Engineering Firm Fined for Health and Safety Negligence

An engineering firm from Rochdale has been fined £8,000 after a 21-year-old employee lost three fingers following an industrial saw accident.  Adelaide Engineering Company Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching both the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and the 1999 Safety at Work Regulations.

The firm had failed to provide any form of the training to the employee. The victim subsequently attempted to use the machine to cut a piece of steel when there was no adjustable guard present to prevent injuries from another exposed blade. That negligence led to the worker from Bury severely injuring his hand.

“It’s astonishing that an employee was left to work unsupervised on the saw, despite not having any previous experience or receiving any training on how to use it safely. As a result, he has lost parts of three fingers on his left hand and will have to live with the injury for the rest of his life,” Health and Safety Investigating Inspector, Laura Moran, revealed.

Adelaide Engineering Company Ltd was fined a six figure sum and told to pay prosecution costs amounting to £2,514 earlier this month for failing to ensure the appropriate safety measures were in place for employees and not assessing the risks posed to those using the machine.

“Engineering firms must treat the safety of workers as their top priority. It’s vital they properly assess the risks posed by machines to make sure employees aren’t put in danger,” Miss Moran concluded.

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Health and Safety Breach Led to Construction Worker’s Death

Richard Mark Thornton, a construction worker from Longridge near Preston was crushed to death by a crane that overturned at a warehouse in Liverpool on the 29th March 2007. Mr Thornton was constructing a new floor in the warehouse at the time of the accident.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted both his employer, Siteweld Construction Ltd, and the managing director Benjamin Lee. The HSE held them both responsible for not making sure the work was planned and carried out safely.

“If the work had been properly planned, and the crane had been properly maintained, then Mr Thornton would still be alive today. It is vital construction companies learn from this case to prevent similar deaths in the future.”

It was found by the HSE that the crane had not been adequately maintained and other workers nearby could not hear the alarm system. The override switch and the switch that stopped the crane from lifting loads beyond its maximum weight were also found to be faulty.

“It is tragic that Mr Thornton died because a series of health and safety warnings and procedures were ignored. The crane was simply not capable of lifting the steel column, when it was nearly 18 metres away, without it being overloaded.”

Managing director Benjamin Lee was fined £80,000 and had to pay £18,478 in prosecution costs. He also admitted that he was guilty of breaching Regulation 8(1) of the 1998 Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment regulations.

Siteweld Construction Ltd also admitted their guilt to the same health and safety offence. The company received a fine of £50. However, as they had ceased trading, there were no costs.

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Plumber Prosecuted for Breaching Health and Safety Regulations

A plumber from Ipswich has been awarded community service after several breaches of health and safety regulations put lives in danger. The 44-year-old Andrew Davies worked illegally on gas appliances without having the legal requirements to carry out the repairs, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard last week.

Mr. Davies had issued an invalid safety record to the Kwan Thai restaurant in Ipswich when attempting to work on the gas fittings and appliances in the establishment. An investigation by Gas Safe and Ipswich Borough Council found his work to be so substandard that it posed “an immediate danger to the life of the property.”

“It is against the law for anyone who is not registered with Gas Safe to carry out work on a gas appliance. When unqualified workers try to bypass the law in this way they are not only putting themselves at risk of prosecution, and potentially a large fine or a spell in prison – they are also putting their customers’ lives at risk,” Health and Safety Executive Ivan Brooke revealed.

Mr. Davies received a prohibition notice from HSE earlier this year to prevent him from working on gas appliances until he had obtained the required registration from Gas Safe. He pleaded guilty to breaching 1998 Gas Safety Regulations and the Health and Safety at Work etc. 1974 and was told to pay £3,527 in addition to 100 hours of community service.

“If you’re employing an engineer to fit, fix, or service gas appliances, you should always make sure that person is Gas Safe registered. If they say they are, don’t just take their word for it. Check they are on the Gas Safe Register and check their ID card when they arrive at your door,” Gas Safe Register Chief Executive, Paul Johnston concluded.

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Preparing for Winter

Preparing for Winter

Let’s avoid slipping and falling!

Winter is here and Employers and controllers of property need to look at and assess the foreseeable hazards and resultant risks that are on our very own door step.

You will need to prepare for heavy frost, snow & ice.

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Managing Health, Safety & Welfare in Educational Premises

Managing Health, Safety & Welfare in Educational Premises

Welcome back to school….
For most, the summer break was exactly that, fun holidays, rest and relaxation and a few sunny days thrown in, but for the Head, Bursar/Business Manager or Premises Manager, you have no doubt been frantically busy preparing for the new term in order to welcome back your pupils and staff.

Alas, preparing for the new term means lots of work, planning and if you are the premises Manager most likely a dose of work related stress in ensuring all those repairs and renewals are ready for the new term.

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Managing the Health & Safety of Young Workers

Young People at Work

It’s that time of year again, when school leavers are seeking their first full time/permanent employment or work experience during the prolonged summer break. Such arrangements are particularly popular and beneficial to both employer and young person.

Often it is a suitable means for a young person to save money to put towards that now “ubiquitous” gap year experience.

Whilst many employers are enthusiastic to offer employment or work experience, there are valid Health & areas that need to be considered in order to ensure young persons Health, Safety & Welfare whilst at work.

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Why is Health & Safety training so important?

Health & Safety Training

Mitchell Winter, head of Practice at Winter & Company providing Health & Safety training comments on “Why is Health & Safety training so important?”

In my opinion the simple answer is, if you want something done properly, make sure the person is suitably trained as if they have no prior training nor experience how on earth are they going to get it right! And if they get it wrong, we have to ask what harm and or consequences may occur? Well the simple answer to the latter is quite simply, harm occurring to the employee (physical and or mental) together with physical damage to the property and business in loss of income and productivity.

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An employers guide to complying with Fire Safety


My name is Mitchell Winter and for my sins I am head of Practice here at Winter & Company Health & Safety, I receive a steady stream of enquiries asking for advice and assistance in matters of Fire Safety, bearing in mind that Fire Certificates are now null and void and that Fire safety is no longer the responsibility of the Fire Dept and has been transferred directly to the occupier and or controller of commercial property. Read more »

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What is the correct way to sit at a workstation?


My day starts at 6.30am with a swim followed by breakfast and a read of the Times, arriving at the office around 07.45 ready to answer the daily stream of emails. I have to say that in the last 18 months there seems to be a consistent trend as many of the emails I receive from clients and those seeking advice relate to workstation safety. Questions raised range from “my back/neck hurts, is it workstation related to how do I know if I am sitting properly or the old chestnut question, can I be contaminated by radiation when using my computer? Read more »

Posted in Workstation Risk Assessment | 2 Comments
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