On 18th April 2018 Sheffield Crown Court handed down fines of £1 million each to a civil engineering firm and a district heating firm who were found guilty of health and safety breaches, which resulted in the death of a 36 year old man.
The worker suffered fatal crush injuries after a large heating pipe (12 metres long and weighing approximately 840kg) fell on top of him. He was one of two workers unloading the large pipes from a trailer, transferring them to stillage containers at the site. The pipes had been incorrectly stacked above the top edge of the stillages. As a result two of the pipes rolled off, one of them falling on to the worker.
In addition to the £1 million pound fines the judge ordered that costs of £15,847 be repaid.
HSE inspector Mark Walsh commented after the hearing: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of both companies to follow safe systems of work, and a failure to identify the risks. This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man. There was a lack of planning for the work carried out and, as a result, inadequate controls put in place.”
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill- health.
As specialist lawyers dealing with health and safety prosecutions we encourage those involved in these types of complex investigations to seek early advice. If you do require assistance in dealing with a referral to the HSE or have any queries our dedicated team are on hand to assist you.
For more information, visit our health and safety law page or call 0175 321 6399.