Company Director is Personally Responsible for Crush Case

The demolition company, Evans and Sons Limited and its director have been sentenced after a worker suffered crush injuries when his arms were trapped between two 10 tonne steel girders in an incident which occurred in October 2015.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how an employee was injured when the managing director, who was operating machinery to stack the girders, dropped one of the girders onto the employee’s arms, resulting in amputation to the left arm and right hand

The HSE stated:

If the company and its director had taken basic steps to decide how to do this routine task, and what control measures to use, they could have prevented this devastating incident resulting in an employee suffering life-changing injuries.

 

The HSE’s investigation found the company failed to apply appropriate control measures including ensuring the right equipment was used for the task. The managing director, Samuel Evans, was directly involved in the incident and found personally responsible for both the choice in equipment and the manner in which the task was performed.

Evans and Sons Limited of Ditton Road, Widnes pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company has been fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,523.04

Company director, Samuel Evans, pleaded guilty to breaching two counts of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, in relation to the company’s failing of Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Evans was sentenced to ten months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Commenting after the hearing, HSE inspector Rohan Lye said: “If the company and its director had taken basic steps to decide how to do this routine task, and what control measures to use, they could have prevented this devastating incident resulting in an employee suffering life-changing injuries.”

Scaffolding falls onto power lines with devastating implications

Boundary Scaffolding Limited, a Swindon-based scaffolding company and its director have been sentenced after a worker was left with life-changing injuries when a structure he was erecting came into contact with overhead power lines.

It was heard at Swindon Magistrates’ Court that the scaffolding hit the 33KV overhead power lines on 19 December 2016.

A father of five working on the scaffolding received an electric shock which led to the amputation of his left arm above the elbow, right arm below the elbow and both of his feet. The 32-year-old father also suffered severe burns to his legs and back, damage to his vocal chords, and was in an induced coma for six weeks.

The HSE’s investigated.  It was found that the scaffolding should not have been built to that height so close to overhead power lines. There was no safe system of work in place for erecting a scaffold under overhead power lines.

Boundary Scaffolding Limited, of Unit 10 Kendrick Industrial Estate Swindon SN2 2DU, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,415.10.

Company director Jonathon Lee Griffith-Clack, of 12 Grosmont Drive, Swindon, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 as well as Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to repay costs of £1,545.30.

HSE inspector Ian Whittles commented:

“This incident could have been prevented had the company and its director properly planned a safe system of work and ensured the scaffolding was erected in line with HSE regulations. Due to their failings, a young father of five has been left with life-changing injuries and the lives of an entire family have been changed forever.”

 

In a statement the injured man Jamie Mines said:

“I can’t quite put into words how it feels to wake up with no hands. I had five-month-old twin girls at the time of the accident, all I could think of when I woke up was the things I wouldn’t be able to do, for example I wouldn’t be able to hold my babies’ hands again, I wouldn’t be able to draw, play catch or teach my girls any of the things that I had learned with my hands.

There’s so many things I can’t do it’s hard to imagine, but to never feel anything with my hands again is what I struggle with the most.

Sitting here now in my wheelchair nine months after the accident and I still don’t walk, for a man who was very active before the accident, it has been extremely difficult! I was a keen a sportsman as well as someone who enjoyed his job and was really hands on with my babies. How my life has changed is almost indescribable.”

Recycling firm receives more than £100k in fines

Multiple failures at a recycling firm, Monoworld Recycling, have resulted in fines of £100k after Northampton Crown Court heard of their ‘haphazard approach’ to business risk, breaching numerous regulations.

After several visits from the Health & Safety Executive, a total of 15 enforcement notices were served on the company and three served on each of the two company directors, in less than two years.

The notices covered a range of topics including work at height, work equipment and electrical matters.

The Executive found Monoworld failed to manage risks when its staff worked at height, maintain work equipment and control risks from electrical systems.

The HSE also discovered employees were instructed to carry out work at height even after a Prohibition Notice was served and staff felt pressurised to complete their work even when they had raised concerns about their safety.  It was also discovered that fork lift trucks were left with broken lights and windscreen wipers, causing visibility issues for drivers’. Emergency stop buttons on machinery were marked as broken but not repaired over a long period of time.

Monoworld Recycling Ltd of Irchester Road, Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 5(1) of the Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 4(1) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and has been fined £83,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000.

Mr Dhanesh Ruparelia of Irchester Road, Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1) (a) of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, he has also been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000.

Mr Nimaye Ruparelia of Irchester Road, Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(a) by virtue of Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and has been ordered to complete 150 hours community order as well as being fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £7,000 in costs.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Neil Ward said:

“The Company’s failings in this case have put their workers at risk from serious personal injury. It was clear the overall approach to business risk was haphazard at best, with a culture of negligence, for which the two directors were ultimately responsible.

The HSE took proactive action, throughout its dealings with Monoworld, and tried to work with the company when concerns were first raised.”