News and Information

In this section we will regularly update you with information on Health and Safety Legislation, Compliance Issues, Training, Special Offers and more

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National kitchen supplier fined after driver fatally crushed

Date: 22 November 2017


A national manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products has today been fined £1.2 million after the death of a visiting HGV driver at one of the company’s premises.


Carlisle Crown Court heard how Richard Brown, an agency driver, was delivering kitchen worktops to a Howden Joinery Ltd site in Workington when he was crushed to death as a forklift truck (FLT) overturned whilst lifting kitchen worktops from the trailer of the HGV.


An investigation into the incident that took place on 10 November 2014 found the FLT had been overloaded and that visiting delivery drivers were not kept at a safe distance from the loading and unloading operations.

Howden Joinery Ltd of Portman Square, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.


The company has been fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £33,902.00.


Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “Standing too close to where loading or unloading work is being carried out can put people in harm’s way so people, such as delivery drivers, should be in a position of safety when forklift trucks are operating.


“This tragic incident could have been avoided if Howden Joinery Ltd had implemented a safe procedure to ensure that pedestrians were kept at a safe distance during loading and unloading work.


“Duty holders should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”



Company fined and director sentenced after worker falls from height

Date:20 November 2017


The Managing Director of a solar panel company has received a suspended prison sentence and the company has been fined.


Gloucester Crown Court heard how a worker suffered serious injuries after falling through a fragile rooflight at a farm in Kemble. The worker suffered fractures to the skull and pelvis because of this incident.


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 26 August 2015 found that Switch Capital EMEA Ltd had failed to ensure the safety of those working on the roof, they did not install safety netting which would have prevented the fall.


It was found Mr Timothy Dobson, who was Managing Director of Switch Capital EMEA Ltd at the time of the accident made the decision not to use safety netting.


Switch Capital EMEA Ltd of Sapperton, Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £54,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000.00.


Mr Timothy Dobson of Sapperton, Gloucestershire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.


He was sentenced to seven months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 150 hours community service and pay costs of £12,000.00.


Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Chilcott said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure safe methods of working are used.


“In this case work was conducted on a fragile roof without safety nets being used. Had this simple precaution been in place, the serious injuries sustained could have been prevented.”


Temporary Works

What are Permanent Works?

Permanent works are the parts of a construction project that will be used and remain in position for a long time - eg 60 years. This includes buildings and structures such as bridges, roads, retaining walls, etc. The construction of most types of permanent works will require the use of some form of temporary works


What are Temporary Works?

Temporary works (TW) are the parts of a construction project that are needed to enable the permanent works to be built. Usually the TW are removed after use - eg access scaffolds, props, shoring, excavation support, falsework and formwork, etc. Sometimes the TW is incorporated into the permanent works - eg haul road foundations and crane or piling platforms may be used for hardstanding or road foundations


Do I have to appoint a Temporary Works Coordinator?

British Standard 5975 sets out one way of managing temporary works (TW) that has been found to work well on medium and large projects and uses the job title Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC). There is no legal requirement to use this job title or the BS recommended process, but you should remember that BS5975 provides an industry consensus view on what is considered to be good practice. The legal requirement is that the party in control must ensure that work is allocated and carried out in a manner that does not create unacceptable risk of harm to workers or members of the public. On projects with relatively simple TW needs, you may choose not to appoint a TWC. However, you must still make sure that TW are properly managed to ensure safety.


Do I need to provide calculations for all Temporary Works situation?

Where the situation is small scale and straightforward there may be a “standard solution” provided for the temporary works (TW). These include, for example, use of a tower or system scaffold for access; design of a basic access scaffold to a standard configuration using existing data from tables; selection of a trench box to support a 2m excavation in firm, dry ground. In each of these cases the person organising the TW will need to assess the ground to be sure it is suitable for the equipment involved, and check that any assumptions made in the calculations for the standard solution are valid for this particular situation and the conditions on site. On a simple job the supplier’s data will allow an experienced person to consider the necessary issues without further calculation.

Propping using standard equipment such as screw props (‘Acrows’) needs careful consideration. To select the type, size, number and decide spacing, information is needed about the loads that will act on the props. This will include the wall above and the additional load from any other floor or roof beams etc that enter the wall above or close to the opening. Even with proprietary equipment, the support system must be worked out by a person who knows the correct methods of assessing the loads and designing the support arrangement. Failure of TW is often found to result from the loadings being underestimated; and in particular where loadings from the sides are not considered


Can all structural Engineers design Temporary works?


