A waste management and plant hire company in Derbyshire has been fined after a worker was fatally crushed between two vehicles while refuelling.

Derby Crown Court heard how 39-year-old Matthew Lambert was refuelling his road sweeper at the yard of Leedale Limited. The refuelling point on the vehicle was at the rear, and it was while he was refuelling that a tipper lorry reversed into him. Matthew Lambert was crushed between the two vehicles and died of catastrophic head injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 26 November 2013 found there were no marked or identified vehicle and pedestrian routes. There were no rules or control of reversing manoeuvres, and the lighting at the site was poor and below the required standard.

Leedale Limited, of Heage Road Industrial Estate, Heage Road, Ripley, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £50,737.

For further information on workplace transport visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/about.htm

Article Source – http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/worker-crushed-between-two-vehicles/?eban=govdel-press-release&cr=31-May-2016

Didac comment – A reversing vehicle is a highly dangerous hazard anywhere, but on a construction site, with all the extra noise and distractions, the vehicle blind spot becomes harder to compensate for. That is why the role of a banksman is paramount in any maneuver. In our vehicle banksman course we encourage the learners to try and undertake the maneuver without any reversing to help avoid the risk.

The Royal Mail Group Limited has been fined £50,000 after a worker’s foot was run over by a reach truck in a bundling warehouse.

Medway Magistrates Court heard how an incident happened at the Royal Mail Group Limited (RMG) bundling centre in Rochester where a worker stepped out into an aisle and another worker, who was driving a reach truck, ran over his foot causing broken bones and bruising. The injured worked was not wearing safety boots with steal toe caps when the incident happened.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 7 March 2014 found that workplace transport was not organised to ensure pedestrians and vehicles can circulate safely as they both operated in the same areas without segregation.

Better organisation of the workplace transport within the warehouse would have prevented this incident from happening.

Royal Mail Group Limited, of Victoria Embankment, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,406.

For further information on workplace transport safety visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg199.pdf PDF

Article Source – http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/royal-mail-fined-after-worker-suffered-injuries/?eban=govdel-press-release&cr=19-May-2016

Didac Comments – Warehouses are a hot bed of risks and hazards for the ill equipped, the ill prepared, and the ill trained. Adequate lanes for foot traffic and trucks will keep the two from coming into contact, reducing the risk. Sufficient PPE will help prevent or soften injury when an incident occurs. With both in place, the injuries occurred might be significantly reduced, or the incident might have been avoided entirety.

On 1 February 2016, the new sentencing guidelines for health and safety offences came into force.


They direct the courts to consider the sentencing of offending organisations by way of a step-by-step approach, primarily examining culpability, the seriousness of harm risked and the likelihood of harm, which are divided into a number of different levels to reflect the scale within each category. In light of a number of preceding Court of Appeal judgments expressing the same view, the guidelines then require an assessment of business turnover in order to set a starting point for a fine that is intended “to bring the message home to the directors and shareholders of offending organisations”, as stated by the Judge in the environmental prosecution of Thames Water. The majority of the other sentencing steps relate to the consideration of increasing or decreasing the level of fine according to a range of factors. There are similar guidelines for the sentencing individuals for health and safety offences, with a stronger focus on the risk of a custodial sentence for those found guilty of serious breaches.

Ever since the Sentencing Council proposed these new guidelines, the health and safety industry has anticipated a revolutionary impact on the levels of fines compared to those that have historically been handed down for simple health and safety breaches committed by corporate entities. Although we are still in a ‘budding’ phase, we can begin to analyse the influence the guidelines have had on the courts to date and we can also consider the extent to which they may affect future sentencing trends.

The Guidelines in Practice

February 2016 heralded a new era in sentencing for health and safety offences. On the 8th of the month, ConocoPhillips (UK) Limited became the first very large organisation to be convicted and sentenced under the new regime, although the hearing actually commenced prior to the date on which the new guidelines came into force. The company, which has a turnover of £4.8 billion, pleaded guilty to three breaches of relevant health and safety regulations for a series of uncontrolled and unexpected gas releases at one of its offshore installations.

Although nobody was actually injured as a result of the breaches, due to a communication breakdown workers were sent to investigate the incident while there was still gas present. When sentencing, the Judge commented that the risk of death of serious injury would have been extremely high had there been a gas ignition. In applying the guidelines, this may have been regarded as a Harm Category 1 case due to the seriousness of the harm risked and the high likelihood of harm.

Although the company had procedures and safeguards in place, the Judge noted a failure to properly identify and control risks. The level of culpability in this case may have been classed as “Medium” as systems were in place but they were not sufficiently adhered to or implemented.

The analysis of the guidelines reflects the sentencing Judge’s own interpretation then the starting point for the fine would be £1.3 million, with a range of £800,000 to £3.2 million to accommodate mitigating or aggravating features. In mitigation, the company pointed to its high level of cooperation with the HSE as well as significant investment in new systems designed to prevent recurrence. When considering the company’s billion pound turnover, it is also worth noting that the company in fact made a pre-tax loss of £85 million. The fine that was actually imposed by the court was £3 million – equating to £1 million for each offence.

A number of cases heard weeks before the Guideline came into effect also illustrated the prescriptive and uniform approach to be adopted by the courts (in the spirit of the 2016 Guidelines) for health and safety breaches. Four different Crown Courts imposed fines of £1m or more against large companies for health and safety breaches (all of which followed early guilty pleas):

C.RO Ports London 21 January Arm injury £25m £1.8m
Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering 25 January Fatality £8.8bn(group turnover) £1m
National Grid Gas 25 January Broken leg £3bn £1m
UK Power Networks (Operations) 26 January Fatality £1bn £1m


The ConocoPhillips case demonstrates the dramatic shift in the landscape of health and safety sentencing that the guidelines have brought about – a breach of health and safety regulations which did not result in injury may have previously attracted a fine in the tens of thousands, as opposed to millions. It is quite likely that more organisations will now fall into higher categories of offence seriousness by virtue of the guidelines’ focus on the “risk of harm” as opposed to actual harm. The extent of these seemingly hypothetical risks will undoubtedly become a contested point at trial, likely to lead to prolonged sentencing hearings involving the introduction of expert evidence.

Corporate Considerations

The culpability of a defendant company remains the most decisive factor in determining the appropriate level of fine to be imposed by the Courts. The importance of achieving high standards of compliance with health and safety legislation has never been greater for organisations. Those companies found to have committed deliberate breaches of, or who have flagrantly disregarded, the law or even those that fall far short of the appropriate standard will be subject to the largest fines. It is therefore important for organisations to be able to demonstrate that they have robust safety management systems in place which are properly invested in and implemented.

In light of the guidelines’ focus on company turnover, fines for large and very large companies that are guilty of committing health and safety offences are going to increase significantly. Arguments about which corporate accounts should be considered by the court will be significant. Such battles will be especially pertinent when dealing with groups of companies and joint ventures consisting of distinct incorporated (or even unincorporated) entities.

It remains to be seen the extent to which the prosecution will petition the courts to consider the accounts of larger parent companies with higher turnovers when the sentences of smaller and less profitable subsidiaries are being assessed, particularly if the smaller subsidiary is the entity in control of the activity related to the alleged health and safety breach. The guidelines state that ordinarily “only information relating to the organisation before the court will be relevant, unless exceptionally it is demonstrated to the court that the resources of a linked organisation are available and can properly be taken into account.” It is therefore unlikely that the accounts of a parent or ultimate parent company would be a consideration for the court when sentencing a sufficiently profitable subsidiary for its own breaches of the law.

What of the Future?

Only time will tell just how high the fines for health and safety offences committed by large and very large organisations will be. There is no doubt that all eyes in the industry are now very much on the courts. The new reality may be frightening when such an organisation is found guilty of a serious offence for which it is deemed to be highly or very highly culpable, when ‘all bets are off’! Will the risk of receiving such huge fines in the event of an incident reduce the amount of injuries or fatalities? This remains to be seen.  Surely the thought of a fine huge enough to potentially put a company out of business and/or the threat of imprisonment for senior managers and director that fall far short of the appropriate standard should act as an incentive to proactively address corporate health and safety concerns as soon as possible (before an incident occurs) and to ensure compliance with the law at all times.

