Connexions (UK) Plc and TV Bed Ltd – Prosecuted for blatantly ignoring a safety warning

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Two Hertfordshire companies have been prosecuted for blatantly ignoring a safety warning and continuing a dangerous working practice in clear view of a visiting inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The inspector witnessed a forklift operator lifting a worker in a wooden platform on the blades of the machine during a visit to Connexions (UK) Plc and TV Bed Ltd, who share the same premises at Travellers Close, Welham Green, on 17 May last year.

Watford Magistrates’ Court heard on 22 October that the employees were attempting to move waste materials into a skip following a recent warehouse refurbishment.

Photographs were taken that clearly showed the two workers – warehouse manager Jeff Minards, who was driving the forklift, and Paul Martin, who was on the platform – were working unsafely and risking serious injury.

This was despite HSE having served a Prohibition Notice against the companies just a month earlier, on 13 April, after heavy cases from a shipping container were unloaded in exactly the same way.

Connexions (UK) Plc and TV Bed Ltd, of Unit 3, Travellers Close, both pleaded guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. They were each fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs totalling £3,684.

Jeff Minards, of Marne Avenue, New Southgate, London, and Paul Martin, of Hawkes Road, Witham, Essex, both pleaded a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. They were each fined £250 with individual costs of £873.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – HERTS COMPANIES FINED FOR DANGEROUS PRACTICE – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Ealing company prosecuted for tipper fall failings

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A London waste management company has been prosecuted after a worker on his first day in a new job sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell from the top of a tipper lorry.

The 40-year-old from Northfleet in Kent, who does not want to be named, broke two ribs, punctured a lung and developed a blood clot in his head as a result of the fall at Horn Lane, Acton, on 2 March 2010. He was unconscious in hospital for two weeks.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday (24 October) that the worker was in his first day of employment with Quick Skips & Recycling Limited and was collecting waste from Bridgemarts Limited, trading as Gowing & Pursey, for transfer to another site.

After loading the lorry he stopped the vehicle and climbed on top of the tipper unit to check an auto-sheeting device, used to cover the load, that had become jammed.

He manually freed the jam, but the sheet system sprung back, struck him and sent him crashing more than three metres to the ground below.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and found both companies could and should have done more to prevent the fall.

Bridgemarts, which had overall responsibility for the Acton site, failed to adequately control the work at height risks and ensure the safety of a sub-contractor.

Quick Skips allowed systematic failings in health and safety management, both in relation to the Acton incident and also the operation of its own site in Ealing. HSE inspectors identified several issues during a subsequent visit to this site, including diggers and HGVs operating within close proximity to workers.

Quick Skips & Recycling Ltd, of Atlas Road, London, NW10, pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The company was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay £2,843 in costs.

Bridgemarts was earlier fined £7,000 with £1,410 in costs at Westminster Magistrates after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 5 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 on 11 July.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Ealing company prosecuted for tipper fall failings – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Building firm, Central Construction (Midlands) fined for worker ladder fall

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A Birmingham construction company has been fined for safety failings after a contractor was injured when he fell more than five metres from a ladder.

Adrian Morrow was undertaking chimney repairs at a home in Sutton Coldfield for David Hodkinson, trading as Central Construction (Midlands), when the incident occurred on 21 November last year.

The 39-year-old, from Arley, near Nuneaton, was working from a roof ladder, but as he made his way down it came away from its moorings. He fell onto a bag of sand being used to foot the ladder.

Mr Morrow suffered injuries to his foot and ankle, underwent several operations and physiotherapy, and was unable to work for more than four months.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard today (25 October) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that David Hodkinson, of Sutton Coldfield, failed to ensure the work at height was properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

He allowed the repairs to go ahead without proper preparation; there was no safe means of roof access, and no protective measures were in place to prevent or mitigate the effects of a fall.

David Hodkinson, of Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £500.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Building firm fined for worker ladder fall – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Wimbledon company, AA Construction (London) Ltd fined for dangerous demolition site

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A Wimbledon construction firm has been prosecuted for endangering workers and the public with unsafe demolition work. AA Construction (London) Ltd failed to properly plan the work at Quintin Avenue, near Wimbledon Chase tube station, in early February 2011. Local residents raised concerns that asbestos materials were being smashed up and littering the site, that debris was dropping from height onto the road and footpath; and that the site was insecure despite its close proximity to a local school. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was notified and served three enforcement notices relating to unsafe practices that forced the site to be closed until urgent improvements were made.Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard today (24 October) that the HSE investigation found that numerous precautions could and should have been taken to make the site safe. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-ldn-19412.htm?eban=rss-

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Gillingham worker pays price for firm’s safety failings while fitting hanrails

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A Dartford Scaffolding firm and its director have been prosecuted for failing to provide a safe way of working on a fragile roof after a worker fell and suffered serious injuries. Mr James Froud, 22, from Gillingham, was hospitalised for ten days and had to take several months off work whilst wearing a back brace and using crutches as a result of the incident at Siemans Windpower Compound at Ramsgate Port on 12 October last year. Canterbury Magistrates heard yesterday (23 October) that Mr Froud, a scaffold labourer working for London and South Scaffolding Ltd, was fitting hand rails on a fragile rooftop when he fell seven metres through the skylight. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found that the company and director Gary Peck were aware of how fragile the roof and skylights were, but failed to take adequate measures to prevent a fall, such as using a mobile elevating work platform to avoid standing on the roof, or using staging fitted with guard rails. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-se-19312.htm?eban=rss-

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Paul Siviter General Builder fined for worker fall

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A Cwmbran builder has been fined after an employee was seriously injured in a 2.3-metre fall from the roof of a property near Llandegfedd Reservoir.