Where the situation is small scale and straightforward there may be a “standard solution” provided for the temporary works (TW). These include, for example, use of a tower or system scaffold for access; design of a basic access scaffold to a standard configuration using existing data from tables; selection of a trench box to support a 2m excavation in firm, dry ground. In each of these cases the person organising the TW will need to assess the ground to be sure it is suitable for the equipment involved, and check that any assumptions made in the calculations for the standard solution are valid for this particular situation and the conditions on site. On a simple job the supplier’s data will allow an experienced person to consider the necessary issues without further calculation.

Propping using standard equipment such as screw props (‘Acrows’) needs careful consideration. To select the type, size, number and decide spacing, information is needed about the loads that will act on the props. This will include the wall above and the additional load from any other floor or roof beams etc that enter the wall above or close to the opening. Even with proprietary equipment, the support system must be worked out by a person who knows the correct methods of assessing the loads and designing the support arrangement. Failure of TW is often found to result from the loadings being underestimated; and in particular where loadings from the sides are not considered


If I get a structural engineer to design temporary works, will they be the projects temporary works coordinator?


No. Coordinating the temporary works (TW) is not automatically the responsibility of the engineer carrying out the design work. Coordination is a much wider role that includes planning where and when TW will be needed and ensuring that they are correctly installed, used, checked and maintained. Some design engineers may be happy to be additionally contracted to act as project Temporary Works Coordinator.



From the HSE Website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/faq-temporary-works.htm


Roofing company fined after safety failings

Date: 8 June 2017


A roofing company has today been sentenced for safety failings related to working at height.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how numerous concerns were raised by members of the public about work being carried out by G & S Roofing Limited. The company twice ignored written advice to address the issue of working at height in an unsafe manner.


In August 2016, a further concern was raised by a member of the public who contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after seeing more evidence of operatives hired by G & S Roofing working unsafely from height. Inspectors then visited the site.


The HSE investigation found one of the operatives to be working on the flashings of a chimney from a ladder resting on the pitch of the roof at the unguarded gable end of the two storey house. There was nothing at the gable end of the roof to prevent a person falling. There were no suitable measures in place to prevent a person falling from the gable end, a fall which could have caused personal injury. A prohibition was served but the company took no action to rectify the dangerous working conditions.


G & S Roofing Ltd of Pembroke Lodge, 3 Pembroke Road, Ruslip was found guilty in its absence to breaching Regulations 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by virtue of Regulation 3(b). The company was today fined a total of £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,574.


Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “The dangers associated with working at height are well-known and G & S Roofing had a duty to protect all operatives from the risk of falling from height. Despite repeated advice, the company failed to put in adequate precautionary measures.


“It is vital for duty-holders to ensure that all issues related to health and safety are suitably addressed, particularly when the issues are highlighted.”


HSE to make cost recovery dispute process fully independent

Date:    9 February 2017


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it is to consult on proposals to make its cost recovery scheme dispute process fully independent.


The scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses which break the law and ensures the cost burden of HSE intervention is picked up by those companies and not taxpayers.


If an inspector identifies serious health and safety failings in the workplace about which they need to write to the dutyholder, then that dutyholder has to pay the costs of the HSE visit. If the inspector simply issues verbal advice there is no charge. If there is disagreement on HSE’s decision the dutyholder can dispute it.


Until now, disputes were considered by a panel which consisted of two members from HSE and one independent person. However, after reviewing the current process HSE will consult with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the process fully independent.


A spokesperson for HSE said: “HSE has always kept the dispute process under review and following a recent application for a judicial review we believe the time is right to move to a dispute process which is completely independent of HSE.”


Construction company director imprisoned after safety failings

Date:   6 February 2017


The director of a construction company has been imprisoned for eight months after failing to take appropriate action which resulted in a young worker receiving serious burns.


Cardiff Crown Court heard the young worker was instructed to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto the burning waste to help it to burn. The fireball that resulted when the thinners ignited caused the worker to be blown from the skip and he suffered substantial burns to his arms and legs.


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company director did not ensure the burning of the waste material was being carried out in a safe or appropriate manner. He failed to administer any first aid to the young injured worker and did not send him to hospital, the most appropriate response given the severity of the injuries suffered. He failed to inform HSE of the incident, a legal requirement, and the incident was only reported sometime later by a third part David Gordon Stead of Mildred Street, Beddau, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and also pled guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and was sentenced to 32 weeks imprisonment, half on release under licence. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for seven years.


