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More recent health and safety cases

Health and Safety Executive v Centriforce Products Ltd (2019) Liverpool Crown Court, May 13

Statutory reference: S.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

Centriforce Products Ltd, a Liverpool Recycling company, has been fined following an incident in which a worker was crushed to death.

The facts

  • In May 2017 waste plastic bales were delivered to the company’s site in Liverpool. They were stacked as free-standing columns.
  • Paul Andrews, an employee of the company, was working near the stack of bales. The stack toppled and the middle and top bales, weighing more than 500 kg, fell onto him. He suffered fatal crush injuries.
  • The company had failed to store waste plastic bales securely in such a way as to prevent the risk of collapse.
  • It had also failed to carry out a suitable assessment which would have identified risks to the safety of employees within the danger area of unstable stacks.

The decision

The company was fined £120,000 plus £10,500 costs under s.2 of HSWA.

 

Health and Safety Executive v Sanders Plant and Waste Management Ltd (2019) Newcastle upon Tyne Crown Court, May 13

Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

Sanders Plant and Waste Management Ltd, a waste management company, has been fined after a worker was killed when he was struck by a reversing JCB loading shovel.

The facts

  • In June 2015 a wheeled front loading shovel was being operated at the company’s site in Morpeth. The vehicle was loading waste into a waste separation machine and a parked vehicle.
  • The vehicle struck George Richardson, an employee of the company. He suffered fatal injuries.
  • There was a lack of pedestrian and vehicle separation at the site. This meant that pedestrians and vehicles could not safely circulate.
  • The company had carried out a risk assessment which identified some of the risks related to the operation of the loading shovel. This had not been fully implemented and were not sufficient to manage the risks of collisions between vehicles and pedestrians.
  • There was no risk assessment or traffic management plan which considered the safe movement of vehicles across the site.

The decision

The company was fined £500,000 plus costs under s.2 of HSWA.

 

Health and Safety Executive v Robert Latham (2019) Mold magistrates’ court, May 15

Statutory reference: s. 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

Robert Latham, a farmer, has been fined after a worker fell through the fragile roof of a milking shed on Latham’s farm.

The facts

  • In July 2018 David Rees, a self-employed contractor, was clearing out the valley gutter of the shed at the farm near Wrexham.
  • He fell and suffered fatal injuries.
  • Latham had failed to plan the work at height and had no suitable equipment for the work to be safely done.

The decision

Latham was fined £26,000 plus £3900 costs under s.3 of HSWA.

 

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service v HC-ONE Ltd (2019) Kirkaldy Sheriff Court, May 21

Statutory reference: ss. 3 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

HC-ONE Ltd, a care home operator, has been fined after a care home resident died after eating chlorine tablets.

The facts

  • In August 2015 a delivery of cleaning products was made to the Lomond Court Care Home in Fife. The products were left unattended in an unsealed box in a corridor.
  • The box contained a tub of unwrapped chlorine tablets which were similar to mints in appearance.
  • James McConnell, a resident of the home who suffered symptoms of Alzheimer’s diseases, was found in a distressed state close to the cleaning products.
  • Three of the tablets were missing. McConnell had eaten them. He developed pneumonia and died.
  • The company had failed to assess the risk posed by the chemical products. It had also failed to have an adequate system of work to manage deliveries of chemical products or to have an appropriate review procedure in place for the delivery arrangements of such products.

The decision

The company was fined £270,000 under ss.3 and 33 of HSWA.


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