• Robert Spicer

West Country Health And Safety Prosecutions

Warehouse fall: Bristol roofing company fined Mitie Tilley Roofing Ltd, a Bristol based company, has been fined £10,000 for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after an employee fell through a rooflight at a warehouse in Edinburgh. Three employees of the company were carrying out patch repairs on the flat roof of the warehouse. The worker was seriously injured. The HSE found that the risk assessment was not appropriate for the work and there was no safe system of work.

Mower incident: £12,000 fine Health and Safety Executive v Cirencester Town Council (2014) Cheltenham magistrates’ court, August 4. Cirencester Town Council has been fined following an incident in which an employee suffered serious injuries when a mower overturned. Significant points of the case • A groundsman employed by the council was carrying out routine cutting on the outside slope of the Cirencester Amphitheatre. The grass was two feet high. This made it difficult to see the ground conditions. The mower overturned, striking the worker. He suffered four fractured ribs and bruising. • The slope being mowed was 64 degrees. The mower was not suitable for slopes in excess of 25 degrees. • The mower was unsuitable for the task in hand. The council had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the work. The injured employee had not received proper training, information or instructions on how to carry out the work. The council was fined £12,000 plus £17,000 costs under section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees. An HSE inspector commented after the case that the worker could easily have been killed, having been put at unnecessary risk because there were several other ways the work could have been safely carried out. It was an entirely avoidable incident and it was hoped that it served to remind employers to take all site conditions into account, including slopes, before choosing equipment to cut slopes.

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