Andrew Hosking, 34, broke his left femur and had to be airlifted to hospital following the incident at Glascoed Lane, Glascoed, on 17 October 2011. He has been off work ever since.

Colleague Anthony Skarratts, 20, also fell from the roof, but escaped injury.

Abergavenny Magistrates’ Court heard today that the duo were part of a team of workers undertaking a roof installation for Paul Siviter, trading as Paul Siviter General Builder.

They were standing on an old wooden roof beam balanced less than three metres above the ground, in order to receive A-frame trusses from a telehander and assemble them into position.

The beam broke in half and both men fell inwards to the ground below, with Mr Hosking hitting the edge of a disused bath tub beneath. It was this impact that caused his injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that although there was scaffolding in place around the exterior of the building, there were no measures in place to prevent workers falling from height within the building, such as birdcage scaffolding or mobile elevated work platforms.

The investigation also found that Paul Siviter’s own site-specific risk assessment identified that the work activity would involve working at height above two metres and identified ‘appropriate scaffolding’ as a necessary precaution to take.

The builder, of Garn Wen Farm, Belle Vue Lane, Cwmbran, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £2,945.30.

via Cwmbran builder fined for worker fall.

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Paper firm, Arjo Wiggins Ltd fined after death of South Hams worker

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An international paper manufacturer has been ordered to pay £260,000 in fines and costs for serious safety failings after a mill worker was crushed between two large rollers running at full production speed.

Family man Richard Zebedee, 45, from Ivybridge died at the Arjo Wiggins site at the Stowford Mill on 28 April 2009. He died after being drawn into poorly-guarded rollers while trying to clear waste material from them.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, which brought a prosecution against Arjo Wiggins Ltd, of Manchester, at Plymouth Crown Court today (Monday 22 October).

The court heard there had been significant production problems on the day of the incident before Mr Zebedee started his shift in the drier area of the mill, with paper breaks and waste material affecting the process.

At one stage in production, Mr Zebedee gained access to the large rollers by opening a gate, which had an unlocked padlock, and used a long-handled tool to clear waste material, known as “broke”. At the time, the rollers were running at production speed of 131 metres a minute.

Mr Zebedee was drawn into the rollers and suffered severe crush injuries. Despite the efforts of fellow workers to free him and administer first aid, he showed no signs of life.

HSE found significant failings by the company in guarding the rollers and in the amount of training given to Mr Zebedee. The padlock on the gate was often left unlocked and staff had reported it to management.

In addition, although he had worked at the mill for a year-and-a-half, Mr Zebedee had only started work as a drierman a fortnight before the incident. He had taken part in training after his eight-hour shifts but several items on his training log had not been signed-off.

The investigation also found other staff had been working inside areas of the machine which should not have been accessed.

Arjo Wiggins (Ivybridge) Ltd of Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 in costs.

via Paper firm fined after death of South Hams worker.

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Severn Trent Water fined £20,000 for polluting Gloucestershire brook

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Yesterday, Severn Trent Water Limited, pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court to one charge of breaching a condition of their Environmental Permit.

This led to a discharge of untreated sewage to a tributary of the Ley Brook in Huntley, Gloucestershire.

The company was fined £20,000, ordered to pay £3,322.75 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.

The charge was brought by the Environment Agency under Regulation 38(2) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

On 6 September 2011, a report was made to the Environment Agency by Severn Trent Water Ltd, of a pollution incident at Huntley sewage treatment works.

Following this report an Environment Agency officer attended and took samples from the brook. The samples smelled of sewage and ammonia levels were found to be high.

Further investigation found that the blockage at the sewage works inlet was causing untreated sewage to enter the Ley Brook. This went undetected by Severn Trent Water for almost two weeks.

This was attributable to a reduced maintenance schedule, multiple failures with Severn Trent Water’s telemetry system that should have alerted them to the incident, and a delayed response once the problem was identified.

Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “We take cases of pollution to watercourses very seriously due to the environmental damage that can be caused. In this case, Severn Trent Water fell short of their responsibilities to maintain their sewage treatment works which led to the blockage, and so we did not hesitate to prosecute.”

A representative for Severn Trent Water apologised for the offence and said that they acted promptly once they were aware of the problem.

via Environment Agency – Severn Trent Water fined £20,000 for polluting Gloucestershire brook.

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A. R. Berry Design and Build Ltd fined for worker’s 6 metre fall in Feltham

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A Somerset construction company has been fined after a worker plummeted six metres from a roof he was working on in south-west London.

Wayne Bird, 28, was cleaning dead leaves from the gulleys of a building on the Radius Park in Feltham on 18 January 2011 for Somerset-based company A. R. Berry Design and Build Ltd.

Mr Bird, of Okehampton, Devon, stepped on a fragile skylight, which broke, sending him crashing through to the concrete floor below.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard today (22 Oct) that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and prosecuted A.R Berry for failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

Mr Bird suffered fractures and severe tendon damage to his left knee and right arm, broke his nose and lost several teeth. He is still unable to straighten his right arm or turn his elbow. As well as receiving on-going medical treatment, he is being treated for the psychological effects of the incident and has been unable to return to work

The court was told that HSE found the company failed to plan the work properly and did not train their workers to work at height. There was no edge protection in place and, although there were running lines available on the roof, no harnesses had been attached to them to protect the workers.

A.R. Berry Design and Build Ltd of Timberscombe, Minehead, Somerset, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £5000 and ordered to pay £8000 in costs.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Company fined for worker’s fall in Feltham – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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