ABA’s new workplace transport equipment list tackles operator qualification confusion

 A new standardised list of workplace transport equipment categories has been released to aid employers and recruiters in identifying operator qualifications, regardless of issuing body.  This list has been developed following extensive consultation and discussion between the members of the Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport (ABA) as a means to support the workplace transport industry as a whole.

“For a long time now the industry has struggled with a lack of uniformity when it comes to naming and categorising equipment, leading to different conventions and terms being used by different accrediting bodies – which in turn has always made it difficult for employers or recruiters to identify exactly what equipment operators are qualified to use,” says Huw Jones, ABA Chairman. “It is essential that employers or recruiters are able to make an initial judgment on an operator’s relevant experience and qualifications with the equipment they are being hired to operate.”

The new grouping codes agreed by the members of the ABA will see a universal system of naming applied across the board, signalling an end to confusing cross body naming systems and making it easy to identify precisely what equipment the operator is qualified to operate.

The new equipment grouping codes will come into use on April 1st 2016. Any certificates or ID cards issued on or after this date will carry the new codes. The full list of equipment names and codes can be found at the ABA website (http://www.abawt.co.uk).

“The standardised list of workplace transport equipment categories that has been developed is just one way that ABA is actively working to make positive changes within the industry and helping to improve ensure quality, improve safety and drive efficiency for employers, trainers, recruiters and operators,” says Huw.

The ABA was created by AITT, ITSSAR, NPORS and RTITB in 2012 to improve standards and bring clarity to workplace transport training accreditation. The aim of the association is to contribute to a reduction in workplace transport incidents and help employers improve productivity and profitability through training.

Membership of ABA is open to all workplace transport training accrediting bodies. The ABA works for the benefit of the industry, providing clarity, simplicity and transparency in the accreditation arena so all those wishing to join are required to follow a clear code of practice aimed at maintaining high training standards.

In 1988 the first code of practice (now L117) covering operator training for rider operated lift trucks was produced (as COP26). L117 was last revised in 1999. L117 provides guidance regarding the requirements for lift truck operators to have undergone basic training. The supplementary guidance accompanying the code of practice has always included reference to bodies recognised as “competent to accredit and monitor organisations to train instructors and/or train, test and certificate operators”. This recognition was designed to “help employers select training organisations or lift truck suppliers who offer a good standard of training”.

In 2010 the HSE held a conference to address the way forward for L117. Subsequent consultation, led to the HSE deciding that it no longer felt it necessary to continue to recognise these bodies in L117 or manage the accrediting bodies scheme on a day to day basis. They wished to “hand the scheme back” to the bodies themselves to manage and for the HSE to take an advisory role. HSE as the regulator provides advice to the new association on any points that arise in relation to L117.

Much time and effort has been spent by the accrediting bodies creating a new way of working together for the benefit of the workplace transport industry and at the forefront of our minds during this process has been the improvement of training standards, coupled with much clearer transparency for those utilising the accrediting bodies system.

The new association formed as a result of this effort is the “Accrediting Bodies Association – Workplace Transport (ABA) and our code of practice (available to download below) sets out our aims, objectives, operating criteria and much more.

The workplace transport industry will benefit from these changes and will, we hope, find it simpler to work with us to increase productivity and profitability whilst also reducing workplace incidents, injuries and deaths.

Further information can be found in the following leaflet.

Code of Practice

The Code of Practice is available to download here

A construction company based in Derbyshire has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he fell through a void.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how a worker employed by a sub-contractor working for Bowmer and Kirkland Limited, was contracted to pour concrete onto the first floor of a building that was under construction at Fort Kinnaird Retail Park, Edinburgh.

The employee was walking across a floor that was under construction when his boot caught and he tripped. He dislodged an unsecured wooden board which had been placed over the void and exposed an opening of 2 x 1 metres.

He fell approximately 4.5metres through a void in the first floor and sustained serious injuries to his back as well as a broken foot. He was off work for twenty-two weeks and suffers continuing pain. He has reduced mobility, finding it difficult to walk or sit for long periods.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 16 May 2014 found that the company failed to take suitable and sufficient measures by not fixing the wooden panels placed on the void to prevent a fall.

Bowmer and Kirkland Limited, of High Edge Court, Church Street, Heage, Belper, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 and was fined £6,600.

For further information on work at height visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/workingatheight.htm

Didac Comment – As part of the course, delegates are taught the regulations and responsibilities of working at height. This includes accident causes & prevention.

Article Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/construction-company-fined-after-worker-injured-falling-through-void/?eban=govdel-press-release&cr=19-Apr-2016

The National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS) has secured recognition from the UK Contractors Group (UKCG).

NPORS card is now valid for plant operators on UKCG member sites
Above: NPORS card is now valid for plant operators on UKCG member sites

Following detailed discussions, the NPORS is now a UKCG ‘accepted record scheme’.

The move brings to an end what has effectively been a monopoly for the Construction Plant Competency Scheme (CPCS) for the most general types of construction machinery. Until now, a CPCS card has been a requirement to operate a digger, dump truck or crane on a major UK construction site.

With this new agreement, an NPORS card will also be equally acceptable.

UKCG member sites account for a third of UK construction total output.

NPORS Ltd is an accreditation body with its own plant operator training scheme that it controls. It was established in 1992 and is privately owned by its chief executive Stan Chapman. The rise of CPCS, which is industry-owned and managed by the Construction Industry Training Board, threatened its viability in the construction industry. So long as only CPCS cards were recognised on major sites, an NPORS card was of limited value in construction, although it also has a presence in other markets, such as ports and harbours, utilities and factories.

For a time, NPORS was involved in a former incarnation of CPCS, but no longer provides any training for the new version of the CPCS.

UKCG head of safety, health & environment David Lambert said that the major contractors wanted to “ensure there are no unreasonable barriers” when it comes to plant operator certification. He said that having two separate approved card schemes, in competition with each other, would promote efficiency and make life easier for site managers.

Mr Lambert said that NPORS had worked hard over the past couple of years on the standards of its training programmes.

NPORS technical, training & standards director Huw Jones said: “We’re extremely pleased with the UKCG’s decision to recognise the NPORS card, which we believe reflects the quality of NPORS training and its credibility within the industry. The uptake of the NPORS card has increased significantly over recent years and the fact that our training will reach even further into the construction sector is excellent news for everyone connected to NPORS, as we all share the same goal of seeing standards continually raised in relation to the safe, competent use of plant machinery.”

Earlier this year NPORS launched a ‘smart card’ for operators with a QR code on the front for quick security checks. When scanned by a QR reader, it opens up a web page showing the operator’s photograph, name, registration number, card expiry date, categories and qualifications held on the NPORS database.

Article Source: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/major-contactors-end-cpcs-dominance-by-recognising-npors

With reference to our previous announcement in the September 2015 technical bulletin (No 8) regarding the launch of the NPORS operator Logbook on the 1st March 2016 for the construction sector, unfortunately NPORS have had to delay this launch due to more changes occurring within the construction Sector.

We have been informed by Build UK (formerly UKCG) that in the forthcoming year operators will have to have CSCS logo displayed upon their card in order to gain access to Build UK sites. With this in mind and in order to protect the position of NPORS registered construction plant operators and their employers we have decided to apply to use the CSCS logo on the NPORS Construction Card. This will mean a significant change to our existing policies and procedures and further information will be issued as soon as we are able to do so.

Article Source: http://www.npors.com/download/Info%20on%20Logbook%202016.pdf

A family partnership in Pembrokeshire has been fined after a worker fell through a skylight forming part of the roof of a cattle shed to the concrete floor below.

Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court heard how the Rees family partnership of Gwynne (father), Margaret (mother) and Richard (son) had contracted the company Evans Agri Contracting (EAC) to carry out a one day silage harvest.

