Elite Precast Concrete Ltd in court after worker hit by forklift

A Shropshire concrete firm has been prosecuted after a worker suffered serious leg injuries when he was hit by a forklift truck.

Tomasz Kosmacz, 38, of Hadley, was responsible for removing excess concrete from moulds at Elite Precast Concrete Ltd’s Telford factory.

Mr Kosmacz was putting the excess concrete in a bucket and then onto the prongs of the forklift.

He was working in close proximity to the forklift, when he was struck by the vehicle.

He suffered multiple foot fractures, needed four screws in his broken ankle and also hurt his knee. He had to have two operations and is still unable to work following the incident on 7 July 2011.

Telford Magistrates heard today (16 Nov) that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was a written instruction in the factory stating the bucket should be placed on a pallet, not directly on the forks. This had not been translated into Polish for the benefit of the migrant labour the company employed, many of whom, like Mr Kosmacz, did not speak English.

Elite Precast Concrete Ltd, of Unit L, Halesfield 9, Telford, Shropshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The firm was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,897

via Concrete firm in court after worker hit by forklift.

OSHA cites Vann Energy Services in Nixon, Texas, for violations after 2 workers injured in fire

NIXON, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Vann Energy Services LLC in Nixon with 13 safety and health violations – including two willful and three repeat – for exposing workers to flash fires and other hazards. OSHA’s Austin Area Office opened an inspection after two workers were injured by a fire that occurred in an oil and gas field tank. Proposed penalties total $246,000.

Inspectors found that the employer had failed to ensure that the air inside the tank was tested for flammable or toxic materials before providing employees with electrical equipment that is capable of causing a potentially flammable environment to ignite.

The repeat violations include failing to provide eye and face protection, communicate chemical hazard information to workers and protect flexible electric cords from damage. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in August 2011.

via 2012 – 11/15/2012 – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Vann Energy Services in Nixon, Texas, for violations after 2 workers injured in fire.

Family Blames Toys R Us for Death

Courthouse News Service: COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – Toys R Us let an employee bring a gun to work and he killed a co-worker with it, the late man’s family claims in court.
Michelle Damron, mother of the late Donald Damron, sued Toys ‘R’ Us, Exel Global Logistics and Solutions Staffing in Franklin County Court, claiming their negligent hiring led to her son’s death.
The complaint states: “On or about December 2, 2010, Donald Damron was working at the direction of the staff at the Toys ‘R’ Us premises by staff supervised and/or employees of Solutions, Toys ‘R’ Us and/or Exel.

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Rail company fined £180,000 for causing death of 13 year old boy and serious injury of two teenage boys at Liverpool rail depot

English, Welsh and Scottish Railways International (EWSI) has today been fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £59,554 following a prosecution brought by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) for breaches of health and safety law which led to the death of Liam Gill, aged 13, and the serious injury of two teenage boys, aged 14, at Allerton rail depot in Liverpool in August 2009.

On 9 August 2009, Liam and two friends trespassed on the disused Allerton rail depot, gaining access through a gap in the boundary fence. The depot contained a number of abandoned train wagons, stored beneath a live 25,000 volt overhead power line. Liam climbed onto the roof of a train wagon, was electrocuted and died of his injuries. His two friends suffered severe burns.

Today’s sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court follows an ORR investigation into the incident which found that EWSI had failed to adequately prevent trespass on the depot by not ensuring the boundary fence was maintained. The judge found that the company failed to carry out a legally required assessment of the safety risks, failed to secure the wagons to prevent trespassers, and did not ensure appropriate security patrols were in place. These factors were a significant cause of Liam’s death. EWSI pleaded guilty to two charges relating to these failings at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court in autumn 2011.

via Rail company fined £180,000 for causing death of 13 year old boy and serious injury of two teenage boys at Liverpool rail depot.

Mother and children trapped in lift in Truro | This is Cornwall

Mother and children trapped in lift in Truro | This is Cornwall: A woman and her two young children were trapped in a lift in the centre of Truro.
The mother and children became stuck between two floors in the lift at Truro Community Library after a power cut.
Staff stayed in touch with the woman throughout the ordeal.

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Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty after worker knocked for 6 at cricket ground

A demolition firm has appeared in court after part of a stand collapsed onto an excavator driver at Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

The 33 -year-old worker from Warrington, who has asked not to be named, suffered serious injuries when a two-tonne concrete slab landed on his vehicle’s cab.

Warrington-based Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd was today (16 November 2012) prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation into the incident at the Talbot Road ground, home to Lancashire County Cricket Club, on 26 April last year.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard the company had been hired to demolish a two-tier stand at the stadium. However, the work had not been planned properly and the excavator had been positioned too close to the stand being demolished.

The worker sustained fractures to both legs in several places and severe cuts and bruising when a four-metre wide slab fell from the upper floor onto his vehicle.

Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 by failing to ensure the safety of workers and failing to plan and carry out the demolition work safely.

The company, of West Quay Road in Warrington, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Alan Pojur said:

“The excavator driver was lucky not to have been killed when the two-tonne concrete slab collapsed onto his cab.

“His life was put in danger because Excavation and Contracting (UK) Ltd didn’t plan the work properly.

“They should have arranged for a high-reach excavator to be used so that the stand could be demolished from a safe distance away. It was only after the incident that this safe method of work was implemented.

