National Exhibition Centre Ltd (‘the company’) has received a substantial fine from Birmingham Magistrates’ Courts on 16 November 2020 after admitting offences contrary to Health & Safety Legislation which resulted in an accident causing serious head injuries to a freelance worker.
Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors explains the circumstances.
The team at Kangs Solicitors is here to assist. Please feel free to call us for an initial no obligations confidential discussion.
The Circumstances | Kangs Regulatory Solicitors
A freelance worker was struck on the head as the result of a 11.5kg scenery counterbalance weight plunging from a platform 11m overhead and which resulted in extensive surgery to save his life.
An investigation by Health & Safety Inspectors from Birmingham City Council’s Environmental Health Team discovered that:
- measures in place on the stage’s fly-platform were inadequate to deal with scenery weights, which should not have been stored at that height,
- the risk assessment failed to address the risk of scenery weights falling from that height.
Relevant Law | Kangs Solicitors Health and Safety Team
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 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 the employer’s duty under the proceeding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends includes in particular –
- The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- The provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as it is reasonably practicable, safe, without risk to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.’
The Hearing | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
- The Magistrates were informed that the company had cooperated fully with the investigation and had appointed a contractor to install fencing on the fly-platform to ensure that such an accident could not happen again.
- The Magistrates imposed a fine of £400,000, costs of £8,864.34 and £170 victim surcharge.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Health & Safety Solicitors
Kangs Solicitors has a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with all matters of Health and Safety law.
Our specialist solicitors are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire process from the initial intervention by the Health & Safety Executive through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any subsequent criminal prosecution.
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.