An employee of EAC became involved in sheeting the silage by lowering plastic sheeting from the roof of the cattle shed. The sheeting from the cattle shed roof was not part of the silage harvest contract but a job the Rees partnership was carrying out independently. The employee of EAC was assisting members of the Rees family partnership and was under their direction.

It was while doing this that the twenty-four year old worker tripped and fell through a skylight at least four metres to the concrete floor. He suffered a broken right arm and elbow and heavy bruising.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 17 June 2014 found that the work on the roof had not been planned and there was no safe system for the prevention of falls off or through the fragile roof.

Rees family partnership, of Dinas, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1121.55.

Didac’s comment – Our half day course is a theoretical classroom based session which covers suitable risk assessments and managing working at height situations safely. All of which comply with Working at Height Regulations 2005. We usually deliver this course with our Harness Awareness course to make a full day.

Article source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/family-partnership-fined-after-worker-fell-through-skylight/

A scrap metal firm and its director have been sentenced after a Manchester worker suffered severe injuries to his left arm when it became stuck in a forklift truck.

The worker, aged 30, from Levenshulme remained trapped for over two hours while the emergency services tried to free his arm from the vehicle’s mast at Levenshulme Trading Estate, Printworks Lane on 8 November 2013.

Ultimate Traders Ltd and company director Nasir Rashid were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it emerged he had been told to stand on the forks on the truck to help move scrap cars into the back of a shipping container.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Rashid, aged 36 from Greenford in London, had been driving the forklift truck and that the scrap cars were due to be exported to Pakistan where the metal would be sold.

The worker suffered severe crush injuries when his arm became trapped and it took the combined effort of three fire crews, a specialist major rescue unit, two air ambulances, a medical team from Manchester Royal Infirmary and three ambulance crews to rescue him.

The gap in which the injured man’s arm was trapped

He sustained nerve damage to his left arm which makes it difficult for him to grip or lift items, and was in hospital for nearly two months. He still needs to visit Manchester Royal Infirmary for treatment and has been unable to return to work due to the extent of his injuries.

The court was told the company failed to report the incident to HSE for nearly three months, despite being told on several occasions that this was a legal requirement.

Nasir Rashid, of Bracewell Avenue in Greenford, was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay costs of £750 after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Ultimate Traders Ltd, of Bridgewater Road in Wembley, was given a nominal fine of £2 after discussion concerning the company’s finances. The firm pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 4 (2) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sarah Taylor said: “The worker remained trapped for over two hours while the emergency services battled to cut him free, but this incident could easily have been avoided.

“Ultimate Traders and Nasir Rashid had a legal responsibility to make sure the worker stayed safe, but instead he was instructed to climb onto the forks of a forklift truck to move scrap cars into a container. He suffered severe injuries as a result which will affect him for the rest of his life.

“Workers should never be allowed to stand directly on the forks on a forklift truck because of the risk of them falling or being injured by moving parts on the mast. This case should act as a warning to firms that they will find themselves in court if they do not take the safety of workers seriously.”

Information on the safe use of forklift trucks is available at:


Didac’s comment – All of our industrial instructors deliver forklift training, and as part of that course, the learners are taught the fundamentals on how to operate a forklift safely. From pre-use checks, how to carry loads, and the three points of contact. If you feel like you or your staff require forklift training, give us call on 0800 773 4230. We deliver the training onsite using your own forklifts for the course, which means that the employees learn on the machines that they’ll be using day to day.

Article source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/scrap-metal-firm-in-court-over-workers-severe-forklift-injuries/

A large steel fabrication company based in North Yorkshire, has been fined after a forklift truck (FLT) operator was killed when the truck he was operating overturned. However, the offence to which the company pleaded guilty was not a significant cause of the fatal accident.

Teesside Crown Court heard how 27-year-old Kelvin McGibbon was reversing the forklift truck when it struck some steps causing it to overturn. Mr McGibbon was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered crush injuries which proved fatal.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 13 March 2013 found that Severfield (UK) Limited failed to manage forklift truck driving operations. They did not enforce the wearing of seat-belts or control the speed at which some FLT operators drove their trucks.

Severfield (UK) Limited, of Severs House, Dalton Airfield Industrial Estate, Dalton, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to a non-causative breach of Regulation 5(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and was fined £135,000 and ordered to pay costs of £46,020.

HSE inspector David Welsh said after the hearing: “A company has a legal duty for the health and safety of people working on its site, whether they are employees or not. They are required to assess risks, eliminate them where possible and enforce proper control measures, such as seat belt wear, by checking that safe driving practices are being followed to deal with the risks that remain.

“Sadly, in this case, the prosecution shows that the company’s management of FLT driving operations and risk control measures failed with tragic consequences for Mr McGibbon and his family.”

Didac’s comment – Our forklift course is to test operators to a standard, and competency will develop over time. Safety measures such as seat-belts and driving at speed are tested during the practical and will cause the operator to fail if these safety measures aren’t observed.

Article Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/firm-fined-after-forklift-truck-operator-killed/

On 18/02/2016, constrcuction union UCATT issued a press release to media that claimed there was an increase in prosecution delays and fall in convictions following construction deaths https://www.ucatt.org.uk/increase-prosecution-delays-and-fall-convictions-following-construction-deaths link to external websiteUCATT cited information that was included in a recent Parliamentary Question response by HSE to Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

HSE construction sector has responded to UCATT’s interpretation of the statistics below:

There has been no fall in conviction rates for HSE prosecutions. It actually rose from 92% in 2010/11 to 94% in 2014/15. 

The reduction referred to in the UCATT  statement (we think) relates to the numbers of fatalities in construction for which prosecutions have been approved.  The percentage of fatalities leading to a decision to prosecute in the same year will be lower in more recent years as a number of the more complex investigations will still be on-going or are progressing through the courts. The number of prosecution approvals should also be seen against an overall reduction in construction fatalities from over 100 in 2000/01 to 39(p) in 2014/15.

All workplace fatalities need to be investigated thoroughly to prevent a recurrence and so that where breaches of health and safety requirements are identified then those who have failed in their responsibilities are held to account which may include bringing cases before the courts in England and Wales, or recommending prosecution in Scotland.  HSE does not prosecute in every case and will take account of the evidential stage and the relevant public interest factors set down by the Code for Crown Prosecutors.  In Scotland the Procurator Fiscal decides whether to bring a prosecution.

A number of discrete stages will affect the pace at which a work-related death is investigated and legal proceedings pursued.  The police assume primacy for investigations initially and retain the case until negligent homicide offences have been identified or eliminated. In complex cases it can be several months before HSE is handed primacy.  Before HSE brings a prosecution it is normally necessary to await the outcome of a Coroner’s inquest.  Once a defendant has been charged it can take some time for the case to come to trial, particularly where it is defended and heard in the Crown Court.

Nevertheless, HSE and the other agencies involved in investigating workplace fatalities recognise the importance to victims of ensuring all stages of the investigation and prosecution process are concluded as quickly as possible.  The Work Related Deaths Protocol (WRDP) National Liaison Committee recently agreed that any decision to prosecute should be made within three years of the date of death, other than in exceptional circumstances.

As a result of the drive to reduce investigation time and conclude long running investigations, HSE has in recent years concluded several complex investigations. This has meant average time taken between an incident and a prosecution approval has increased in the most recent years, but other data provided in response to Parliamentary Questions shows that over the last 10-years, 23 percent of cases were approved for prosecution within a year of a fatality, 27 percent in the second year, and 30 percent  in the third.  Therefore 80 percent of HSE prosecutions were approved within the WRDP three-year period.  This percentage is still rising.

Note that there is an error in the UCATT release where it states that 30 per cent of cases did not reach the prosecution stage until between three to four years after a worker’s death.  The PQ responses showed that just 15 percent of cases took between three and four years to reach this stage.

The percentage of construction (Standard Industrial Classification, section F) fatalities resulting in at least one prosecution being approved to date in each of the last eight years is as follows:

Year Number of Fatalities in Construction reported to HSE Number of fatalities with approved prosecution action* Percentage*
2007/2008 74 38 51%
2008/2009 57 28 49%
2009/2010 44 20 45%
2010/2011 52 16 31%
2011/2012 49 22 45%
2012/2013 46 16 35%
2013/2014 47 15 32%
2014/2015 39p 7 18%
p – provisional

*Investigations of some recent and more complex incidents are continuing.

