HSE News and Prosecutions – September 2015

Global energy firm fined £1,400,000 after worker dies in fire

Total UK Limited, a global energy firm, was fined £1.4 million and ordered to pay £34,084.05 in costs after a 24-year-old employee lost his life in an oil refinery fire. The employee was working near a crude oil distillation unit when the fire broke out. In its investigation, the HSE found that an uncontrolled release of crude oil was responsible for the fire. Had the firm conducted regular and thorough risk assessments, the fire and death could have been avoided.

Manufacturer fined after worker suffers head injuries

Rotork UK Limited, a Bath-based manufacturer, was fined £15,000, ordered to pay £1,741.12 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120 after a worker was struck in the head by a machine chuck key. The 30-year-old worker was working at a lathe when the chuck key was ejected and struck him in the face—fracturing his right eye socket, damaging several teeth and causing bruising to his brain. In its investigation, the HSE found that the manufacturer failed to install proper guards on the machine—which breached Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 33(1) and 33(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Building contractor sentenced over unsafe working practices

Betcat International Limited, an international construction firm based in Spain, was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £3,761 in costs after multiple construction safety offences were discovered. The firm was hired to refurbish and alter an existing building in London, but upon conducting its investigation, the HSE found multiple safety violations: improperly installed scaffolding, lack of guard rails, no dust and particle protection and no fire alarms. These offences violated Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and placed the workers, subcontractors and visitors in danger.