22 January, 2019
In March 2014, a vulnerable patient was being transported home in a minibus following a GP appointment. The minibus was travelling along the A52 at speed when the patient opened the door and leapt out. She was fatally injured.
Elysium Healthcare (Farndon) Limited pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £67,500.
An investigation by the HSE found the company failed to have simple control systems and procedures in place to ensure the safety of vulnerable patients. For instance, a risk assessment would have highlighted the need to ensure that fitted child locks were in operation at all times and adequate staff training would have reinforced this requirement.
A local authority has been fined after a member of the public was diagnosed with Legionnaire's disease after frequently using the showers at a council owned leisure centre. He was diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, sepsis, pneumonia and chronic kidney failure.
Tendring District Council pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £27,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,500 to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The HSE found that the Council did not have suitable Legionella risk assessments for the leisure facilities or sufficient control measures. Any water system that has the right environmental conditions can potentially be a source for legionella bacteria growth. The HSE therefore recommends that duty holders including employers, and those in control of premises identify and assess the sources of risk, implement a scheme to prevent or control risk, monitor and keep records of precautions and appoint a manager responsible for others.
A bakery company has been fined for safety breaches after employees suffered long term exposure to flour dust. Between April 2002 and April 2016 employees were consistently exposed to risks to their health, with some being medically diagnosed as suffering from occupational asthma.
Coopland & Son (Scarborough) Ltd. of Scarborough pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £159,080 and ordered to pay £4,594 in costs.
According to the HSE, there was no effective method of control to prevent the dust becoming airborne and employees being exposed to breathing in the dust. The HSE advises that exposure to dust must be exposed to the lowest level that is practicably possible. Employers should also provide dust extraction and PPE such as a respirators to minimise exposure.
In February 2017, a young man was attempting to clear a blockage in a vehicle mounted concrete pump when the pump ejected concrete. The 26 year old was struck and killed. Kevin Hoare had joined Anytime McDaidsin December 2016 and had been employed for less than two months.
Anytime McDaids Limited of Greenford, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 The company has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,102.81.
Laurence McDaid, the company's sole director also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He has been fined £2,600 and ordered to pay costs of £636.99.
The HSE found that "Anytime McDaids Limited had no system to train operators to carry out the work safely, or arrangements to supervise them. The company failed to ensure the safety, so far as is reasonably practicable, of its employees and of others who may be affected by their work due to the lack of adequate training and supervision. Anytime McDaids Limited's failings were due to the neglect of Laurence McDaid, the sole Director".
Concrete pumps are extremely dangerous and it is most alarming that a young man was permitted to operate one without adequate training or supervision. Employers must ensure that staff are suitably trained and supervised to comply with health and safety legislation, especially when carrying out high risk activities. Employers should also keep a record of the training to demonstrate compliance and to also identify when refresher training is required.
A structural engineer received serious crush injuries when a bundle of scaffolding tubes weighing about one tonne rolled onto his legs while he was visiting a client's construction site.
According to the HSE, the scaffold bundles had been delivered earlier that day and belonged to scaffolding firm PHD Modular Access Services Ltd. St George City Ltd was the Principal Contractor for the site. The four scaffold bundles had been stored on the ground (one of the bundles had been stacked on top of the other three) had been left unattended. The engineer approached and the top bundle was disturbed and rolled onto the engineer's lower legs. It took several attempts to free him from under the bundle. The engineer suffered fractures to both ankles and a number of fractures on his right leg.
PHD Modular Access Services Ltd, Uxbridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,777.99.
St George City Limited, which is part of the Berkeley Group, Cobham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £130,000 and ordered to pay costs of 7830.79.
PHD had carried out a risk assessment but they had failed to ensure that the control measures were implemented such as segregating materials with physical barriers. St George City as the Principal Contractor was aware that the scaffold materials had not been segregated, however, no action had been taken. Principal contractors have an important role and must ensure that health and safety risks are managed during construction.
*Source HSE website - http://www.hse.gov.uk/