The data UCATT has used to incorrectly suggest the ‘fall in convictions’ is above.  This relates to prosecutions approved following fatals in any given year.  The number in the third column relates to the number in the second column, and not to fatals in previous years.  Therefore, in 2014/15 of the 39(p) fatals, we approved prosecutions in seven of those cases within the same year.  Therefore the observed % reduction in recent years is because of on-going (ie longer than one year) investigations.

Three of Didac’s Industrial Training instructors have just undergone update training for Loading Shovel, Skid Steer Loader, Cherry Picker and Scissor Lift.

This is to keep in line with Didac’s quality process, to ensure that all Instructors have current and valid certification for any qualification that they deliver to clients and our commitment to deliver quality training.

Didac are happy to provide evidence of Instructor competence to deliver training on request.

Here’s a picture of Roger and Gary clearly enjoying their day out!

131120 - Update Training - Roger and Gary

The long awaited newly revised version of the ‘Rider-operated lift trucks operator training and safe use’ approved code of practice and guidance (ACOP L117) was finally launched in March 2013. This is the third edition of the ACOP after its initial launch back in 1988.

The new document combines the old L117 and parts of the guidance document HSG6 (safety in working with lift trucks). The revised edition is aimed at employers and those responsible for the safe operation of lift trucks. This includes the self-employed, managers and supervisors as well as those in control of work sites.

The ACOP outlines the main legal requirements relating to the training of operators of lift trucks as well as information on the management and supervision of lift truck operators. There is also good guidance on the safe use of lift trucks and how to protect pedestrians. It also contains guidance on the maintenance and thorough examination of lift trucks.

The ACOP text refers to stacking rider operator lift trucks which basically means any truck capable of carrying an operator and includes trucks controlled from both seated and stand on positions. Examples of these trucks are-

These are just some of the applicable trucks but the list is not exhaustive.

The ACOP also gives advice on medical considerations, training requirements including structure and content. It is strongly advised that anybody with responsibility for forklift operations within a company familiarise themselves with the new guidance.

A free download of the new L117 can be found at:


Press release featured in Feb/March 2013 edition of Sign Update Magazine and featured on the Sign Update Magazine Website.

I’ll start by diffusing a little myth: It is not a legal requirement to hold a particular accredited training certificate to work on site or operate a specific piece of equipment. In fact it’s not a legal requirement to have accredited training at all.

What is required by law is that employers must provide adequate training to ensure the competence of their employees. This responsibility continues that employees should receive on-going support, advice and guidance such that they are able to complete their job and its associated work tasks without risk of injury or harm to themselves or others.

There are a number of accreditation schemes which are recognised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to help set and maintain professional training standards. Examples include ITSSAR (Forklift, Plant, Craneand more), PASMA (Mobile Scaffold Tower), IPAF (Aerial Work Platform).

In essence, accreditation is a kite mark of quality. It means that a training provider such as Didac Ltd and its delivery staff are monitored by one or more of these independent external bodies and has met the conditions of accreditation. This requires that accredited training providers keep up to date and accurate training records, whilst trainers are monitored on a regular basis so they consistently meet the required standards for training and safety. Accredited training providers bridge the gap between employers and the HSE, thereby assuring employers that the training provided to equipment operators is of an acceptable standard.

By way of example, signage installation, big or small, might require the use of specialist equipment such as a Cherry Picker or Scaffold Tower. An employer must provide suitable and sufficient equipment training to ensure employees possess the necessary knowledge and skill to conduct the installation safely. Another duty of care however, lies with the site on which the installation is being completed to ensure that only competent persons are permitted to operate.

To achieve this, sites will often require the credentials of each equipment operator to be checked before access to work is permitted. Card schemes such as PASMAor IPAF provide photo ID cards to successful training candidates for this verification process. As we now know, accreditation provides a seal of quality to you as an employer; this is also true for any site manager.

Refusal to work on site can be problematic and undesirable for all involved causing disruption to work schedules. Avoiding such situations retains the professional outward appearance of your organisation and means that health and safety does not get in the way of conducting business.

There is, however, no universal site-ticket, so it cannot be said that any specific accreditation is a gateway to work on every site in the UK. If you have a job on site where another organisation is the authority on health and safety, our advice is to check first whether they require a particular accreditation. Access to work remains the decision of the person responsible for site Health and Safety, they may be limited in the accreditations that they recognise and that is their prerogative.

Either way, the underlying message has to be stay safe by ensuring the competency of your staff. There are still far too many work related accidents and deaths in the UK. Proper training is a must but accredited training raises safety and provides an audit trail in the event of an incident, which could be the difference between an incident being classified as an accident or negligence.

A 26-year-old worker was seriously injured after falling five metres from the edge of a roof in Strathdon. He was fixing lead onto the flat roof area of a house when the accident occurred.

The worker’s boss — who traded as Donside Slating — was fined for not assessing the safety of the site and not giving any specific instructions on how to perform the work. An investigation revealed that the site also lacked a scaffold platform with proper accommodations.

“[The victim] was very lucky to survive a five metre fall,” said Health and Safety Executive Liz Standen. “He suffered serious injuries because his employer did not ensure that the flat roof area was safe to use, with the necessary fall prevention equipment in place, before work started and he did not given any specific instructions about how to carry out the work safely.”

As a result of the fall, the victim suffered major injuries to his thigh bone and was hospitalised for four days and lost 16 weeks of work.

Although the incident occurred on 10 November 2010, Aberdeen Sheriff Court would not commence sentencing until 14 May 2012. The victim’s boss pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was consequently fined £15,000.

“This incident was completely avoidable if [the victim’s boss] had planned the work in advance and simple measures such as suitable barriers had been in place,” Standen later added.

Statistics show that 38 people in Britain died (in addition to 3,177 serious injuries) from work-related falls in 2010/11. That is why it’s crucial that workers are properly trained in how to operate at heights —Working at Height Awarewness training is designed with this fact in mind.

Didac Working at Height Awareness courses teach learners how to carry out practical risk assessments and how to manage working at height situations in a safe manner that adheres to laws and regulations. You will also learn how to prevent accidents and implement safe systems of work that meet the requirements for working at height.

Article Source: Health and Safety Executive

A 48-year-old worker was killed by an overturned lorry while employed under J & H Construction Ltd.

Leicester Crown Court heard that the victim was operating a mini digger on 3 October 2006 when a nearby lorry tipper that was delivering roughly 20 tonnes of aggregate overturned on uneven ground and crushed his vehicle, killing him instantly.

According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors, the man’s death was the result of a failure to properly assess tipping operations. The tipping area where the incident took place was not yet determined safe for operations and was subject to poor preparation and insufficient leveling.

“This death could have been prevented if deliveries had been properly planned,” said HSE inspector Frances Bailey. “It is well known that tipper lorries can overturn, especially on sloping or uneven ground and it is vital that people are kept a safe distance.”

J & H Construction Ltd. was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

J H Hallam (Contracts) Ltd. — the firm subcontracting the victim’s employer at the time — was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

“This has been a long and complex investigation,” Bailey later added. “However the result will hopefully serve as a warning to others to review their arrangements for deliveries and avoid similar tragic incidents in the future.”

We share similar thoughts with the HSE inspector in hoping that others will learn from this tragic event. The importance of having trained individuals at a work site cannot be stressed enough.

Didac Dumper Training equips people with comprehensive knowledge of dumper truck operations. Delegates on the Dumper Course learn essentials of safe practice such as banksman signaling, truck maintenance, dumper stability, pre-use safety checks, and — most relevant to this particular incident — maneuvering on level and rough terrain.

Article Source: Health and Safety Executive

The death of a 42-year-old forklift truck driver has resulted in fines for his employing company totaling £65,000.

The incident, which took place on 10 April 2007, was extensively investigated by Health and Safety Executive (HSE) professionals. It was determined that Morgans Plant Hire Ltd. — the company the victim was working for — had made numerous errors regarding the safety and efficiency of the forklift truck.

