Sunday, 30 April 2017

Nottinghamshire County Council fined £1,010,269 after a member of the public was struck by a tractor in a park

Nottinghamshire County Council was fined £1,010,269 (inc costs) after a disabled member of the public was struck by a vehicle used for collecting branches.
The circumstances were:
  • Council employees were working in the County Park in Rufford Abbey on 1 June 2015, collecting branches and transporting them, using a tractor mounted grab attachment, to be burned.
  • The branches in the grab attachment obscured the vision at the front.
  • The council failed to implement a safe system of work for this activity in that they failed to segregate vehicle movements from the public.
  • They failed to train the workers to the required level to operate the mounted grab and act as banksman. 
  • The machine was not suitable for transporting materials long distances.
  • The company also failed to supervise and adequately plan the work sufficiently in a public place and 
  • As a result they put their own employees and members of the public at risk.
  • During these operations, a disabled man was on a guided walk in the park. 
  • The worker using the tractor to transport branches through the park could not see the member of public ahead and collided with him.
  • The 71-year-old man suffered serious bruising and injuries to arms legs and head.

The HSE inspector said:
“The failure to properly plan this work and put in place straight forward control measures not only put the gentleman at risk but also endangered other members of the public walking with him. Duty holders have the responsibility to assess the work they do in public areas to lower the risk of harm and injury, particularly when they introduce new plant or equipment.”

Poor guarding causes loss of 2 finger in noodle-making machine

SCLA Limited was fined £30,000 + costs after a worker suffered life changing hand injuries while operating machinery.
The circumstances were:
  • On 17 December 2015 the worker was working to clear a blockage on one of the noodle production lines.
  • A risk assessment was in place but was unsuitable.
  • The company failed to ensure that the guards on the machine being used provided the necessary protection for the operators.
  • The worker's index and middle fingers on his right hand were severed by the machine.

The HSE inspector said:
“The consequences of not guarding dangerous machinery are often catastrophic and life changing. This case demonstrates a straightforward, systematic approach to assessing machinery and ensuring that it is adequately guarded can play a significant part in reducing the risk of injury.”

New speeding fines introduced

Quite Draconian new speeding fines have recently been introduced.

The above chart shows the different bands.  For example, if you were doing 43 mph in a 40 mph zone, you'd be in band A.  The police normally allow a 10% error, so they'd probably ignore 43 mph, but not necessarily so. However, if you were doing 52 mph in a 40 mph zone, you would be in band B.

The following is what could happen:

  • Band A means any combination of 3 points on your licence and a fine of up to 50% of
           your weekly
  • Band B means any combination of 4 to 6 points on your licence, a disqualification of 7
           to 28 days and a fine of up to 100% of your weekly earnings.
  • Band C means any combination of 6 points on your licence a disqualification of 7 to 56
           days and a fine of up to 150% of your weekly earnings.

  • Friday, 14 April 2017

    Essar fined £1.7M for explosion at oil refinery

    Oil company Essar has been fined £1,707,644 (inc.costs) following an explosion at its Stanlow refinery.
    The circumstances were:
    1. A furnace as part of the main distillation unit had been shut down.
    2. A safety critical valve was ordered but installed incorrectly.
    3. Essar failed to correctly validate its operation.
    4. Essar failed to recognise the system also had a by-pass line  which defeated the trip’s operation.
    5. Although the main fuel line to the furnace had been isolated, because of [4] the secondary fuel line had not been isolated.
    6. During restart on 14 November 2013, extremely flammable hydrocarbons were allowed to enter the unignited furnace via the secondary line.
    7. Heat from another furnace nearby triggered an explosion.
    8. This destroyed the furnace and started a number of fires which the Fire Service had to safely bring under control.
    9. There were no injuries but the damage totalled £20M.

    Bakery fined £78,000 for two injuries due to insufficient guarding

    Penrith based bakery Bells of Lazonby Limited was fined £77,990 (inc.costs) after two workers suffered hand injuries while operating machinery on site.
    The circumstances were:
    • The company failed to equip machinery with the correcting guarding.
    • On 26 January 2016 a worker lost the top of their right hand middle finger, after it caught the moving blade of a dough-dividing machine.
    • On 29 March 2016 an employee’s left index finger made contact with the cutting jaws of a wrapping machine.


    Lincolnshire company fined £211,000 for laceration to hand

    Moy Park Ltd was fined £211,924 (inc.costs) after a worker was injured when a machine started up.
    The circumstances were:
    • There was no safe system of work in relation to isolating procedures.
    • An engineer was checking the blades on the cutting line when the machine restarted. 
    • He wasn’t able to move his hand away from the blade he was inspecting when the machine started up. 
    • He suffered deep laceration to his hand.