Speaking after the case HSE inspector Adele Davies said “David Stead failed his employees. His actions could have resulted in the death of this worker. The young man suffered unnecessary life threatening injuries due to poor working standards.


“We hope this sentence sends out a message that directors of businesses must take their health and safety responsibilities seriously.”


Building Contractor fined after workers fatal fall

Date:   8 February 2017


A Manchester building contractor has been jailed following the death of a casual labourer who fell nearly seven metres through a fragile roof.


The 45-year-old labourer from Manchester had been carrying out repair work at Witney Mill, Manchester when the incident occurred on 23 November 2013.


Saleem Hussain had been engaged by the warehouse owner, who believed him to be a competent building contractor, to carry out repair and maintenance work on the warehouse roof. He then hired two people to do the work.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that both workers were not qualified to carry out work at height. They had accessed the roof via a ladder in order to repair and seal leaking guttering. No safety precautions were in place to protect the two men from the danger of falling through the fragile roof.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Hussain failed to assess the risks or put a safe working method in place. No suitable training or equipment to work on the roof had been provided.


Saleem Hussain of Birchfields Road, Manchester pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 8 months immediate imprisonment.


Speaking after the hearing HSE Principal Inspector Mike Sebastian said:”The dangers of falls through fragile roofs and working at height are well known. Simple steps such as removing the need to access the roof directly by using mobile working platforms, or boarding out the roof, or using safety harnesses, can and should be used to prevent accident and injury.


Mr Hussain’s failure to take any such actions resulted in a tragic and needless loss of life”.


Sentence after self-employed builder suffers serious electric shock


A real estate lettings company was sentenced today for safety breaches after a self- employed builder suffered first and third degree burns to his face, hands, neck and chest.


The injured worker 50-year-old Michael Phillips suffered an electric shock in October 2015 when he was carrying out work for IPH Investments Ltd at an address in Station Parade Harrogate.


The premises were being converted into a sunbed and beauty salon. The usual supply for most domestic dwellings is 240v but because this supply was feeding both shop premises and residential flats a larger supply was needed (400v). The company needed to carry out some preparatory work before the new supply could be installed. This involved the digging out of a small trench in the hallway of the site so that a new electricity supply could be installed into the property. While digging the trench Mr Phillips struck the existing live service cable with the small breaker he was using.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm over the incident. IPH Investments Ltd of Orchard House Haywra Street Harrogate pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £53,000.00 with £654.60 costs by Leeds Magistrates Court.


After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey commented: “This case was entirely preventable if the company had carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment before work began.


“The company could have used a cable avoidance tool (CAT) before any digging was carried out. This would have helped to locate the buried electrical service.”


http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/information/excavations.htm


Real estate company fined for safety failings


A real estate company in Oxfordshire has been fined for failing to manage asbestos on their premises following a fire.


Reading Crown Court heard how a fire occurred at Faringdon Business Park on 26 July 2014 destroying four units on the site.


Tapecrown Limited failed to have a suitable plan and risk assessment in place for the safe management of asbestos containing materials on their premises.


Tapecrown Limited, of Market Place, Wantage, Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.


HSE inspector Sharron Cripps said: “It is important for all duty holders to manage asbestos on their premises. To do this the dutyholder needs to identify asbestos containing material (ACM), determine where it is located, what condition it is in and what measures should be taken to manage the risk associated with asbestos.


Director Jailed for 12 Months


A company director has been jailed for 12-months following the death of one of his workers.


Father-of-three Paul Williamson, who was 51 years old, died on 29 January 2014 when a remote controlled Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) he was loading on to a truck fell from the ramps and crushed him.


Manchester Crown Court heard how Paul Williamson had not been adequately trained on the use of the ramps, the lorry and the MEWP. There was no risk assessment in place and no safe system of work had been created for the equipment, which had only been in operation for eight days.


The gradient of the ramps were above the manufacturer’s specification and they were not secured to the lorry. As the MEWP, a Spider 1800, was loaded onto the truck it toppled off the ramps on to Paul Williamson.


Company director Kenneth Thelwall, Burleigh Road, Enfield, was charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, sentenced to 12-months in prison and ordered to pay costs of £4,000. He was also disqualified from being a company director for seven years.


Thorn Warehousing Ltd was charged under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act was fined £166,000 and ordered to pay £10,400 costs. The company is currently in administration.




From  HSE (hse.gov.uk) (Press releases)