Head injury leads to fine for components firm

A company which manufactures metal components has been fined after a young worker was seriously injured at its Lincoln factory.The 20-year-old agency worker suffered a fractured skull and severe facial injuries when the grinding wheel broke on a hand-held grinder he was using. The wheel was thrown from the grinder and smashed through his visor, striking him in the face.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident, which happened at the Tower Works site of Wyman-Gordon Ltd on Spa Road, Lincoln on 20 October 2010.The man, who doesn’t wish to be named, underwent significant treatment for his injuries, including a five-hour operation to remove a piece of bone which was touching his brain, before further reconstructive surgery could be carried out. The man has since returned to work.


Hamble Yacht Services Ltd in the dock

Southampton company Hamble Yacht Services Ltd has been sentenced for safety failings after a worker fell whilst repairing a yacht.

Adam Whiteaway, 26, from Southampton, was working on a platform filling holes when support planks gave way. He fell nearly two metres, severely bruising his ribs and was off work for a month.

The incident, on 14 June 2011, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted the company for two safety breaches.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard today (16 October) that Mr Whiteaway had not received any training or instruction on how to safely construct staging and working platforms around the yachts.

HSE Inspectors found that two support bars on the staging used by Mr Whiteaway were missing and this caused the sides to move apart and the boards collapsed. The fall could have been prevented if the company had taken simple steps to regularly inspect the staging and provided Mr Whiteaway with sufficient training.

The company, of Port Hamble, Hampshire, was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay £3,805 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Southampton yacht repair copany in the dock – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

Anglian Water to pay almost £42,000 for pollution

More than 400 fish died when 3km of river was polluted with sewage and trade effluent, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard today (Tues).

Anglian Water Services pleaded guilty to causing the pollution, which came from a combined sewer overflow in Thaxted, Essex. The company was fined £36,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £5,973.

Mrs Claire Corfield, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court the overflow ran into a stream which feeds into the River Chelmer and could have been avoided.

“Anglian Water admitted that before the incident this stretch of sewer was not included on the schedule of planned preventative maintenance,” she said.

A member of the public reported pollution and dead fish in the River Chelmer. Agency staff investigated and found sewage solids and rags discharging into the stream from an outlet in Park Street, Thaxted.

via Environment Agency – Anglian Water to pay almost £42,000 for pollution.

Bristol company and instructor fined after diver’s death

An inexperienced diver from Bristol with serious medical conditions died on an organised dive off Dorset when a diving company failed in its duty of care towards him.

Bristol Crown Court heard how Ian Johnson, an instructor and director of Subaquaholics Ltd, had allowed Janek Karon, 54, from Horsecroft Gardens, Bristol to take part in recreational and training dives over the weekend of 18 – 19 October 2008 off Portland in Dorset.

On the Sunday, Mr Karon took part in a dive off Grove Point, with Mr Johnson. When Mr Karon surfaced at the end of the dive he was unresponsive. Mr Johnson, an instructor trained under the standards set by Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), alerted the dive boat skipper and the two men managed to get Mr Karon into the boat.

The pair tried to resuscitate Mr Karon, but he did not respond. He was airlifted from the boat but was pronounced dead at Dorset County Hospital. An inquest found Mr Karon died from drowning with coronary artery disease a contributing factor.

During an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Subaquaholics were unable to produce any of the medical screening forms which Mr Karon should have completed and handed to Subaquaholics before being allowed to dive. It is a legal requirement that student divers under training are medically fit to dive. Had Mr Karon completed a form it would have flagged-up his various conditions which put him at risk of coronary artery disease and resulted in his referral to his GP to assess whether he was fit to dive.

Mr Karon’s GP was interviewed by the HSE and confirmed she would not have passed him as fit to dive, given his medical conditions. Mr Karon was obese, had high blood pressure, a high cholesterol reading and chronic kidney disease. He had been prescribed statins to reduce his risk of coronary heart disease. He also suffered from Raynaud’s syndrome, where the vascular system responds to cold by shutting down the circulation in the extremities of the body.

Although Mr Karon was a relatively inexperienced diver, Mr Johnson’s diving log shows that on the fatal dive, the two divers went to a depth beyond 30m. Under guidelines provided by PADI, a dive between 18m to a maximum of 30m is classified as a deep water dive for divers with greater training and experience. Only highly experienced divers are permitted to dive beyond 30m. PADI also recommends maximum depths should be used conservatively and when planning a dive in cold water or under conditions that may be strenuous a, safety margin of four metres less than the actual depth should be used.

