HSE News & Prosecutions – January 2016

Judge's Gavel

National Grid fined £2 million over schoolboy’s death

National Grid, one of the largest gas distributors in the United Kingdom, was fined £2 million and ordered to pay £36,102.90 in costs after a boy was killed playing on one of its pipelines. The 11-year-old boy and his two friends were running along the pipeline to cross the Leeds and Liverpool Canal when the child slipped, struck his head and plunged into the canal—causing him to drown. In its inspection, the HSE found that the company’s records had incorrectly recorded that the pipe was buried and not exposed. This error caused the company to not install safety devices to prevent accidents such as this during regular inspections.

 

Companies sentenced in HSE inspector’s ‘most horrific case’

Valmet Ltd and Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd were fined £410,000 and ordered to pay £214,000 in costs after two workers lost their lives at a Merseyside woodchip factory. Both men were performing maintenance on the conveyor when it unexpectedly began to operate—dragging both men into the machinery. In its investigation, the HSE found that both companies failed to conduct risk assessments for the task as well as provide proper safety precautions.

 

Accident repair company fined for failure to comply

DM Accident Repair Centre Limited, an accident repair company, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,666 in costs after it failed to comply with an improvement notice from the HSE. The company had been using a spray booth that had not been inspected by a competent person. After issuing the notice, the owner was found to be uncooperative—even after repeated attempts from the HSE to get the business to comply.

 

Care provider prosecuted after disabled man died from severe scalding

Ark Housing Association Limited was fined £75,000 after a care worker lowered a patient into a scalding hot bath. The 60-year-old-man had limited movement as a result of being diagnosed with cerebral palsy and had also been diagnosed with epilepsy. When the care worker lowered the man into the bath without checking the water temperature, the man suffered an epileptic fit, as well as severe burns to his feet and lower legs. The injuries caused the man to die after two weeks spent in hospital. In its investigation, the HSE found that the company had not provided its staff with training or instruction on the proper bath and shower procedures nor did it provide thermometers to its staff.