According to testimony heard at Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court, the victim suffered fatal injuries after his forklift overturned while attempting to transport and load digger buckets onto flatbed lorries.

The ultimate cause of the accident was attributed to poor modification of the forklift truck’s brakes. One of the victim’s colleagues — a mechanic for the company — was responsible for making proper adjustments to the brakes but had done so incorrectly.

“When [the victim] went to work, his family expected him to return home safely,” said Peter Burns, a HSE Inspector involved in the prosecution hearing. “The failings of his employers mean he’ll never go home again.”

Morgans Plant Hire Ltd. was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,000 for breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Additionally, the mechanic who made incorrect modifications to the forklift’s brakes was penalised a total of £4,000 in fines and prosecution costs for breaching section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

“This prosecution serves to show just how important it is for companies to take their health and safety obligations seriously,” Burns later added. “HSE will not hesitate to prosecute any firm that fails to do so.”

As strong advocates of safety in the workplace, we couldn’t agree more with Peter Burns. That is why we offer two staple courses in forklift truck operations — one for instructing and one for operating.

Our Forklift Training Course is designed to train individuals in a wide variety of safety and skill requirements for operating lift trucks. Relevant to this incident is the course’s emphasis on daily safety checks & maintenance and practical examinations. Had the mechanic in this case properly applied such a skill set, the death of the victim could have been prevented.

Article Source: SHD Logistics

An Ystrad Mynach recycling firm is being held accountable for the death of a 56-year-old foreman.

The victim, from Newport, died on 25 June 2008 at Amber Services Ltd.’s recycling yard at the Dyffryn Business Park after being crushed by a skip and a container.

According to testimony heard at the Cardiff Crown Court, the worker was locating useable skips —as outlined by his regular job duties — and became trapped between a stationary skip and a container that a co-worker was loading onto a vehicle. At the time, the vehicle had been reversed in to the yard without transport control accommodation.

Investigators would later attribute the accident to a lack of safety precautions by the company.

“The death of [the victim] could have been prevented if a few simple measures had been put in place,” said Health and Safety Executive inspector Clare Owen. “There was no effective system for managing vehicle and pedestrian movements on site, and skip storage was disorganised.”

As an HSE inspector, Owen naturally advocates the use of banksman-related management of vehicles. His concern is likely reinforced by the fact that roughly 30% of fatal injuries to employees were caused by workplace transport issues in 2010/11p.

“It is particularly important, wherever a driver has no view of his ‘blind spot’ during reversing and loading and unloading operations, that the activity is managed and controlled,” Owen later added.

Amber Engineering Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was penalized a total of £148,000 in fines and prosecution costs.

Our in-depth Vehicle Banksman Training course is specifically designed to prevent these types of incidents. While a great deal of workplace transport accidents involve collisions of large goods vehicles (LGV), the story above serves as a reminder that accidents come in many different forms. The ultimate cause of this incident was not the size of the vehicle, but rather a failure to manage it. Vehicle Banksman training, sometimes referred to as Traffic Marshal training, can apply to all classifications of vehicle manoeuvring and not just LGVs.

In less than a day, you can become a certified Vehicle Banksman and obtain a photo ID card as evidence of your knowledge. You will pick up essential skills for planning and conducting the manoeuvre using recognised signals, adhering to regulations, risk assessment and more.

Article Source: Health and Safety Executive

A construction employee from Blacon suffered serious injuries after falling from a scaffold while working on a house in Trafford.

Work activities were brought to an immediate halt upon investigation of the incident by a Health and Safety Executive. The construction firm employing the victim — New Generation (Manchester) Ltd. — received six enforcement notices that demanded site improvements.

Although the incident occurred on 31 May 2011, Trafford Magistrates Court didn’t assemble a hearing until nearly a year later. Prosecutors took particular note of the scaffold’s lack of a safety rail, among other site hazards.

After pleading guilty to three offenses — including breaking Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 13(2), 26(2), and 27(1) — the company was penalised a total of £7900 in fines and prosecution costs.

“The state of the Carrwood site was an absolute disgrace when we visited it,” said Ian Betley, an HSE Inspector involved in the prosecution of the company. “We immediately issued six enforcement notices to ensure the safety of the people working there.”

The victim, 44, received multiple injuries to his right leg, including a dislocated knee and several broken bones.

“Health and safety laws exist for a reason,” Betley later added. “And if this company had taken notice of them then [the victim’s] fall could have been avoided.”

Betley’s emphasis on the law comes with plenty of empirical concern. HSE reports that 50 people died in 2010/11 while working in the construction industry in Great Britain, with nearly 3,000 others receiving major injuries.

At Didac Ltd we understand the importance of taking safety precautions during construction projects, which is why we offer a rigorous Mobile Scaffold Tower training course. Those who undergo our course will learn the fundamentals of assembling, dismantling and modifying lightweight mobile access tower systems, as well as essential safety measures for accident prevention, site assessment, and compliance with laws and regulations. Every element of the course can be taught in less than a day.

Scaffold Inspection training is a necessity when working with scaffold structures to protect not only your company, but also the lives of workers / employees.

It should have been a typical afternoon at work for a 55-year-old employee of the Corrugated Case Company Ltd. Just finishing up with lunch, he decided to hike back to his job site on Pilsley Road in Danesmoor, Chesterfield. Little did he know that a simple walk would end painfully.

The company yard — congested with abnormal traffic flow — wasn’t exactly organised. The mid-December work week had suffered some failed deliveries due to a recent strike of bad weather, and a lack of pedestrian crossing points didn’t make navigating through the rush of vehicles any safer for the worker. He likely figured that his high-visibility jacket would alert other drivers of his presence. Alas, no.

As the man approached the site, he noticed a heavy goods vehicle manoeuvring so that another vehicle could get by. He held fast to the kerb and waited for the HGV to reverse past him. Once clear, he stepped out in front of the truck — assuming it would continue its journey in reverse — and only had a matter of seconds before he realised that both he and the driver had made a massive mistake.

The lorry resumed a full-forward drive and plowed into the worker, dragging him underneath the vehicle. His pelvis, ribs and leg were fractured. His shoulder and lower spine were both severely damaged, and his head suffered a barrage of cuts.

Fortunately, his hi-vis jacket didn’t go to complete waste; a passerby on the main road caught eye of his high-visibility outfit and shouted for the lorry driver to stop advancing, after which the driver immediately halted his truck before it could deal further harm. The jacket might have saved his life after all.

While the results of the 2010 accident (post-traumatic epilepsy, breathing difficulties, mobility difficulties, and being put out of work for extensive time) were tragic for the victim in this case, others are forced to look upon the event with scrutiny. Why exactly did this accident happen? What measures could have been taken to prevent it? Who is responsible?

Health and Safety Executive inspector Fiona Coffey best sums up the answers when saying:

“On the day of the incident, the site was congested with unusually high levels of traffic yet there were no pedestrian crossing points, speed restrictions, mirrors or signage, or any other means of segregating pedestrians and vehicles.”

According to Coffey, the company was given verbal instruction on how to better control workplace transport six months prior to the accident. In spite of the company’s agreement to comply, the instructions were not followed.

“A Director and the Health and Safety Manager had agreed to [the instruction],” Coffey said. “As a result of the company’s failure to implement this guidance, their employee suffered painful and life-changing injuries.”

Magistrates would later fine the company £8,000 and order it to pay costs of £7,435.

This story is only the tip of the iceberg. HSE’s data on workplace injuries shows that 46 workers suffered a fatal injury involving workplace transport in 2010/11p. Roughly a quarter of fatal injuries to workers involved workplace transport, and a whopping 30% of fatal injuries to employees were attributed to it.

Such data can’t help but emphasise the importance of Vehicle Banksman training. At Didac Industrial Training, we offer an in-depth course on recognising hand/arm signals and procedures for directing drivers of any type of wheeled or tracked vehicle. The value of directing traffic — especially vehicles traveling in reverse — cannot be overestimated. Especially not for the victim in this case, whose injuries could have been prevented if a certified banksman was on site that day.

