Injury Compensation News

Fine for Company after Worker Injured in Work Accident

March 1, 2016

A manufacturing company based in Manchester has been issued a £12,000 after one of their employees sustained injuries to their leg in an accident at the plant.

Bendcrete Leisure is a manufacturer of sports apparatus made of concrete, notably skate parks and climbing walls, as well as outdoor table tennis tables. During the manufacturing process of the later, an employee of Bendcrete Leisure was injured.

The incident in question occurred on the 20th February last year, when an employee – who has retained their anonymity throughout the proceedings, was using an overhead crane to move one of the heavy tables towards of four other such tables. They were all balanced atop of two resin barrels, and when the final table was lowered down, the barrels gave out.

The employee was situated near the tables, beside the crane, and when the barrels broke the entire stack of tables – each a tonne weight – fell on top of him. His legs were crushed, and though fellow employees were able to free him, when he was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital, he was admitted for ten weeks. During that time he recovered from his injuries, but he has been unable to return to work.

The Health and Safety Executives (HSE) proceeded to investigate the workplace accident, and found that the entire procedure for moving the table tennis tables had never been planned or supervised. Bendcrete Leisure Ltd was prosecuted by the HSE for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The case proceeded to the Trafford Magistrate’s Court, where the company conceded liability for their role in the accident. The negligent employer was then fined £12,000 and ordered to pay an additional £3,485 in protection costs.

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Injury Sustained at Food Packaging Factory Results in Fine for Company

April 4, 2015

A fine of £10,000 has been issued to a company situated in Gateshead after a staff member was injured at the factory.

The employee, who has remained anonymous, was injured on 22nd of November 2013 as they were preparing packaging in the Integrated Packaging Ltd facility in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. The trainee was endeavouring to switch two belts of the cutting machine as it was in operation.

The thirty-year-old employee’s finger got caught in the machine between the feed belt and the drive roller. The incident caused the man to lose the upper part of the index finger on his right hand. The employee was taken to hospital, where operations were carried out on his hand. Despite returning to work two months after the incident, the employee reportedly still experiences difficulty with fine motor movements.

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation of the incident, noting that there was no guard to ensure digits did not get caught in the gap between the drive roller and feed belt. The employee was also not informed of other safety procedures regarding the size of the carton material he was working on, and that the machine should have been turned off before the belt-switching procedure was carried out.

Integrated Packing Ltd had already received a notice in 2007 when inspectors found that they failed to adequately train employees regarding safe use of the machines. In 2009, a comparable incident saw that the company was prosecuted after inspectors found that there was no guard to prevent injury in a cutting machine similar to the one being investigated in the current case.

Integrated Packing Ltd plead guilty to the charges brought against them for breaching the terms of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 regarding the lack of proper instruction, information and supervised training of its employees. The Gateshead Magistrates Court fines the company £10,000, in addition to costs, for their negligence in the accident.

A inspector for the HSE, Natalie Wright, has stated that the incident could have been prevented if the company had taken reasonable measures to ensure the safety of its employees using the machine.

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Company Receives Fine for Deadly Crane Accident

October 30, 2014

A £90,000 fine has been issued to a company situated in Oldham after an employee died in a crane accident at his workplace. The company have also been ordered by the Manchester Crown Court to pay £35,000 in prosecution costs.

The tragic accident occurred on the 11th July 2011 when Michael Wickstead of Radcliffe, Greater Manchester was at work for Refinery Supplies Ltd., situated in Chadderton. The company manufactures specialist equipment for use in refining metals such as lead and zinc.

Mr Wickstead was involved in the manufacture of steel vessel that weighed three tonnes, which was being held in place by a crane overhead. A colleague of Mr Wickstead was moving a different container with a different crane when the two cranes collided. This caused the steel vessel that Mr Wickstead was working on to fall and crush him.

The injuries sustained by Mr Wickstead were substantial, and proved fatal. An inquiry conducted by the Health and Safety followed his death and investigated the events surrounding the incident. It was uncovered that Refinery Supplies Ltd. did not have any clear protocol laid out to prevent such injuries occurring from colliding cranes. Additionally, there was a lack of safety mechanisms, such as anti-collision devices, as a preventative measure for such crane collisions.

As Refinery Supplies Ltd. were in breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, they were prosecuted at the Manchester Crown Court. Company representatives have plead guilty for the charges brought against them. They were fined £90,000 and told to pay £35,000 in prosecution costs.

Helen Jones, a HSE inspector said that the failure of Refinery Supplies Ltd to adhere to minimum safety standards resulted in the distressing loss of Mr Wickstead’s life, which could have been avoided. She has also stressed how important it is for employers to consider the safety of each of their employees and prevent future tragedies. She said that the type of accident that claimed Mr Wickstead’s life had occurred on previous occasions, but without the fatal outcome because of the precautionary steps taken by the companies.

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Businessman Prosecuted for Failing to Prevent Risk of Fall from Height at Work

January 17, 2014

A businessman has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to prevent the risk of a fall from height at work.

Rajesh Voralia – a textile trader with offices in West Drayton, Hillingdon – was prosecuted for failing to prevent the risk of a fall from height at work after a passing HSE inspector spotted two of his employees working dangerously close to the edge of an unprotected roof.

The official immediately stopped the men from working, and served a prohibition order on Voralia preventing any further work from taking place on the roof. Mr Voralia told the official that he was unaware the two men were on the roof and that they must have been sent up there by his assistant warehouse manager.

A subsequent HSE inspection found that access to the roof was via an unsecured ladder which had worn feet, damaged rungs and which only projected 20 cms above roof level. The roof itself was sloped and there were a number of fragile roof-lights adding further risk of a fall from height at work.

The Westminster Magistrates Court heard that Voralia was a textile trader, and that the premises in Hillingdon were used for sorting discarded rags for recycling. HSE officer Jane Wolfenden explained to the magistrates that just prior to the risk of a fall from height at work being identified on 30th August 2012, a leak had developed in the roof which was spoiling the rags.

She said “Mr Voralia told [the] HSE there was no work at height taking place in the unit despite the fact that there was a ladder available and that the unit had a mezzanine floor. Whilst there was no actual injury in this case, the risk of serious injury or death from falls during roof work is high and Mr Voralia could have easily prevented such work by removing access equipment and issuing a blanket instruction to his staff not to go on the roof”.

Magistrates find Voralia £4,000 with £3,500 costs for failing to prevent the risk of a fall from height at work after he admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

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