Mr Karon’s daughter, Emma Karon, then aged 10, also took part on dives with Subaquaholics. Her mother had filled in a medical form for the company stating that Emma suffered from asthma and had a prescription for asthma medication. However, Emma was not referred to a GP before being allowed to dive, even though it was a legal requirement with this condition.

The investigation also uncovered unsafe procedures at the company, including a lack of proper risk assessments for the dives run on 18/19 October, and no diving logs for the weekend’s activities.

Ian Johnson, of School Road, Kingswood, Bristol, pleaded guilty as dive supervisor to breaching Regulation 10 (1) of the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 for both Jan and Emma Karon and was fined £ 5,000. Subaquaholics Ltd, of Albert Crescent, St Philips, Bristol, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000. Costs in both cases will be decided at a later hearing.

Mr Karon’s widow, Shirley Karon, said:

“Our family has been devastated by this needless tragedy which has left me without my husband and my two daughters, Tasha and Emma without their Dad. The fourth anniversary of Jan’s death is approaching but every day there is something to remind us that he is no longer here.

“The multiple failures revealed in this court case must send a message to those in the diver training industry that they have peoples’ lives in their hands.

“Companies responsible for teaching people to dive must follow the regulations which are there for very good reasons. We do not want more people to die in avoidable circumstances.”

via Bristol company and instructor fined after diver’s death.

Excavator driver fined after falling bucket injures worker

An excavator driver has been prosecuted for safety failings after an unsecure bucket fell from the machine he was using and badly injured a worker on a Gloucester building site.

Dominic Dalton, 36, from Erdington, Birmingham, suffered head injuries, a broken lower leg, broken pelvis and badly bruised arm in the incident at Quedgeley Urban Village, on Naas Lane, on 24 November 2011.

Excavator driver Kevan Fell was working on a drainage system at the new housing estate and needed to change the bucket on the vehicle.

Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard today (15 October) that he carried out this operation from the cab, but then failed to test the bucket was secure by shaking it, pressing it on the ground or checking it manually.

Instead, he started using it for excavation work straightaway and the bucket came off, hitting Mr Dalton who was working below.

Mr Fell, of Hackwell Street, Napton, Warwickshire, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,746 in costs. He was also ordered to pay £3,500 in compensation to Mr Dalton.

via Excavator driver fined after falling bucket injures worker.

K Two Sales Limited, pleaded guilty to a breach of Reg 20 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations

A Buckinghamshire farm machinery manufacturer has been fined after an employee sustained multiple fractures when a trailer crushed his leg.

Waldemar Makowski, of St Annes Road, Aylesbury, was building a farm vehicle trailer chassis at K Two Sales Limited in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire when the incident occurred on 15 August last year.

As he attempted to move a chassis from a yard area at the site using a draw bar attached to a fork lift truck, it fell from its support and crushed his left leg, causing multiple fractures.

Mr Makowski, then aged 42, suffered long-term injuries and was unable to go back to work for several months while he recovered.

K Two Sales Limited was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found it had failed to consider the risk of the chassis falling or provide an adequate system for supporting and moving heavy items.

Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court head today (15 October) that although the company has since redesigned the draw bar so that it now has an integral supporting leg, the chassis movement operation at the time was flawed and was a direct cause of Mr Makowski’s injuries.

K Two Sales Limited, of Fowlers Field Farm, Station Road, Haddenham pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 20 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined a total of £16,000 and ordered to pay £3,102 in costs.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – MACHINERY MANUFACTURER PROSECUTED FOR SAFETY FAILINGS – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

Tortolano v Ogilvie Construction Ltd – [mobile working platform, fall] #damages #discount


[1] The pursuer in this action was born on 19 June 1989. On 21 November 2008 he was working in the course of his employment with the defenders as an apprentice plumber. He avers that on that date he suffered very serious injury as a result of an accident when the mobile working platform on which he was located toppled over causing him to fall a distance of about 4 metres. He blames the defenders for this accident and sues for damages in respect of common law negligence and breach of statutory duty. The heads of damage include continuing loss of earnings and the cost of future care and support. An eight day diet of proof has been fixed for 21 November 2012 and the subsequent days.

