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  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer

New health and safety prosecutions: fairgrounds, offshore installations and more

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service v Craig Boswell (2019) Hamilton Sheriff Court, May 20

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

Craig Boswell, a fairground ride inspector, has been fined for issuing a safety certificate without a safety report.

The facts

  • In June 2016 Craig Boswell, trading as Amusement Inspection Services, issued a Declaration of Compliance for the Tsunami rollercoaster ride at Strathclyde Country Park.

  • The declaration stated that the ride was safe to operate. Later that month the ride derailed and crashed to the ground, causing serious injuries to those on board.

  • B had failed to obtain a suitable report of the non-destructive testing which showed that safety parts of the ride had been thoroughly examined while it was disassembled. Despite this, he signed the Declaration.

The decision

Boswell was sentenced to a Community Payback Order of 160 hours unpaid work to be carried out within 12 months, under s.3 of HSWA.

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service v Marathon Oil UK LLC (2019) Aberdeen Sheriff Court, May 20

Statutory reference: regulation 4 of the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 (OIPFEER) and s.33 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA).

Marathon Oil has been fined £1,160,000 following a high-pressure gas release.

The facts

  • In December 2015 pipework on the Brae Alpha offshore platform ruptured as a result of corrosion. Two tonnes of high-pressure methane gas was released.

  • The release caused widespread damage on the platform. No injuries were suffered.

  • Marathon had failed to undertake any suitable and sufficient inspection of the pipework. This had resulted in an unacceptable risk of serious personal injury or death.

  • The company was served with an improvement notice requiring it to implement an effective pipework inspection and maintenance regime.

The decision

The company was fined £1,160,000 under regulation 4 of OIPFEER and s.33 of HSWA.

Health and Safety Executive v Grantech Ltd (2019) Mold magistrates’ court, May 21

Statutory reference: regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and regulation 9 of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

Grantech Ltd, a granite worktop manufacturer, has been fined for failing to carry out safety checks.

The facts

  • In June 2018 the HSE inspected the company’s site and discovered that statutory examinations of lifting equipment were not carried out at the required six-monthly intervals.

  • When examinations were carried out, the same faults were reported because the company was not taking action to carry out repairs.

The decision

The company was fined £30,000 plus £4900 under regulation 5 of PUWER and regulation 9 of LOLER.

Health and Safety Executive v Farnell Building Contractors (2019) Manchester magistrates’ court, May 21

Statutory reference: regulation 19 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM).

Stephen Farnell, trading as Farnell Building Contractors, a building company, has been fined following the collapse of a wall.

The facts

  • In May 2018 Farnell was demolishing a garage at a site in Colne. A wall collapsed onto the home owner.

  • The owner suffered serious injuries. His leg was amputated below the knee, he suffered head injuries which caused memory loss and a serious shoulder injury.

  • The company had failed to provide suitable and sufficient measures to prevent the structure collapsing during the demolition work.

  • It had also failed to prevent other people entering the work area.

The decision

Farnell was sentenced to 120 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £1500 under regulation 19 of CDM.

Health and Safety Executive v Viridor Waste Management Ltd (2019) Sefton magistrates’ court, May 22

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

Viridor Waste Management Ltd has been fined after a worker suffered serious hand injuries.

The facts

  • In October 2017 an employee of the company was working on a fridge dismantling line at the company’s site in St Helens.

  • He was using hydraulic cutters which stopped working. He reported the defect but the procedure to make the equipment safe was not followed.

  • The cutters were left close to where he was working. When he moved them, the cutters amputated the top of his right-hand index finger and partially severed another finger.

  • Defects with the cutters were common but problems were not always reported and the procedure for lock-off and isolation was inconsistently applied.

The decision

The company was fined £133,000 plus £4200 costs under s.2 of HSWA.

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