Taunton Magistrates Court heard how Lewis Harding, 28, had been fitting solar panels on a fragile roof at Venn Farm on 19 May 2015. He fell more than three metres through a fragile skylight and broke his back in three places. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to take adequate precautions to prevent workers falling from height. There was no edge protection, under-roof netting or boarding provided on site. The company instead relied on an ineffective use of harnesses. Unsafe working had been taking place for months before the incident and then continued for months afterwards. HSE’s investigation found that the bad practice was attributable to the neglect of director Jon Antoniou. Eco NRG Solutions Ltd pleaded guilty to two criminal safety offences and was fined £115,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,879.60. Jon Luke Antoniou pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,957.40. HSE inspector Sue Adsett said: “The worker is lucky to have not sustained more life-threatening injuries from what we found to be a serious breach of the law. This case highlights the importance of directors being vigilant and acting on their legal obligations.”
£495,000 Fine for Truck company after worker’s death
ATE Truck and Trailer Sales Ltd, a company that buys, refurbishes and sells heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and trailers has been sentenced after the death of a worker. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that on 21 February 2013 William Price suffered fatal head injuries when he was struck by the roof of a trailer he was dismantling at the Marston Industrial Estate site. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found ATE had undertaken this task before and had an established method in place. However, it failed to properly consider the risks involved in this work and did not provide the 63-year-old with any information in relation to his safety when ‘stripping down’ the trailers. ATE Truck and Trailer Services Ltd pleaded guilty to a criminal safety offence and was fined £475,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000. HSE inspector Judith Botwood commented: “This tragic accident was preventable had all parties considered the risks involved and taken appropriate measures to reduce that risk.” Mr Price’s daughter, Hayley, said she hoped the fine would prevent a similar tragedy. “It has been awful,” she said. “There are so many things we have missed out on.”
Construction Boss Jailed After a Member of the Public is Killed by Falling Window Frames.
A construction boss has been jailed for a year for manslaughter over the death of a lawyer, crushed by half-tonne window frames in Mayfair, central London. Amanda Telfer, 43, was killed when the stack of large unglazed frames collapsed on her as she walked past a building site in Hanover Square on 30 August 2012. An Old Bailey jury found the supervisor at IS Europe Limited, Kelvin Adsett, guilty of manslaughter and a criminal breach of safety law. Judge Peter Rook QC said the 64-year-old had shown “reckless disregard” for what was a life-threatening situation. Westgreen Construction Limited site manager Damian Lakin-Hall, 50, was convicted of a criminal safety offence and sentenced to six months jail, suspended for two years. IS Europe Limited was found guilty of two criminal safety offences. Costs of £100,000 were also imposed on the three defendants. Another member of the public had almost been hit in a “near-miss” incident at the site just days before the fatal accident.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer
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