- Mr Nicholls had been sub-contracted by Norfolk-based Maintenance 24-7 Ltd for the paint job because the company did not possess the correct equipment or expertise.
- A pavement licence should have been obtained to create a properly segregated safe-working area, but was not.
- Therefore, there was no form of segregation to prevent vehicles or pedestrians from passing under or near the work area.
- Ladders were specified as the chosen method of work.
- Scaffolding or a mobile elevated work platform would have provided a safer option for accessing the façade.
- After the finding the façade was higher than the ladder he had with him, the roofer opted to improvise.
- He placed it on the roof of his van and worked from it fully-extended some eight metres above the ground with a labourer providing the footing.
Thursday, 29 May 2014
- The label printing machine on which the accident occurred and a further three printing machines at the factory had inoperable interlocked guards.
- Despite having assessed the risks, the company did not identify this danger and instead relied on instructing operators to close the guards.
- An employee was trying to clear a piece of adhesive from the anvil of the machine while it was running, which he could do because of the defective interlocks
- His right hand became caught and two of his fingers got crushed in an unguarded in-running nip.
- He subsequently made a full recovery
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
- The machine attached labels to packets of rice.
- An interlock on a guard on the conveyor rollers and labeller had been deliberately defeated.
- On 27 March 2012, when the machine failed to stick a label to a box, it ended up on one of the unguarded rollers.
- A worker, Khalil Ahmed tried to pull it off but his right hand became trapped, injuring three fingers.
- In November 2009, the company was fined £140,000 for similar failings relating to unguarded machinery that led to the death of one of its employees.
Saturday, 24 May 2014
- Alec Brackenbury was servicing a potato peeling machine at Heinz’s Westwick plant on 20 June 2013.
- This machine was electrically isolated and locked off.
- An associated slurry pump which seemed to be part of the same machine had a separate supply.
- Mr. Brackenbury was unaware of this and believed he had isolated the pump along with the peeler at the main distribution box.
- A protective grate bolted on top of the pump to prevent access, was absent, enabling Mr Brackenbury to reach into the screw auger of the pump.
- As he tried to retrieve a dropped bolt, he put his hand into the slurry pump below, which operated and severed his right hand.
- Gerber Juice were decommissioning a factory in Llantrisant and moving equipment to Somerset.
- The factory had become a construction site with Gerber electing to plan, manage and monitor the project themselves instead of appointing a competent Principal Contractor.
- Gerber had overlooked various hazardous tasks because they had not contracted the specialists to do it.
- Work, including the removal of overhead industrial pipes and their supporting structures fell to the in-house engineers.
- A production manager for the juice factory was in charge of the hazardous decommissioning project, despite never having done this work before or having received any formal training.
- A safety officer only visited once or twice a fortnight and was based in Somerset.
- This work had not been adequately planned, risk assessed, communicated or monitored by management,
- The safety systems that Gerber used to manage its specialist contractors had not been used to manage its own engineering staff on the same site.
- Gavin Bedford was helping to dismantle and demolish a section of industrial pipework
- Because there was no written plan explaining how the structure was to be taken apart, various bolts and structural elements were removed in an unsafe sequence.
- This led to the eventual collapse of the structure, weighing around 300kg, which structure Mr Bedford.
- He sustained critical head injuries and died three days later in hospital
- An employee, Ms Bull, was attempting to clean the milling blades on the large binding machine and had removed a fixed guard to access the parts.
- At the same time a fellow worker changed a milling bag where paper dust is collected.
- The machine was restarted when Ms Bull was still working with the fixed guards open. She was unable to react in time and the moving blades caught her fingers.
- She had to have the middle finger of her right hand amputated.
Sunday, 18 May 2014
A forklift truck operator has been prosecuted on 8 May 2014 for safety failings after a teenager was seriously injured by a falling heater.
The circumstances were:
- The heater weighing 493kg had been removed from a factory building and placed next to a skip.
- On 25 June 2013, a forklift truck driver, Stephen Bellingham wanted to access this skip, as his role included sorting and loading waste into skips using a forklift.
- He took it on himself to move the heater, but he was acting entirely independently in opting to move the unit in this way.
- He was an experienced forklift operator, but he failed to assess the risks and possible consequences.
- He managed to manoeuvre the unit onto the forks of the truck, but noted it was unstable and asked a passing colleague to help steady the load.
- The co-worker held it in place as best he could, but as it was lifted it slid off and fell, landing on top of him because he unable to move away.
- The 18-year-old worker sustained multiple fractures of his right shoulder, left shin bone and left ankle.
Stephen Bellingham, of Brooklands Road, Larkfield, was fined a nominal £270 after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The low penalty reflects the fact he was summarily dismissed for gross misconduct as a result of the incident, and is struggling financially because he has been unable to find alternative employment or claim any benefits since. Magistrates said a higher fine would not compensate for the suffering he has already endured because of a momentary lapse of judgement.
The HSE Inspector said:
“This incident demonstrates all too clearly that a single poor decision – on this occasion asking an inexperienced colleague to stand in a dangerous position to steady a large, heavy and unstable load – can have devastating consequences. The young worker is fortunate to have regained full mobility, but he was unable to work for a considerable period. His ordeal should serve as a powerful reminder to all employees, particularly those in control of potentially dangerous machinery, to fully consider the consequences of their actions. Stephen Bellingham failed to do this. All lifting operations should be properly planned and assessed, and where a load appears to be unstable the operation must be stopped immediately to consider appropriate restraints or alternative methods.”
Wednesday, 7 May 2014
- The accident occurred on a glue rolling machine on 3 September 2012.
- The rollers on this machine were guarded by an interlocked moveable guard.
- There was no system in place to check interlocks.
- The interlock had failed.
- An employee lifted the guard to gain access to the rollers but as he started cleaning them his right hand was drawn into the rollers.
- The accident occurred on an 8-year old printing machine on 11 January 2013.
- Dangerous parts were guarded by an interlocked moveable guard
- There was no system for checking interlocks.
- This had been identified in a risk assessment, but JSP had taken no action.
- The interlock on a guard on this machine had failed.
- An employee accessed the machine to stir paint via this guard.
- The machine suddenly moved, striking her hand and trapping it.
- She suffered a broken knuckle and serious nerve damage and was unable to work for several months. The nerve damage has resulted in a loss of dexterity in her right hand.