Published on: 5th Feb 2016
These are the latest prosecutions outlined by the HSE which demonstrate the responsibilities and legal obligations of business owners to ensure their compliance with health and safety regulations.
Case 1: Spanish man left critical after being served caustic soda
A 48 year old Spanish man was served caustic soda whilst visiting a bar in Leeds City Centre. The soda (sodium hydroxide) burned through his oesophagus, leaving him fighting for his life.
Film Director David Caminal from Barcelona wanted to try a Yorkshire pale ale and was instead served a glass of cleaning fluid after health and safety procedures had failed to be put in place. Company Director and Bar Manager at the New Conservatory Bar pleaded guilty and was personally fined £20,000, His company TNC Cafe Bars and Music Ltd fined £5,000, costs of £17,859 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Case 2: Workers hand lost in machine after failed Health & Safety procedures
A 50-year-old employee had been feeding a granulator machine with waste plastic. During the process the machine slowed down so he went to look through an inspection hatch to find the cause. He was reaching inside the machine, in order to pull through the plastic which was slowing the machine, when the plastic wrapped around his right hand and dragged it into the granulator blade.
It was found that CP Plastics Ltd did not have the sufficient health and safety risk assessments in place and therefore pleaded guilty to two offences, one breach of Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and one breach under Section 1 of the Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
In an unusual ruling the company was fined £1500, but the judge also ordered CP Plastics to pay £17,000 in compensation to the injured employee, and ordered to pay £1,500 towards prosecution costs.
Case 3: Firm fined after man dies at waste site in Sheffield
A scrap metal recycling company based in Sheffield has been fined for safety failings after a worker was killed when he was hit in the head by an exploding gas cylinder.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how Tony Johnson, aged 55, was working at the Walter Heselwood recycling site on 16 June 2009 when a pressurised gas cylinder was put through a shearing machine causing it to explode. A large section of the cylinder hit Mr Johnson in the head causing fatal injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a number of safety failures by Walter Heselwood Limited. They had no effective health and safety management system in place and failed to adequately assess the risks involved with processing different types of scrap material. The company also failed to put in place a range of measures to reduce the risks, for example by providing a blast wall.
Walter Heselwood Limited of Stevenson Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £120,000 with £40,000 costs.
Case 4: Huddersfield man dies after falling from scaffolding
A man who died after falling 60ft off scaffolding at a local hospital has been named. He was construction worker Marko Petrovic from Ossett, who was working on the rear of Calderdale Royal Hospital when the incident happened.
He fell 60 feet and suffered fatal multiple injuries.He was treated by staff at the hospital, but they were unable to save his life. Police have launched a major investigation alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into his death.
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