[2] The defenders propose to amend. Their minute of amendment was received by the court on 6 July 2012. The pursuer has taken advantage of the amendment process by, in his answers, increasing the sum sued for to £5,000,000 and including averments directed at the question of what is the appropriate discount rate to be adopted in determining the multipliers for the calculation of future losses and costs. The defenders now move to amend in terms of their minute of amendment and the pursuer’s answers but under deletion from the pursuer’s answers of the averments directed at the appropriate discount rate. Broadly the defenders objections are twofold: (1) the impugned averments come too late to allow the defenders to have any confidence in being able properly to meet them at a diet of proof fixed for 21 November 2012 which, at eight days, would probably be inadequate to accommodate this additional issue; and (2) they are in any event irrelevant.

[3] The pursuer seeks to insist on the inclusion of the impugned averments in the pleadings.


Health and Safety Authority – Company fined for accident that resulted in death of 3 year old child

A fine of €25,000 was imposed on Patrick Monahan (Drogheda) Ltd today (Friday 12th October) by Judge Michael O’Shea in the Dundalk Circuit Court.

The Company, Patrick Monahan (Drogheda) Ltd, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 12 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act No 10 of 2005, as it relates to Section 77(9)(a).

The case arose as the result of an accident that caused the death of a 3 year old child, Desmond Dyas Junior, on Drogheda Town Quay.

Mr Desmond Dyas and his son Desmond junior were on the Drogheda town quay on the 10th November 2009, in an area of the port leased from the Drogheda Port Company to Patrick Monahan (Drogheda) Ltd. Around this time, a machine driver employed by Patrick Monahan (Drogheda) Ltd, commenced loading 22 metre long timber fir poles onto an articulated trailer by lifting them from a stack. This caused one of the poles, in an adjacent stack, to shift and roll forward from its storage location crushing Desmond Dyas Junior.

After sentencing, Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said, “This type of tragic accident can only be avoided if employers pay particular attention to the risk of members of the public interacting with the workplace. Where members of the public have access to a workplace, robust procedures should be in place to ensure that no work takes place until the people have moved clear and the hazard is removed.”

via Health and Safety Authority – Company fined for accident that resulted in death of 3 year old child.

Company fined after unstable lorry topples over and injures worker

A worker unloading scaffold materials from a flatbed lorry was thrown from the vehicle and hit by its load of boards and tubes when it overturned a court was told today (12 October).

The overturned lorry after the incident

Martin Sapec, 54, of Edwardsville, Treharris suffered a broken pelvis and ankle in the incident at Bryntirion, Mountain Ash, on 15 August 2011.

Pontypridd Magistrates heard that Mr Sapec was helping delivery driver Wayne Ford to unload the scaffolding material while standing on the back of the lorry. The vehicle was fitted with a crane operated by Mr Ford, who failed to extend a stabilising outrigger from the vehicle designed to provide balance while the crane is in operation.

Because the crane was used without the extended outrigger, the lorry became unstable and tipped over, throwing Mr Sapec off. As he landed, some of the scaffold boards and tubes from the lorry fell on top of him.

Mr Sapec has been unable to work since the incident because of his injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Wayne Ford was responsible for the lorry, and was at fault for not using the crane and extending outrigger in the correct, safe manner.

The overturned lorry after the incident

Mr Ford, of Shingrig Road, Nelson, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

via Company fined after unstable lorry topples over and injures worker.

Somerset firm fined after worker crushed under bales

A worker had his lower body crushed when a stack of bales, each weighting a quarter of a tonne, collapsed on him as he sorted waste in a processing shed in Somerset.

The collapsed stack of bales at the Cannington Enterprises Ltd site

Aleksandras Fomenkouas, 40, who lived in Bridgwater at the time, suffered serious injuries in the incident on 8 September 2011 while working at the recycling and processing yard of Cannington Enterprises Ltd.

Taunton Magistrates heard today (12 October) that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and brought a prosecution against Cannington Enterprises Ltd for its failure to ensure his safety.

The court was told that Mr Fomenkouas was sorting plastic waste in the yard for use in the company’s anaerobic digester, while another employee nearby was moving plastic carton bales with a forklift truck. Shortly after a bale was removed, the stack became unstable and collapsed on top of Mr Fomenkouas, knocking him to the ground and crushing the lower half of his body.

Cannington Enterprises Ltd of Swang Farm, Cannington, Bridgwater pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,614.

via Somerset firm fined after worker crushed under bales.