Places for People Homes fined after five employees developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)

A property management and development organisation has been fined after five employees developed Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

Aylesbury Crown Court heard that between 2009 and 2014 five employees of Places for People Homes Limited used vibrating powered tools to carry out grounds maintenance tasks at sites in Milton Keynes, Rotherham and Hull.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to assess or manage the risks associated with vibrating tools. It also failed to provide suitable training or health surveillance for its maintenance workers and failed to maintain and replace tools which increased vibration levels.

Places for People Homes Limited of Cheapside, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The companyhas been fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,995.06

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Andrew McGill said: “Companies must manage the risks associated with vibrating tools. Hand arm vibration can be a significant health risk wherever powered hand tools are used for significant lengths of time.

“HAVS is preventable, but once the damage is done it is permanent. Damage from HAVS can include the inability to do fine work and cold can trigger painful finger blanching attacks. Health surveillance is vital to detect and respond to early signs of damage.”

 

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/; www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/havs
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

 

 

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Groundworks contractor fined for cable strike

A groundworks contractor, G&R Groundworks (South East) Ltd, has been fined after an operative struck an underground electricity cable resulting in multiple serious burn injuries.

Folkestone Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 15th October 2018, G&R Groundworks (South East) Ltd operatives were using an electric ground breaker to dig fence post holes for a car park perimeter fence at a Cummins Power Generation site in Ramsgate, Kent.

 

 

While operating the electric breaker, one of the operatives struck an 11kv electricity cable causing a large flash and engulfing him in flames. The operative sustained serious burns to his face, chest, abdomen, groin, both arms and both legs, amounting to approximately 50% total body surface area burns.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that G&R Groundworks (South East) Ltd failed to source and refer to the underground services plans prior to breaking the ground to determine the location of any cables within the planned working area. They also failed to provide their operatives with cable identification equipment to further locate any cables within that area.

G&R Groundworks (South East) Ltd of St Lawrence Avenue, Ramsgate, Kent, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 25 (4) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £32,400 and ordered to pay costs of £2,657.18.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ross Carter said “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“If a suitable safe system of work was followed prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the operative would have been prevented.

“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
  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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Fitter sentenced for unregistered gas work

A gas fitter has been sentenced for carrying out gas work after his registration with Gas Safe Register had lapsed.

Mansfield Magistrates’ Court heard that, during September and October 2016, Adam Mansbridge replaced the gas central heating boilers at two different addresses in Mansfield and Worksop without being registered with Gas Safe Register. Following concerns, Gas Safe Register attended the properties and identified various defects with the installations, including defects identified as being ‘immediately dangerous’ and ‘at risk’.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Mr Mansbridge’s registration with Gas Safe Register had not been renewed at the time the gas work involving replacing the gas central heating boilers was carried out.

Adam Mansbridge of Thorpe Close, Coddington, Newark, pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998). He was given a curfew order for 12 weeks, ordered to pay costs of £2,500, and to pay £500 compensation to one of the customers.

Speaking after the hearing, HM inspector Lee Greatorex said:

“All gas work must be carried out by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life. Appropriate enforcement action will be taken by HSE 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
  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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Unregistered gas engineer sentenced for carrying out gas work

A gas engineer has been sentenced after carrying out gas work at a GP Practice and domestic premises without being registered with Gas Safe Register.

Mansfield Magistrates’ Court heard that, between November 2015 and April 2017, Neil Hawkins carried out unsafe gas work at a GP Practice and two domestic properties in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and Mansfield, whilst not registered with Gas Safe Register.

Registration with Gas Safe Register requires engineers to demonstrate that they hold the relevant competencies and qualifications for the work they intend to carry out, ensuring that gas work is carried out to an appropriate standard and the public are not put at risk of serious harm.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Mr Hawkins had fraudulently issued Landlord Gas Safety Records for both properties, and a Gas Safety Inspection report for the GP practice using the details of a Gas Safe registered engineer unknown to him.

Neil Hawkins of Welbeck Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to one breach of Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (as amended), and one breach of Regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (as amended) at each property. He was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment for each offence to run concurrently, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of community service and to pay costs of £4,345.04.

Speaking after the hearing, HM Inspector Aaron Rashad said:

“Neil Hawkins undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do. All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

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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Forging company fined after worker loses fingers and thumb

A forging firm has been fined after a worker had to have fingers and a thumb amputated following an incident while he was operating a press at its Stourbridge site.

Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 25 June 2018 a forger at Brooks Forgings Limited had his left hand crushed between dies and moving parts on a press. Following hospital treatment his thumb, index finger and part of his middle finger had to be amputated.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure that effective measures were taken to prevent access to the dangerous parts, namely gripping dies and heading tool of the Samuel Platt Upset Forging Press.

Brooks Forgings Limited of Doulton Road, Cradley Heath, West Midlands pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,511.11.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Karen Sweeney said. “The installation of simple guarding mechanisms and a system of ensuring a safe system of work was in place would have prevented the forger from losing significant parts of his hand.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to eliminate or minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery”.

 

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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Farm equipment manufacturer fined after employee’s arm pulled into lathe

A company has been fined after a worker was injured when his arm was pulled into a metalworking lathe.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard how in January 2018, an employee was using emery cloth to hand-polish a workpiece, as it was being rotated on a Colchester Mascot 1600 manual lathe at the site in Woodbridge, Suffolk. The employee was wearing gloves when he got caught on the rotating chuck, causing his arm to be pulled into the machine. As a result, his arm became fractured in four places.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that employees were not provided with the necessary training, information or instructions to carry out this work in a safe manner. There was no risk assessment, nor company policy on the dangers of using emery cloth or wearing gloves while operating a lathe. Furthermore, the lathe was in operation without an emergency stop fitted to the machine.

Richard Western Limited of Woodbridge, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,717.19.

After the hearing HSE inspector Eleanor Kinman said: “This injury was easily preventable, and the risk should have been identified by the company. It was common practice to polish workpieces in the way the employee was doing, and to wear gloves whilst operating the lathes.

“Operatives and companies should be aware that emery cloth should never be applied directly by hand on a lathe, and that the wearing of gloves increases the risk of entanglement and is never acceptable near rotating parts of machinery. “Employers must properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk whilst operating machinery.”

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[2]
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. Guidance on how to do it safely can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/eis2.pdf

 

 

 

 

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