Delivery firm fined after worker loses leg

Delivered UK Ltd, from Buckinghamshire has been fined after a driver suffered life changing injuries when he was hit by a reversing fork-lift truck.

The firm was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after the incident on 2 September 2014 at their depot in Ajax Avenue in Slough.  The worker sustained fractures and crush injuries to his left foot and leg and spent five weeks in hospital following the incident. Five months later he required an operation to amputate his left leg below the knee.

Reading Crown Court heard how the delivery driver who was working for an agency, was pushing a trolley containing parcels along the side of the building between the wall and a row of delivery vehicles. When he reached the end of the row of vehicles a fork lift truck which was operating near an entrance to the building reversed out of the shutter door, striking him and trapping his foot in the rear wheel.

The HSE investigation found that at the point where the fork lift truck entered and exited the building there was no barrier in place to prevent collision with pedestrians, neither was the yard organised in such a way as to allow safe pedestrian access to vehicles that were parked on the other side of the yard. The company’s risk assessments for unloading/loading of vehicles and the use of forklift trucks all failed to consider the use of physical barriers to segregate pedestrians from vehicles. An improvement notice was served and the company has now made the necessary changes to enable pedestrians and vehicles to circulate safely.

Delivered UK Limited of Stirling Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974 and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,783.04

Severe Injuries after worker falls from roof

A worker fell five metres through a roof sustaining severe injuries; Richardson Roofing Company Limited (RRCL) has been fined.

St Albans Crown Court heard how a 32 year old labourer was working for RRCL on a construction site at Kingsley Green, Radlett, Hertfordshire on 8 August 2013, fitting battens on the roof around holes for the skylights when he stepped on a membrane covering one of the holes and fell approximately five metres. He sustained two broken wrists and four fractures to the skull and was hospitalised for fifteen days. He has not been able to return to this type of work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the hole had been previously covered by boards but these were later removed in order to complete the works up to hole’s edge, leaving the hole visually obscured by the thin roofing membrane. The company failed to properly identify and put in place controls for controlling the hazard of falling through the roof once the boards were removed.

Richardson Roofing Company Limited, of Richardson House, Moor Lane, Staines, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,865.

Lift Shaft Fall

A man has been killed on 11th October in a fall down a lift shaft at technology company, Telent Technology Services.

Paramedics helped remove him from the shaft but despite treating him immediately, he was confirmed dead at the scene, an ambulance spokesman said.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is investigating. A spokesman for the firm said their thoughts were with his family and could not comment further.  Mark Plato, chief executive officer at Telent said;

“The police and HSE are currently investigating the incident therefore we are not in a position to provide you with further details at this current time. Our thoughts are with the individual’s family,”

West Midlands Ambulance Service said crews were called to reports of a man at the bottom of lift shaft at the premises at about 13:30 BST on Tuesday.

In a statement, Warwickshire Police said:

“Investigations are under way to establish the facts around the incident but these are at an early stage and we cannot confirm any further details.”

Contractor seriously injured in fragile skylight fall

The Business Design Centre Ltd, the London exhibition venue firm , and a building contractor have been fined for safety failings after a specialist contractor fell through a fragile skylight.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how the Business Design Centre allowed workers to cross an unsafe roof, which contained three fragile skylights and open edges, and failed to prevent contractors crossing the same unsafe roof on a number of occasions.

The court also heard that James Murphy, 64, from Chigwell in Essex, who had been appointed by The Business Design Centre Ltd to undertake repair work at the site, had led a specialist lead contractor over the unsafe roof on 14 May 2015. As he walked over the unsafe roof the lead contractor fell through a skylight, falling 5.5m. He suffered serious injuries including a shattered pelvis, broken wrist, and a broken elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the Business Design Centre failed to ensure that access to and from the areas of the roof which required repair was suitable and safe, and that sufficient measures were in place to protect against the risks of falling from height.

James Murphy failed to ensure that the job of accessing and then inspecting the auditorium roof was properly planned.

The Business Design Centre Limited, of Upper Street, Islington, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2925,56

James Murphy, of High Road, Chigwell, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £4,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £2925.56

Alton Towers’ owners fined £5 million over crash

The rollercoaster collision which left 16 people injured, a number of them seriously has resulted in the owners of Alton Towers being fined £5million with costs of £69,955.40.

On 2nd June 2015, a carriage on the Smiler ride collided with a stationary carriage on the same track, which resulted in two young women suffering leg amputations and others suffered severe injuries.

Stafford Crown Court heard that on the day of the incident engineers overrode the Smiler’s control system without the knowledge and understanding to ensure it was safe to do so.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found no fault with the track, the cars, or the control system that keeps the cars apart from each other when the ride is running.  Investigators did find that the root cause was a lack of detailed, robust arrangements for making safety critical decisions. The whole system, from training through to fixing faults, was not strong enough to stop a series of errors by staff when working with people on the ride.

Following the incident Alton Towers made technical improvements to the ride and changed their systems.

Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd of 3 Market Close, Poole, Dorset pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc, 1974 and were fined £5million with costs of £69,955.40.

Neil Craig, head of operations for HSE in the Midlands said:

“People visiting theme parks should be able to enjoy themselves safely. On 2 June last year Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd failed to protect their customers, they badly let them down.

This avoidable incident happened because Merlin failed to put in place systems to allow engineers to work safely on the ride while it was running. This made it all too easy for a whole series of unchecked mistakes, not just one push of a button, to result in tragic consequences.

Since the incident Alton Towers have made improvements to the ride and their safety protocols, and the lessons learned have been shared industry wide.”