21 November, 2019
A bus passenger was run over by a grab lorry as she walked across a pedestrian crossing at a bus station. She subsequently died as a result of her injuries.
The bus station had been demolished and was in the process of being redeveloped at the time of the accident. An investigation by the HSE found that buses, which had been permitted to park on double-yellow lines, obstructed visibility at the crossing. The local borough council and the bus company had failed to manage pedestrian and vehicle traffic within the bus station.
Bedford Borough Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of Health and Safety at Work Act, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £ 16,803.59. Cambus Limited pleaded not guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of Health and Safety at Work Act, was found guilty and fined £350,000 and ordered to pay costs, which are still to be agreed.
The council and the bus company ought to have implemented a procedure to segregate vehicles and pedestrians at the bus station, according to the HSE "They had joint responsibility to assess the risk to members of the public from vehicle movements within the bus station and to put in place reasonably measures to reduce that risk so far as was reasonably practicable."
An 87-year-old woman fell down a stairwell in 2017 whilst resident at a care home. She suffered a fractured skull and subdural haemorrhage, which ultimately resulted in her death.
An investigation by the HSE found that the Registered Charity had "failed to identify and implement adequate measures required to control the risk of care home residents falling down the stairs". It was found that stairs did not have an "effective physical barrier" to prevent access to the stairwell, in an environment where many residents were at an increased risk of suffering a fall.
Nazareth Care Charitable Trust pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £40,000.
Those that own and run care homes have a duty to residents and their employees. Steps must be taken to assess risks and to ensure reasonably foreseeable accidents are prevented. Elderly residents are particularly vulnerable to falls and therefore suitable and adequate control measures must be implemented, for instance, stairs should be guarded where appropriate, well lit and free from obstructions. Specific guidance is available to operators of care homes on the HSE website and can be found here.
An employee was injured by a moving forklift truck and knocked to the ground. Before the vehicle was able to stop, the employee's foot was trapped under the wheel.
An investigation by the HSE found that the haulage company failed to have in place appropriate systems to ensure that vehicles and pedestrians moved around the warehouse in a safe manner. According to the HSE, "recent changes to the warehouse layout had not been considered in the company's assessment of risk and the warehouse team were relied upon to work safely with each other without effective training and supervision".
Foulger Transport Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1), by virtue of regulation 17(1), of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,724.05.
Risk assessments must be reviewed on a regular basis, they are a working document. If a significant change has occurred, for instance, a change of layout, or new equipment etc. then a new risk assessment should be carried out. Risk assessments should consider how pedestrians can be kept away from moving vehicles or how accidents can be prevented where pedestrians and vehicles have to use the same route.
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