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HealthMonday 30 September 2019

Health and Safety Executive gets tough with lax employers.

A recent series of rulings by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are evidence that increasingly, there is nowhere to hide for employers who do not safeguard their workers from accidents and injuries.

Both partners of a roofing company were sentenced following unsafe work on a Bowls Club in Salisbury. Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard how workers of CB Roofing were seen working on the roof with unsafe access, no edge protection and nothing to prevent falls through the fragile roof material.

An investigation by the HSE found that the partners failed to ensure that the work at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out safely.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Sue Adsett said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

In another case, Josh Noon Tree Services in Devon was sentenced after a worker suffered serious hand injuries when his hand was caught in a log splitting machine.

Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard that 33-year-old tree surgeon Darren Gillespie was placing logs in the splitter when his hand became trapped. When he pulled away, he found his right-hand index finger had been completely severed along with the tip of the middle finger.

The court heard that even after surgery, Mr Gillespie still suffers from pain and the incident has significantly impacted his ability to continue to work as a tree surgeon. An investigation by the HSE found that due to a lack of guarding or two-handed controls, the machine involved in the incident presented a foreseeable risk of serious injury to operators.

Joshua Mark Noon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £3,100 and ordered to pay costs of £6,019.

In another serious case, the director of a now-dissolved landscaping company was sentenced for safety breaches after a worker suffered life changing injuries.

Leeds Crown Court heard that an employee of R K United Ltd was using a lorry loader crane to deliver a load of soil to a house in Leeds. As he brought the crane arm down, his left arm was impaled on a spike which was protruding from the control system. The impact caused several bones in his arm to be shattered.

An investigation by the HSE found the crane had severe defects, including a disabled safety system, and part of the safety guard around the controls had been cut off, leaving the spike on which his arm was impaled. Hafeez Ghafoor from Huddersfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

In another case, a manufacturer of steel water storage tanks and supporting towers was fined after a worker suffered multiple fractures following a fall from height.

Cwmbran Magistrates Court heard how a Braithwaite Engineers Limited employee was injured when he fell from a lorry bed whilst unloading the lorry at their site in South Wales, resulting in multiple fractures of his head, ribs, shoulder blade and fingers, causing him to miss over five months of work.

An investigation by the HSE found the company had failed to provide employees with suitable and clear instructions and training so that employees would not access lorry beds in an unsafe manner. Braithwaite Engineers Limited pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £9,400 and ordered to pay costs of £1,680.75.

If you have suffered an accident because of the negligence of your employer, please contact Oxford Accident Solicitors on 01865 315309 for a FREE, no obligation consultation on how to make a claim for compensation.

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