A Forklift Truck driver had a lucky escape when his Forklift overturned in an attempt to stack a container weighing more than two and a half times the safe lifting capacity of the Forklift Truck he was driving.

The accident occurred at a warehouse in Hemel Hempstead run by Cadogan Tate. An HSE investigation found that the container had been left precariously hanging seven metres in the air since the previous day when an employee had first attempted to lift the container into position. One of the rear wheels of the truck had lifted off the ground and the container remained until a supervisor assessed the situation.

Having strapped himself in, the supervisor attempted to reposition the 1.5 tonne load causing the Forklift Truck to overturn. Miraculously, the man escaped without injury.

The company Cadogan Tate was found to have breached both the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, and fined a total of 18,860 pounds.

The global removals, storage and shipping company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 after it failed to make sure the work was planned and carried out safety.

The London based firm was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,860 in prosecution costs.

A self employed worker from Cambridgeshire suffered four broken bones in his right foot when a 6 tonne dumper truck ran over it. The incident occurred in Lincoln, March 2011 during construction of a roadway at a construction site while the man was filling the roadway with stone in preparation for surfacing.

The dumper truck involved in the collision was transporting the stone to the working area where the injured man was operating a compactor. Having seen the dumper approaching the injured man was in the process of moving himself and the compactor out of the way. However the Dumper Truck driver was concentrating on avoiding other obstacles and collided with the ground worker.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Investigation found that the principal contractor Maypine Construction Ltd had failed to provide a suitable traffic route for works traffic, failed to conduct proper risk assessment of the work taking place and failed to properly manage and monitor the construction of the roadway surface.

The Northamptonshire based company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,749 costs.

A worker was seriously injured in an accident involving a Cherry Picker after his employer failed to provide adequate and relevant information and instruction to its employees.

Two men were using the MEWP to work on a building at Euston Road, London as the scaffolding had been removed from the building. Neither was wearing hi visibility clothing nor were any lights attached to the cherry picker.

After establishing that he thought the road was clear, the injured man maneuvered the MEWP on to the road into the path of a double decker bus. Upon collision the man was catapulted out of the cage which was then pushed down the road for about 15 metres.

His co-worker tried to stop the bus but being early morning, due to low levels of light and the fact that neither man was wearing hi-vis clothing, the bus driver failed to notice and stop.

The company Galliford Try Construction Ltd knew the dangers when operating these machines on site yet failed to organise the safe movement of the vehicle.

The company was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £16,459.70 after pleading guilty to two serious breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Two men were injured while dismantling a scaffold in Nottingham. The structure collapsed when the two remaining ties, fixed at the top of the structure that were holding the entire structure in place, were removed.

The accident occurred on 24 January 2011 on Radford Boulevard, Nottingham where the scaffold was errected to complete work on student accommodation.

One of the men jumped from a height of about 6m fracturing his ankle while the other man who was at a height of about 10m, clung onto the falling scaffold. The structure eventually collapsed, colliding with the building next door at which point the man slid down the frame to the ground.

The former scaffolding company director pleaded guilty breaching Regulations 4(1)(c) and 8(b)(ii) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Nottingham magistrates fined him a total of £3,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £2,000.

After an Health and Safety Executive investigation it was declared that the tower had not been erected to industry standards.

An accident that occurred on the M25 during work to widen the motorway resulted in the death of a London man.

On the 8th April 2008, the construction employee was talking on his mobile phone in an area cordoned off for the construction work to take place but where works traffic and pedestrians were not seperated. Drowned by the sound of nearby traffic, the reversing alarm was ineffective at alerting the man to the presence of the 8 wheeled vehicle and he died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

The HSE prosecuted Costain Limited for safety failings with relation to the £65 million scheme to ease congestion between junctions 1b and 3 on the M25. The company, of Vanwall Business Park in Maidenhead was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000 after pleading guilty to breaching 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in connection to the death.

Vehicle movements in such a working environment should be controlled and properly planned. Vehicle Banksman have the skills to safely conduct maneuvres by conducting proper risk assessment of the situation and offering advice and adequate signals to the driver while alerting pedestrians to the dangers presented by the activity.

A Lanakshire man has died after a suspended beam that he was underneath came loose from its temporary suspension points, falling 5 metres causing fatal injuries to the workers chest and fractures to his legs and back.

Reading Crown Court heard that on the 29th August 2007, a team of 5 people were installing two new cranes at a facility in Slough, Berkshire when the man was killed. An HSE investigation discovered that the lifting operation, part of the installation of an incinerator at the building, was poorly planned and supervised from the outset.

Slinger Banksman training provides workers with the skills to plan lifting operations and determine loads as safe and secure to proceed. The risks involved in lifting operations, in particular one of such magnitude which required the 1.4 tonne steel beams to be lifted to a height of approximately 18 metres should not be underestimated.

The employer, J H Carruthers Ltd (formerly Konecranes (UK) Ltd) , pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £74,000. A supervisor at the company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £1500 and ordered to pay costs of £400.

Stringent health and safety laws are in place on employers for circumstances involving lifting operations, laws which can begin to be satisfied through accredited Slinger Banksman and lifting equipment training.

An employee of M-tech Engineering Limited fractured two vertebrae and was off work for almost 7 months after falling from a Mobile Scaffold Tower being used to install a steel staircase at a building in Nottingham on 15th April 2009.

The 38 year-old worker fell more than 9 metres from the access system which an HSE investigation uncovered had not been installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and had neither been fitted with adequate guardrails to prevent such a fall.

Information of such critical importance, guidance would be stressed to anyone who had undertaken proper training in the use of mobile scaffold tower systems to both follow manufacturer instructions and fit suitable fall protection systems. The tower was also being supported on a platform that did not provide a suitable base for the access structure.

M-tech Engineering Limited who developed the system of work which led to the accident, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were find £8000 and ordered to pay costs of £4000.

Thomas Long & Sons Limited of Colwick, Nottingham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and were fined £6000 with costs of £3000 for improper planning and management of a construction project.

An engineering company based in Fife, Scotland, has been fined £10,000 after an accident involving a Fork Lift truck resulted in a lathe weighing more than a tonne crushing a worker’s leg.

AG Brown Ltd, a fabrication company that specialises in producing stairs and other metal products for industry, pleaded guilty at Kirkcaldy Sherrif Court to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

On the 26th May 2010, the injured man was working with a colleague to move the 1.2 tonne lathe from one workshop location to another and the pair decided to make use of the company Fork Lift, lifting the lathe using a lifting eye and fabric sling hooked over the forks of the truck. With the forks raised however, the workshop doorway was not high enough to receive the Fork Lift.

The injured man and his colleague proceeded to use company supplied skates, that although suitable for the task, only three out of the 4 skates that should have been provided to complete the job safely were available for use. After the two men placed the lathe on to the skates, the injured man attempted to realign one of the skates to increase stability. At this moment the unsecured lathe toppled and crushed the employee’s right leg.

An HSE investigation following the incident found that AG Brown Ltd had failed to undertake proper risk assessment and that the employees were provided inadequate instruction of how to complete the task.

It was also revealed that the company owned a jib attachment for the Fork Lift truck that would have allowed the men to complete the task safely without the need for the skates.

The latest in a series of safety films has become available following an animated character by the name of Napo.

“Safe Moves” is focused on workplace transport and shows Napo using Fork Lift trucks and other forms of workplace transport. The underlying theme of the film is that transport in the workplace must be well organised and managed, highlighting the key issues that should be considered to achieve this.

Napo is the creation of a consortium of European bodies including the HSE, who sought to create safety videos for use throughout the European Union.

Napo first featured at the EU film festival in Edinburgh in 1998 and has gone on to star in a further 14 films over the years.

Scenes from the film can be downloaded here. http://www.napofilm.net/en/napos-films/napoepisode?filmid=napo-015-safe-moves

A London based manufacturer of windows and doors has been fined after a Polish national suffered fatal head injuries when he was knocked over and crushed by a number of wooden panels.

