• Robert Spicer

Trench injury: unsafe system of work:company fined £200,000

Trench injury: £200,000 fine

Health and Safety Executive v Forefront Utilities Ltd (2017) Maidstone Crown Court, April 12

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

Forefront Utilities Ltd, a company specialising in gas infrastructure, has been fined after a worker suffered serious injury when working in a trench.

The facts

· In May 2014 an employee of the company was working in a trench in Rochester, Kent, to connect gas pipes. The pipes were resting on timber across the trench. A pipe fell into the trench and struck the worker. He suffered serious injuries including a fractured spine.

· The method for jointing newly laid sections of pipe to previously laid pipe was unsafe.

The decision

The company was fined £200,000 plus £56,000 costs for a breach of s.2, HSWA.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that if a suitable safe system of work had been in place before the incident, the life changing injuries suffered by the worker could have been prevented.

Recent Posts

See All


England’s coronavirus ban on evictions came to an end on May 32, 2021. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has reported that 400,000 private renters have been served with eviction notices or told to expect


DAMAGES Lost years of earnings Case Head v Culver Heating Co Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 34 Facts H was the managing director of EMSL, his own heating and ventilation company. He was negligently exposed to as

More recent employment cases

RACE DISCRIMINATION Harassment Stale training Case Allay (UK) Ltd v Gehlen UKEAT/0031/20/AT Facts G, a man of Indian origin, was employed by A in October 2016. In August 2017 he told his line manager