• Robert Spicer

Health and safety: new prosecutions

Health and Safety Executive v 2 Sisters Food Group (2019) Doncaster magistrates’ court, March 29

Statutory reference: ss. 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

2 Sisters Food group, a food processing company, has been fined following an incident in which a worker suffered serious crush injuries.

The facts

  • In September 2012 an employee of the company was trying to clear a blockage on a conveyancing system at its site in Scunthorpe.

  • He was struck by a large metal stillage which crushed him at chest height against the end of the system. He suffered multiple injuries including fractured ribs, a fractured spine and a punctured lung.

  • The company had failed to identify deficiencies in the guarding of the machine. The clearing of blockages was normally carried out while the system was still in operation.

The decision

The company was fined £1.4 million plus £38,000 costs under ss. 2and 3 of HSWA.

Health and Safety Executive v GLA Land and Property Ltd (2019) Southwark Crown Court, May 2

Statutory reference: s.3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

GLA Land Property Ltd, the land and property section of the Greater London Authority, has been fined after the collapse of a wall and an advertising hoarding.

The facts

  • In January 2014 a family of four were walking along a pavement to Catford station when a wall and hoarding was blown onto the father of the family.

  • He suffered serious facial and skull injuries. The family remains affected by the incident.

  • GLA Land and Property engaged a company to manage and maintain the site. It had failed to oversee the contract properly. This resulted in the wall being not properly maintained.

  • The wall developed a crack which weakened and caused the hoarding to act as a sail in string winds. This led to the collapse of the wall.

The decision

GLA Land and Property Ltd was fined £250,000 plus £14,600 costs under s.3 of HSWA.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that a whole family had been traumatised by seeing the father suffer serious injuries.

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