The employee of M M Contracting Ltd had only worked at the firm for 10 days prior to the accident on 22nd March 2010.

Southwark Crown Court imposed a fine of £26,000 after it heard how the worker was helping his son, also an employee, to remove a large wooden board from between a stack leaning up against a wall. The company’s procedure for the task was for one worker to stand in front of the stack and take the weight while another employee removed the chosen board.

In this instance, the employee buckled and was crushed under the weight of the boards causing him serious head injuries. The subsequent HSE investigation concluded that the firm had no safe policy for storing or removing the boards.

The firm, based in Bedford Road in Walthamstow, pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety laws and was ordered to pay £9,000 in costs on top of the fine.

The HSE investigation also suggested that storing the boards flat or using a purpose built racking system would have greatly reduced the risk of injury.

A construction company and director have been fined following the death of a worker at a site in Hampstead.

The father-of-one was working on a building site when a mini-crawler crane was in the process of lifting a skip.

The skip, containing liquid concrete, overturned and the boom of the crane struck the man causing crush injuries to his upper body. He died at the scene.

Harris Calnan Construction Co. Ltd and its director, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for breaching health and safety legislation.

The HSE investigation showed the company failed to properly plan or supervise lifting operations on the site.

The Court heard the construction site was poorly managed by the company who failed to ensure the lifting operation was carried out safely.

“The attempted lift of a liquid concrete load at a distance far in excess of the crane’s safe working parameters was wholly innapropriate. The potential for overturn in these circumstances is well known, entirely foreseeable and could have been simply prevented.”

Harris Calnan Construction Co. Ltd, of Winchester, pleaded guilty and was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £66,244.

The firm’s director pleaded guilty. He was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

A construction firm has been prosecuted after a scaffolder suffered multiple injuries when he fell seven metres through a roof in Stoke-on-Trent.

The employee of Fred Lewis Scaffold Company Ltd was installing scaffolding at a factory on 30 April 2010.

The Court heard that the man shattered his thigh bone, bruised his lungs, broke both wrists, broke two vertebrae and cracked another.

He was in hospital for six weeks and will never be able to carry out any manual work again as his injuries have left him with considerable pain in his left leg and extremely weak wrists, which will require further surgery.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found the company did not prepare or survey the job properly at the outset and failed to supervise or train its employees adequately.

Fred Lewis Scaffold Company Ltd, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £19,000 costs.

HSE inspector Alastair Choudhury said:

“This case highlights both the dangers of working on fragile roofs and the continual exposure of scaffolders to the risk of falling from height.

“The man with a family to support is now unable to work as a result of an entirely preventable incident. If Fred Lewis Scaffold Company had carried out an adequate survey of this job before starting work and supervised and trained its employees properly, the risks involved would have been identified.

A worker from Humberstone was repairing the roof on aformer textile dye house at Evington Valley Road, Leicester on 3 June 2009 when it gave way and he landed on the concrete floor six metres below. His skull and back were fractured and he died from his injuries later that evening.

The man had been instructed to carry out the work by To bring the building back into use. The manwho instructed him, from Leicester, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to ensure the work he arranged to be carried out was properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner.

He pleaded guilty and was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years at Leicester Crown Court. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £13,800 to the injured man’s family and full costs of £17,337.

HSE inspector Karl Raw said:

“The roof was made of corrugated asbestos cement sheets, and the work required careful planning and consideration of the risks involved. Tragically, xxx failed to do this and to properly supervise the work which resulted in the needless death of a husband and father.

“Safe routes and protective equipment should have been in position to allow the workman to get to work areas without injury, and measures to prevent or mitigate any falls should have been in place.

A maintenance fitter employed by Nottinghamshire firm Van Elle Ltd was driving a wheeled excavator during widening work on the M1 motorway between Junctions 25 and 28 when its boom hit a bridge.

The worker, was not wearing his seatbelt and was thrown over the steering column and through the open front screen, hitting his head on the front excavator blade.

He suffered severe head injuries and was in a coma for two weeks. Rehabilitation lasted a further five months and he is still receiving ongoing physiotherapy.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident on 22 September 2009, found the driver had not received adequate training in use of the excavator.

Magistrates were told he was driving through the site with the excavator boom at an unsafe height. The manufacturer’s guidance states the boom must not be more than four metres high while travelling but in this case the machine was being driven with the boom elevated to more than six metres.

HSE inspector Kevin Wilson said:

“This worker was extremely lucky to escape with his life. As it is he has been left with life-changing injuries.

“They failed to take into account his lack of training for the particular task; there was a risk of striking overhead restrictions from when the journey started with the boom in the elevated position. His injuries could have been mitigated against if the operator had been wearing his seatbelt.”

Van Elle Ltd, of  Pinxton, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The firm was  fined £12,750 and ordered to pay costs of £29,660.

A Hampshire lift manufacturer has been prosecuted after a lorry driver was killed while delivering goods to its factory in Romsey.

The man was working for a haulage company and was delivering pallets of sheet steel to Wessex Lift Co Limited in Hampshire on 16 November 2007.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that the delivery driver had parked the lorry at the side of the road, ready for the pallets to be offloaded by a forklift truck.

The forklift driver, employed by Wessex Lift Co Ltd, was using the forklift to manoeuvre one of the pallets, which weighed approximately one tonne, when it struck the delivery driver across the chest and trapped him against the side of the lorry. He suffered major internal organ failure as a result of crush injuries across his chest. He died shortly afterwards.

HSE’s investigation also found that inadequate controls were in place at the time of the incident to protect people from moving vehicles, and insufficient consideration had been given to the risks involved in offloading.

The court heard that HSE had previously given advice to the company about effective management of workplace transport risks.

HSE Inspector David Bibby said:

“This tragic case highlights the importance of proper planning for deliveries, particularly around the risks of moving forklift trucks.

“Had Wessex Lift Co Limited considered this, they would have identified safer methods for receiving deliveries, something which they implemented immediately after the incident.”

Wessex Lift Co Limited, was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay costs of £60,000.

Bury based firm ‘Spectra Scaffolding’ was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £45,000 costs after an HGV driver from Manchester suffered severe head, back and leg injuries.

The injured man is now paraplegic after the incident on 7 November 2008 at Festival Park, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent when he was crushed by metal tubes which fell from a crane.

He was stood under the load, operating the controls when one of the slings was detached from the crane hook and the tubes fell onto him.

A HSE investigation uncovered that the driver had not been trained so did not know the importance of the hooks safety catch which was faulty, although the company was aware of the fault but had failed to do anything about it.

A Liverpool businessman has been fined £112,000 after a labourer died following a fall from the roof of an industrial unit, just months after another worker was injured in a fall at the same site.

He fell 15 feet while fitting roof panels at a construction site in Toxteth . He lost his balance while on a narrow beam he was using as no scaffolding had been erected.

The father-of-two, from Toxteth, was paralysed from the waist down and died of pneumonia just over seven months later as a result of his injuries.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the man had been hired to fit roof panels on an industrial unit  in High Park Street, Toxteth. But no scaffolding was supplied and he had to carry out the job while standing on four-inch wide steel beams, leading to him losing his balance and falling.

He underwent an eight hour operation after the incident on 12 June 2008 and was readmitted to hospital in December with illnesses related to his condition. He died on 27 January 2009.

Investigations also revealed a bricklayer had escaped with minor injuries after falling from scaffolding at the site in an earlier incident. The worker had refused to continue working for the contractor after the incident.

The contractor of Queen’s Drive, Liverpool, admitted four breaches of health and safety regulations after failing to take steps to prevent a fall which could have resulted in injury, and failing to ensure that work on his site was being carried out safely. He also did not fulfil his legal duty to report the incident to HSE.

He was fined £112,000 and ordered to pay £19,331 in prosecution costs on 13 January 2012.

Last year, 38 workers were killed in Great Britain as a result of a fall and more than 4,000 suffered major injuries. Information on working safely at height is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

The UK’s road freight industry has seen a 237% increase in lift truck-related injuries to workers in the last decade, giving it the worst fork lift safety record of all sectors of the economy, figures show.

