Work At Height Prosecution
Construction company Rivergate Developments Ltd was sentenced today for safety breaches after worker Nathan Howes fell 2.7 metres through an open stairwell.
Leeds Magistrates’ court heard how, on 31 May 2017, Mr Howes, aged 26, was working on the upper floor of a cricket club in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire which was under refurbishment. Mr Howes was removing a ‘genie lift’ from the forks of a lift truck, so that steel beams could be lifted into place, when he stepped backwards and fell through the stairwell opening. Mr Howes sustained multiple injuries including a fractured spine, a fractured skull and a small collapse of one of his lungs, and was hospitalised for six days. Mr Howes still attends physiotherapy as outpatient and has not yet been able to return to work.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Rivergate Developments Ltd had carried out a risk assessment which identified there would be gaps in the floor through which a person could fall. However, they failed to put in place any measures to either prevent or mitigate the consequences of a fall. Such measures include the use of fixed edge protection systems to prevent falls or the use of fall arrest bags to mitigate falls.
Rivergate Developments Ltd of Rivergate House, Carrhill Road, Mossley, Lancashire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £1,020 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey commented: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.
“This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”
Worker Seriously Injured On Day One In Job
A distribution company based in Warrington has today been sentenced after an agency worker sustained serious, life changing injuries whilst working in Cheltenham.
Cheltenham Magistrate’s Court heard how, on 18 May 2017, a 27- year-old agency worker arrived at the Gloucester depot to begin his first day of work with the company as a multi-drop delivery driver. After a brief induction process, the worker delivered his first drop successfully however the address provided for the second drop was incorrect and therefore a delivery of 12 beer kegs was not made.
When on his next delivery, the worker used a pallet truck to manoeuvre the beer on the lorry to gain access to the next load on his list. He fell backwards from the raised tail lift onto the road and several kegs of beer fell and struck him. The worker suffered serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury and facial fractures requiring metal plates to be inserted into his skull.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the worker had no previous experience in using the type of pallet truck or tail lift involved in the incident. He was not given any practical training in the safe use of this machinery, nor was he made aware of safe working practices on how the pallet truck should be.
H& M Distribution Limited, as an employer, failed in its duty to carry out checks on the injured person’s competence and previous experience. As a consequence of their failure to make these checks, they did not provide adequate training.
H & M Distribution Limited of Newton Le Willows, Warrington pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. it has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,203.14.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Berenice Ray said:
“Employers who use agency workers or contractors have a responsibility to firstly establish the workers’ competence, taking into account their level of experience and familiarity with the work and work equipment, and then provide the appropriate level of training to ensure the work is done safely. If appropriate training had been provided, the life-changing injuries sustained by the agency worker could have been prevented.”
Here at Cambridge Safety we aim to help the business sector to keep within the bounds of current health, safety and environmental legislation and to improve the overall standards of safety.
Back to blogs