Outside view of RPC's transparent glass building.

Health and safety update December 2019

Published on 19 December 2019

Welcome to our December 2019 health and safety update where we look at the health and safety stories that have recently hit the headlines as well as the latest fines and sentences that have been handed down.

Health and safety cases

Inquests – the consequences of non-co-operation – R v Lawrence [2019] Wimbledon Magistrates Court

In the first case of its kind, a care home consultant has been jailed for four months after failing to give evidence at an Inquest into the death of a vulnerable teenager, Sophie Bennett. On 12 October 2019, Duncan Lawrence was sentenced and ordered to pay court and victim fees by Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court. Read more

Acquittal of sprinkler contractor after five week trial

A company faced serious charges under sections 2 and 3 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HWSA) following an incident in which an installer fell 3 metres from a clean room roof whilst conducting system pressure testing. The accident resulted in serious injury. Read more

Metal fabrication company fined £12,000 after ignoring Improvement Notices

W S Barrett & Son Limited, a Lincolnshire metal fabrication company, were fined for not complying with three HSE Improvement Notices. The HSE initially advised the company of a problem in February 2018, after a complaint was made. However, further investigation indicated that the company did not act following receipt of a Notification of Contravention Letter. Read more

Suspended sentence imposed on company director

James Harrison, former Managing Director of Laser Shapes (NW) Limited, was found to have deliberately exposed his employees to the risk of developing severe lung disease via the use of hazardous substances, and then hiding these unsafe working practices from the HSE. Read more

Approved Inspector company and its Director acquitted of fire safety charges

An Approved Inspector, which is a private provider of Building Control Services, separate to the Local Authority was prosecuted by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), its Director of the company also facing a charge on the basis that the corporate offence had been committed with the consent, connivance or neglect of the director. Read more

Company Director struck off after allowing unsafe telehandler to remain in use

Mr Zarif Mohammed, the director of a waste-transfer company, was prosecuted and banned from taking a directorial role after being found guilty at Preston Crown Court of knowingly exposing his employees to unsafe conditions. Read more

Farming partnership convicted after pedestrian killed by overloaded telescopic loader

On 22 February 2017, Anthony Ackroyd was driving a vehicle carrying three bales of hay on the front which severely restricted his visibility. Read more

Director sentenced following brother’s fatal fall from height during solar panel installation

On 9 December 2015, Stephen Webb fell through a fragile roof ridge panel and fell 7 metres suffering fatal injuries. Read more



Illegal tree felling of 176 year old giant redwood

Property developer Fiorenzo Sauro and his firm, Enzo Homes Limited, have been fined £300,000 for ordering the illegal felling of more than seventy protected trees in Penllergaer, Swansea. This included the felling of a 176-year old giant redwood, placed under protection by a Tree Preservation Order. Read more

Environmental permit charges dropped – Potter Group v Natural Resources Wales (NRW)

In November 2019, Potter Group (also known as Sundorne Products Ltd) faced ten charges alleging breach of its environmental permit. Issues were first made apparent in 2015, following local reports of flies and odours. These were investigated by permit issuers Natural Resource Wales (NRW), who issued an enforcement notice in August 2016 followed by a partial suspension of the environmental permit in April 2017. Read more



‘Tis the season to be jolly


Mere hours after the BBC decorated its Christmas tree at London’s Broadcasting House, it was removed and chopped to pieces, allegedly to comply with Health and Safety guidelines. Read more