A trainee electrician was seriously injured after falling from the raised forks of a forklift, when the vehicle overturned. Plymouth Crown Court heard that CL Electrical Solutions had been contracted to change a number of light bulbs on the ceiling of a warehouse in Plympton, Devon.

The facility was owned by HT Gardner Distribution Ltd, which had agreed to provide the contractor with a forklift truck and a driver to do the job.

A Hertfordshire-based electrical company has been fined £120,000 after a man was left paralysed when he was knocked from a scissor lift.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Ltd after the incident happened on the 25 January 2007 at Manor Royal Industrial Park in Crawley.

Lewes Crown Court heard the company had been subcontracted to design and build the mechanical and electrical systems in a number of new buildings.

A cable installer, who does not want to be named, was working in a scissor lift with two colleagues tying cables into overhead trays when they collapsed, knocking the man out of the lift and causing him to fall eight metres to the floor below.

The man, from Hartlepool, suffered severe spinal injuries and is now paralysed from the waist down.

HSE told the court that Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Ltd had failed to ensure the safety of its employees while carrying out the installation of the cable tray systems.

Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Ltd admitted breaching section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined a total of £120,000 with full costs of £81,927.

After the hearing, HSE’s Inspector Denis Bodger said:

“This tragic incident would have been avoided if the company had ensured all parts of the cable tray system had been properly designed and installed, including how it was attached to the building.

“During installation, when components were failing or showing signs of failure, Skanska took no action.

“When construction work is subcontracted, whether it’s design or installation work, it is essential companies have adequate systems in place to manage this effectively.

“The fine reflects the seriousness of the omissions by this company. Skanska Rashleigh Weatherfoil Ltd employed people to do highly hazardous work and yet failed to take the appropriate steps to ensure their safety.

“It is essential that employers consider all aspects of difficult and dangerous work; health and safety is not just a phrase, it is a considered approach to protecting people in the workplace.”

A Nuneaton recycling company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an 18-year-old employee was pinned to the ground by a forklift truck.

The employee, who has asked not to be identified, was using the forklift to unload a vehicle for Intelligent Recycling Ltd, on St George’s Way, when it overturned and landed on top of him.

He broke his left lower leg, dislocated his left ankle and his left elbow was broken, crushed and dislocated as a result of the incident on 1 March 2010. He was in hospital for nearly a month, has had at least five operations on his left arm and is no longer able to straighten this arm fully.

Nuneaton Magistrates’ Court heard today that the teenager, who had been working for the company for three weeks in his first proper job since leaving education, had received no formal training on operating a forklift truck and no induction training.

An HSE investigation found that other employees also operated forklift trucks without formal training and the yard area was unsupervised.

Also, the only supply of drinking water on site was from a blue hose lying on the floor behind a portable building.

Intelligent Recycling was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 22 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £2,832 costs.

After the hearing HSE inspector Michelle Morrison commented:

“This was an entirely preventable incident which caused serious injuries to an employee in his first job.

“Forklift trucks are involved in nearly a quarter of all workplace transport accidents, often because of poor supervision and inadequate training.

“All companies that use lift trucks must train operators to a minimum standard set by HSE. Intelligent Recycling failed to do this.

“The company also failed to provide water that was suitable for its staff to drink. It’s a basic necessity that everyone should be able to drink clean water and such disregard for staff welfare is unacceptable.”

Intelligent Recycling went into liquidation in January 2011, is no longer trading and as a result did not attend the court hearing.

A Llanelli-based automotive manufacturer has been fined £400,000 after an employee died on the day he was to take voluntary redundancy.

The father-of-two from Loughor was employed by Calsonic Kansei UK Limited, of Llethri Road in the town when he was struck by a forklift truck on 17 March 2008.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the worker had gone onto the factory floor to issue instruction to a forklift truck operator. As he finished speaking the forklift truck reversed into him, knocking him to the ground. He sustained fatal head injuries, and died in Morriston Hospital three days later.

Calsonic Kansei UK Limited, pleaded guilty to a charges under Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and at Swansea Crown Court, the company were fined £400,000 and ordered to pay £44,790.14 costs.

HSE inspector Stephen Jones said:

“It’s fairly routine for forklift trucks to operate within the same area as pedestrians in this industry. However, working procedures and systems need to be in place to prevent vehicles colliding with people.

“This tragic incident could have been avoided had all contractors and employees been aware of the risks, and had the safety procedures been taken to avoid such risks.”

The man’s family issued the following statement:

“He was such a fabulous, lovely and kind-hearted person and a really devoted father. To die on the day he was due to have taken voluntary redundancy is even more tragic.

“Time does not heal. We all miss him so very much and his children are still finding it extremely hard to cope with losing their loving father.

“We hope employers hearing this case will have more regard for health and safety in future as no other family should go through what we have had to endure – losing such a wonderful person from our lives.”

A Yeovil vehicle repair and sales company has today been prosecuted after one of its workers fell from a cage balanced on a fork lift truck.

The worker from Yeovil, Somerset was an employee of Vincents Car Sales Ltd and was carrying out repair work on a high-sided lorry on 18 August 2008 when the incident happened.

He was attempting to change a marker light at the back of the lorry, but the equipment he had been supplied with was not adequate for this task. He had been given a step ladder which wasn’t tall enough. Instead, he placed a metal cage on the forks of a fork lift truck and stood on top of the cage while a colleague raised the forks.

While being raised, the cage came off the forks and the man fell to the ground, fracturing his elbow and badly bruising his shoulder. He continues to suffer from health problems following the incident, including ongoing shoulder pain and back problems.

An HSE investigation found Vincent Car Sales Ltd had not carried out a risk assessment for repairs to high-sided vehicles and had failed to provide a safe system of work.

Since the incident, the firm has entered administration but it was decided the firm would still be liable for prosecution given the severity of the breach.

Vincents Car Sales Ltd, of Vincents Chambers, Market Street, Yeovil, was not present in Bristol Magistrates Court, but the breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (Etc) Act 1974 was proved in its absence. It was fined £5,000.

In 2008/2009 over 4,000 major injuries were caused by falls from height at work. More information about preventing falls from height at work can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls

Overturns of JLG 500RTS scissor lifts HSE has issued a Safety Alert advising users of certain types of scissor lifts to make daily safety checks after five deaths in three separate incidents when the lift overturned.

Following a review by HSE into these fatal accidents,all involving the overturn of a JLG 500RTS scissors lift, it has been established that in all three cases:

* the oscillating axle lockout valve failed as the platform was raised, and, * the lift/drive interlock system did not work allowing the platform to be elevated above 6.7m without the stabilisers being deployed.

In at least one of the three overturns, the scissors lift was driven with the platform above 6.7m which should not be possible.

One of the biggest subjects of contention in training is the culture of some companies only accepting certain licences on their sites (CSCS, CITB etc). This has always been a big cause of frustration for training companies as often jobs are lost due to the increased cost of registration fee’s, course durations etc.

Finally the Health and Safety Executive has commented on the subject and a letter was recently published in a trade magazine on the subject. The letter is reproduced here…

“Dear Editor The legal requirement within construction is to be competent to undertake the task assigned not simply to hold a particular card.

The card is an indication of receiving a set training pack to a given syllabus.

Holding a card is not a legal requirement, just evidence of training (this could even be in house training if it could be demonstrated that it is fit for purpose).

As a result there is no universal card nor one card that is more or less acceptable than another- assuming that they are to the same syllabus, etc.

The problem is one of commercial decision making. In a fixed site this is less of an issue as an employer will generally ensure their employees are trained and can assess their competence.

Main contractors however, can specify whichever system for measuring competence that they deem necessary. So, even if one card has a higher standard than another the contractor can choose either, or none, or both.

HSE is not in a position to tell any main contractor which card to choose, so long as they fulfil the purpose.

We should all remember too that holding a card is no guarantee of competence on a particular day – this could be affected by ill health, lack of sleep, taking prescription medicine, family bereavement and many other distractions”.

Carol Grainger, Workplace Transport Policy Manage