Sole trader fined after worker injured

Duffy Skylining has been fined following an incident when a worker suffered serious injuries after being struck by a tree.

Fort William Sheriff Court heard that on 4 February 2016, Malcolm Duffy and three employees were felling trees on land adjacent to the A82 north of Fort William, contracted by the Forestry Commission. While dealing with a taller tree, around eight metres in height, Mr Duffy made preparatory cuts and then checked with the rest of the team to ensure they were in a safe place. Mr Duffy thought his colleagues understood that he was about to fell the tree. After the initial cut was made, Mr Duffy made his felling cut at the same time as Mr Strachan dragged a large branch from the brash pile into the path of the felling tree. The tree stuck him on the left side of his helmet and left shoulder.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the exclusion zone normally used, which requires that no one would be positioned within two tree lengths of a tree being felled, was not adhered to on this occasion. Had there been a clearly defined system of communication, it would have prevented the misunderstanding where Mr Duffy thought that workers appreciated the tree was about to be felled. That particular tree being taller, steps should have immediately been taken to identify and enforce a wider exclusion zone, preventing any person from entering within two tree lengths of that tree.

Malcolm Duffy, trading as Duffy Skylining of Commerce House, South Street, Elgin, Moray pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 and Section 33 (1) (a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 and was fined £8,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Penny Falconer said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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Sheffield company fined £700,000 after worker killed

Chesterfield Special Cylinders Ltd was fined £700,000 today for safety breaches after a 64-year-old worker was fatally wounded by shrapnel ejected from testing equipment.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that on 10 June 2015, John Townsend was leak testing eight 1500 litre cylinders, by applying compressed air inside to create pressure, at the company’s Sheffield site. Whilst in the process of venting the air through the test manifold, it catastrophically failed and fatally injured Mr Townsend.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that prior to installing the fittings, 1.5 litres of a mineral oil-based corrosion inhibitor had been placed into each of the cylinders. The incident occurred because the inhibitor contaminated the leak test manifold during venting of cylinders and was subjected to enough pressure inside the manifold to ignite and cause the test equipment to fail.

Chesterfield Special Cylinders Ltd of Meadowhall Road, Sheffield was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £700,000 with full costs of £169,498.82.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Eddy Tarn commented: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to identify any additional risks that arise when work processes are adapted.

“Companies should accurately identify and control all potential hazards in the workplace and thereafter monitor performance through effective supervision.”

 

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk[1]
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/ [2]
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk[3]

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Man dies after ‘roof accident’ in Co Tyrone – Belfast Live

A man has died following an accident in Co Tyrone.

It is understood the man was working on a roof when the accident occurred on Thursday in the Sessiagh Scott Road area.

Police say they attended the scene and that the Health and Safety Executive are aware of the incident.

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew expressed her condolences to the family.

via Man dies after ‘roof accident’ in Co Tyrone – Belfast Live.

Company fined after airport baggage handler suffers skull fractures and brain injury

A company providing a range of airline ground support services has been fined after an employee fell from a height of more than two metres.

 

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 December 2016 Rebecca Smith of Menzies Aviation (UK) Limited was injured during the loading of luggage onto an aircraft during an aircraft turnaround at London Luton Airport. Ms Smith fell through a gap in the railing at the top of a luggage belt-loader, whilst kneeling upon it to fasten cargo straps, when the belt loader was struck by a passing vehicle. She fell 2.2m (7 feet) on to the tarmac below. The fall resulted in a loss of consciousness. Ms Smith suffered a brain injury, fractures of the skull and cheekbone. She also suffered permanent hearing loss in her right ear.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Menzies Aviation (UK) Limited had foreseen the risk of a collision between the various vehicles operating in a congested space around the aircraft during a turnaround but had failed to implement measures to guard against the risk of driver error when manoeuvring vehicles around aircraft. The investigation also found the company was aware that belt-loaders had a gap in the railings between the aircraft and the barriers but failed to put in place any meaningful measure to control the risk that someone might fall through.

 

Menzies Aviation (UK) Limited of London Heathrow Airport, Hounslow pleaded guilty, to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been fined £181,5000 and ordered to pay costs of £21,043.

 

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Emma Page said:

“Airports are busy and complex workplaces where workers face many hazards, particularly from the movement and operation of aircraft and vehicles. Currently, accident rates in the industry are well above the national average for all industries. Companies should assess the risks to their own and others’ employees and put in place measures to control these risks.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

 

Notes to Editors:

 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk

 

  1. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/

 

  1. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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