Local Authority Prosecuted After Wall Collapses onto Child
A six year old girl was seriously injured when a wall partly owned by a Council collapsed onto her during a family barbeque. The girl was placed in a medically induced coma and spent 10 days in a hospital, of which 7 days were spent in an intensive care unit.
A HSE inspection revealed that the council failed to inspect the wall even after concerns were raised by residents in the two years leading up to the incident.
The Council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, recieved a fine of £133,333 and were ordered to pay additional charges of £21,419.55.
In summing up the case a HSE Inspector concluded that the incident was not only “wholly avoidable” but “could easily have been fatal”.
Care Home Fined After Pensioner’s Death
A family-run, Glasgow based care home has been fined £60,000 after a resident suffered fatal injuries from a fall down the stairs. The resident of the care home was found at the bottom of the stairs to the boiler room with a significant head injury. The door to the boiler room was designed to lock automatically upon closing to restrict access, however a fault in the doors mechanism prevented the door from closing as intended, leaving the area unsecure. The care home pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, which stipulates that employers are required to make sure all work based equipment is suitable for the purpose it is provided.
The HSE inspector overseeing the case concluded that “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”
Worker Fatally Crushed at Paper Mill
A trucking and paper mill company have both been fined after a worker of the trucking company was fatally crushed by a shovel loader while working at the paper mill.
According to the inspection conducted by the HSE, procedures to clearly designate safe operating areas for pedestrians and vehicles had not been put in place. Both companies pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The trucking company was fined £350,000, ordered to pay costs of £6,613.90 and to pay a £170 victim surcharge. The paper mill was also fined £350,000, ordered to pay costs of £6,711.90 and to pay a £170 victim surcharge. The HSE inspector said “This death would have been prevented had an effective system for managing workplace transport been in place. This is a reminder to all employers to properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risks from moving vehicles in their workplaces”.