HSE Injuries & Fatalities Roundup (19th Feb) (UK)

Improper Asbestos Management (the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006) – Scottish health board guilty of safety failings resulting in worker exposure to asbestos fibres during a seven-year period. Fine is £10,000 for breach of Regulation 4(10)(b). Press release.

Roof Fall (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – farming partnership guilty of safety failings after a worker sustains serious injuries from a fall from the roof of a cowshed during its dismantling. Fine is £6,670 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Work Equipment Risk Failings (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – groundworks company guilty of safety failings after a worker sustains a leg amputation after his leg is crushed between a tractor pulling a heavy water bowser and the bucket of a loading shovel. Fine is £32,000 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Machinery Guarding Failings (angle grinder) (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – company guilty of machinery safety failings after a worker is injured by an unguarded angle grinder. Fine is £8,000 plus costs of £8,985 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Workplace Transport Failings (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – farming business guilty of traffic routing safety failings after a pedestrian is killed by a forklift truck. Fine is £165,000 plus costs of £39,500 for breach of Section 2(1) and 3(1). Press release.

Machinery Stop Failings (saw) (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – company guilty of failing to ensure an injection brake is fitted to a circular saw motor leading to the severing of employee fingers during blockage clearance. Fine is £6,000 plus costs of £2,418 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Machinery Guarding Failings (steel pinch rolls) (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – company guilty of safety failings after a worker’s hand became trapped in a pair of steel pinch rolls leading to crush injuries and the amputation of finger parts. Fine is £25,000 plus costs of £8,320 for breach of Section 2(1). Additional breaches are:
Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which states: “Every employer shall ensure that measures are taken… to prevent access to any dangerous part of machinery or to any rotating stock-bar; or to stop the movement of any dangerous part of machinery or rotating stock-bar before any part of a person enters a danger zone.”
Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 which states: “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of its employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.” Press release.

Ladder Fall (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – owners of a business park guilty of work at height safety failings after a local worker fractures an ankle in a fall from a ladder while carrying out work in a disused premises nearby. Fine is £7,000 plus costs of £1,355 for breach of Section 3(1). Press release.

Lifting Equipment Failings (Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) – manufacturer of chains for conveyor belts, escalators and forklift trucks guilty of not having a safe system for moving heavy tooling equipment, following worker hand injury (finger amputation). Fine is £80,000 plus costs of £12,696 for breach of Section 2(1). Press release.

Fork Lift Truck Fine

A worker (a carpenter) suffered skull and leg fractures when the section of a mock log cabin set (to be used as scenery at a theatre) toppled from a forklift truck and pinned him to the ground at the workshop.

The largest section of the wheeled base, which was secured on to a forklift truck by a ratchet strap, was loaded onto the lorry without falling. However, when one of two smaller 300 kg sections was put on the forks it was not secured. When it was lifted, the section unbalanced and fell from the forks, landing on top of the worker.

After the hearing, the Inspector from Britain’s Health and Safety Executive said:

“This case highlights the need to properly plan and supervise lifting tasks. This worker was fortunate to make a full recovery, but the weight of these loads – 300 to 600kg – means that this could easily have had fatal or life-changing consequences. Safety with forklift trucks is dependent on proper planning and the selection of the right lifting accessories. If the need arises to lift something excessively heavy or awkwardly shaped, firms must ensure their employees don’t go ahead until they have all the correct equipment they need to do it safely.”

Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 states: Every employer shall ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is properly planned by a competent person; appropriately supervised; and carried out in a safe manner.

The HSE has information and advice on safe lifting, at http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/planning-organising-lifting-operations.htm.

The HSE Press Release is here.

Lifting Equipment Fine

Failure to adequately maintain a hoist and not to have a safe system of work in the event of its failure led to breakages in both legs of a worker struck by a falling load (from the hoist).

The court heard (13th November) the injured worker had been part of a team cleaning the area around a metal skip track at an asphalt plant when the track had been lifted into the air by a hoist to allow cleaning underneath. The hoist jammed in the raised position and as the worker attempted to free it using a manual ratchet to pull down on the hoist, the hook gave way and the track fell, hitting his legs. The worker was in hospital for a week and unable to work for six months.

The company pleaded guilty to breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Section 2(1) states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

Investigation and Enforcement was by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive.

Forklift Truck Operations Fine

A delivery driver’s leg was crushed by a pack of six-metre steel sheets weighing almost 4 tonnes when it slid and fell during unloading.

Britain’s Health & Safety Executive found a lack of planning on the part of a company had led to the self-employed lorry driver being able to work alongside company employees in close proximity to a chassis lorry as hazardous re-loading was taking place. The tandem lift was a complicated procedure that had been neither properly planned nor supervised. Had it been controlled and directed competently, the risk of any incident would have been significantly reduced.

The driver had delivered the sheet metal packs in his flatbed lorry and company’s workers were unloading them using a tandem lift by two counter-balanced forklift trucks. The packs were being re-loaded onto a separate lorry before being taken to the firm’s factory.

The company was fined a total £14,000 and ordered to pay £11,284 in costs after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations and a separate breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations.

Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is properly planned by a competent person; appropriately supervised; and carried out in a safe manner.”

Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 states: “Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training for purposes of health and safety, including training in the methods which may be adopted when using the work equipment, any risks which such use may entail and precautions to be taken.”