“Demolition work has the potential to be extremely dangerous so it is vital firms plan projects properly and provide appropriate supervision to make sure workers stay safe.”

The latest figures show that 50 construction workers were killed while at work in Great Britain in 2010/11, and there were nearly 3,000 major injuries. Information on improving safety is available at www.hse.gov.uk/construction.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Driver crushed during Old Trafford demolition – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

Repeat offender (Fletcher, trading as Dunstable / Luton – Skip hire) sent to prison for 12 months

Repeat offender sent to prison for 12 months

Luton Crown Court heard on Friday (9 Nov) that Fletcher, trading as Dunstable Skip Hire and Luton Skip hire, took waste to land he had rented at two sites in Bedfordshire.

Mrs Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said that for over two years significant amounts of waste had been brought onto the sites, tipped, sorted, stored and burned.

She said the sites did not have the appropriate infrastructure to deal with the waste and Fletcher of Church Road, Streatley, Luton, saved about £85,000 by operating illegally.

She said Fletcher operated from Leagrave Station Car Park, Luton, for at least three months before being evicted by the land owner, leaving much of the waste on site.

At one time, she said, there were 41 skips at another site in Clophill Road site, Maulden, Bedfordshire, 36 of which contained building and household waste. There were also a number of hazardous waste items including lead batteries, cathode ray tubes, fridges, gas cylinders and material that commonly contains asbestos – none of which was kept securely.

Other waste, rubble and electrical equipment was piled on the ground.

Fletcher had been served a statutory notice to remove the waste from site by 8 March 2012 but he failed to do it.

The court was told that Fletcher had previous environmental convictions for the same type of offences and his waste carrier’s licence had been revoked in 2011 due to these convictions.

Within days of committal to the crown court for sentencing and proceeds of crime proceedings Fletcher continued to offend on the Clophill Road site. Covert surveillance showed him taking empty skips to customers, bringing full skips back, tipping them and other full skips of waste on the ground.

Fletcher was also seen sorting through and burning the waste.

Mrs McDonald said burning this type of waste would never be permitted as the smoke and fumes would be likely to contain toxic and harmful substances. Smoke would also cause a nuisance to people living nearby.

Miss Julia Farrent, defence barrister, said Fletcher was a hard worker whose actions caused no actual harm to human health.

Judge Kay said Fletcher had: “An astonishing record of flouting the law and has shown no remorse.”

He said his actions were deliberate and financially motivated.

A hearing to deal with a proceeds of crime application has been adjourned to next year.

After the hearing Environment Agency officer Sarah Melvin said: “These are serious crimes that undermine legal businesses, cause damage to our environment and potentially endanger people’s health. We have the expertise and legal powers to tackle environmental crime, offenders should be aware that they can’t continue to break the law without there being consequences.”

via Environment Agency – Repeat offender sent to prison for 12 months.

Potteries Demolition given fine for site security offence

On 13 November 2012, Potteries Demolition Company Limited pleaded guilty at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court to failing to comply with an Enforcement Notice.This had required them to ensure that perimeter fencing for their waste site was repaired in order to prevent unauthorised access.The company was fined £4,500, ordered to pay £15,000 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.The charge was brought by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting England & Wales Regulations 2010.Potteries Demolition Company Limited operate a waste site at Burnham Street, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, taking household, commercial and industrial waste. The processing of waste is controlled by an environmental permit regulated by the Environment Agency.A condition of the permit stated that there must be security measures in place to prevent unauthorised access to the site. The condition is there because there are potentially dangerous materials and plant on this industrial site, including excavators, scrap metal, demolition rubble and oil tanks. The site is bordered by a public park and is close to residential housing.Potteries Demolition ignored a series of warnings about the poor state of their perimeter fencing in late 2010 and early 2011. By April 2011, some sections of fencing had not been improved at all. As a result, the Environment Agency served an Enforcement Notice requiring that Potteries Demolition undertake repairs to the fencing by 17 May 2011.On 17 May, a further visit confirmed that the Enforcement Notice had not been complied with. Potteries Demolition did not attend an interview or respond to questions put to them under caution, by letter.The judge said that Potteries Demolition had failed to heed the Environment Agency’s warnings and had failed to take the Enforcement Notice seriously. He also told the company that the fine, which reflected their means, might have been far higher if any child had been injured on the site.Speaking after the case, Environment Agency Officer Paul Jeffcoat said: “These breaches of site security were a serious matter which potentially allowed unauthorised access and put people at risk. Permit conditions are in place for good reason. We will not hesitate to take enforcement action in such cases.”In mitigation, the Court was told that improvements were now being made to the perimeter fencing, and that there had been a change in the directorship of the company which would lead to better engagement with the Environment Agency in future.

via Environment Agency – Potteries Demolition given fine for site security offence.

Gallagher plea to PM as asbestos talks fail with Commonwealth

Gallagher plea to PM as asbestos talks fail: Talks aimed at resolving Canberra’s buried asbestos crisis have collapsed with the territory government accusing the Commonwealth of double standards.

The two sides are now deadlocked on who will pay the hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up more than 100 sites around the capital where deposits of the deadly substance have been buried for decades.

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Stories of workers who went to work with every intention of going home, but never did.