Health and safety update September 2018
Welcome to the latest edition of our 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.
In the news
ENRC wins Appeal to uphold its right to legal professional privilege
On 5 September 2018 the Court of Appeal delivered its judgment in Director of the Serious Fraud Office v Eurasian Natural Resources Corp Ltd & Law Society.
Firms plead guilty for the death of a 5-year old girl
In our December 2017 bulletin we reported on the death of five-year old, Alexys Brown, after her head became stuck in a lift at Emmadale Close, Weymouth, on 13 August 2015. Alexys became trapped between the lift and the ground floor ceiling at her family home.
Court of Appeal reduce fine by 85%
Electricity North West appealed against its conviction of contravening Regulation 4(1) Work at Height Regulations 2005 and fine of £900,000. The conviction occurred at Preston Crown Court (HHJ Altham and a jury) on 23 March 2017. The sentencing took place on 31 March 2017.
Court of Appeal confirms correct approach to sentencing in fire safety offences
In R v Butt Mr Butt was converting a large property in East London into a hotel. Although Mr Butt had engaged consultants and secured planning permission, building regulations were not passed due to concerns about the fire escape.
Army officers acquitted of negligence after the death of three reservists on an SAS march
In July 2013, 3 reservists, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, L/Cpl Edward Maher and Corporal James Dunsby died after a 16 hour march in the Brecon Beacons on one of the hottest days of the year.
Fines and sentences
Fine of £1.5m for a logistics company after worker is fatally crushed
On 22 January 2016 an employee of the logistics company, Tuffnells Parcels Express Limited, was attempting to attach a trailer to his vehicle. The trailer was parked on a slight incline causing it to roll forward and trap the employee, causing fatal injuries.
Metal forging company fined £500,000 after worker is fatally injured when struck by metal component
On 17 July 2015, Billy Fairweather, 35, was first man in a four-man crew producing metal parts from alloy cylinders. He was tasked with moving alloys on an anvil using tongs between hammer strikes in order to forge them into shape. Although the alloy in question, weighing 20kg, was small it was very robust. The crew was therefore using the heaviest hammer available.
Tata Steel fined £450,000 after worker falls into an open pit
On 26 February 2014, Steven Ayres was working at Tata Steel’s plant in Stocksbridge, tasked with emptying a skip into an open pit. The skip was full so was being removed and emptied by Mr Ayres with the assistance of a crane being operated by a driver.
Utility company fined £466,660 for dangerous gas installations at Royal Veterinary College
Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure Ltd was contracted to carry out gas, plumbing and drainage work at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire from December 2010 until September 2011.
Two companies each fined £270,000 after a construction worker is paralysed after falling through a roof
On 5 November 2015, Mr Marcel Păduraru, a construction worker, who was 30 years old at the time, fell through a fragile plastic skylight landing in a basement over three metres below. He suffered severe spinal injuries leaving him paralysed.
Custodial sentence for landlord for repeated gas-safety failings
Steven Ladell was landlord of a property in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. In 2017 the HSE inspected the property and found a gas oven to be “at risk” along with the gas central heating boiler being unsafe.
Waste management firm agrees enforcement undertaking for odour pollution
In June 2018, Renewi, a waste management firm based in Cumbria became the first company to accept an enforcement undertaking for breaching an environmental permit for odour pollution.
The International Organisation for Standards (ISO) publishes new standard for occupational health and safety
ISO45001: Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, is designed to help organisations reduce workplace injuries and illnesses around the world.
HSE releases annual figures for work-related injuries for 2017/2018
The HSE has released provisional annual data for work-related fatal injuries revealing that 144 workers were fatally injured between April 2017 and March 2018 (0.45 per 100,000 workers).