On the 4th April 2018, at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, a construction company was sentenced for health and safety breaches after an employee suffered life threatening injuries.
Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Health and Safety Team
The Court heard that in September 2016 an employee, whilst working in a deep excavation, was struck to the head when a large segment of concrete fell on him resulting in multiple injuries, consisting of fractures to his ribs, skull and vertebrae.
A full and detailed investigation was conducted by the Health & Safety Executive which revealed a number of excavations had been dug out by the company for new tanks and pipework.
Appropriate measures were not put in place to support concrete which had been displaced during the work which had fallen into the excavation where the employee was working.
The Relevant Health and Safety Law | Kangs Regulatory Law Advisors
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (‘the Act’) provides:
‘2 General duties of employers to their employees.
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular—
(a) the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;
(b) arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
(c) the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;
(d) so far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
(e) the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.’
The Hearing | Ignoring Basic Safe Guards | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
The company admitted to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of the Act, was fined £70,000 and ordered to pay costs of just over £4,000.
HSE Inspector Alison Outhwaite said:
‘The employee’s injuries were life changing and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.’
How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters of health and safety law.
Our specialist lawyers are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the health and safety executive through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the lawyers named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.