News in Court

Steel Company Fined

A steel company was fined £150k after a fatality involving an abrasive wheel A steel foundry has been fined £150,000 after a worker died when he was struck in the face by a shard from an abrasive disc that exploded from a hand-held grinding machine. A number of unsafe practices and near miss incidents prior to the fatality had not been properly investigated.

The high-frequency machine, disc suddenly exploded catapulting fragments across his work bay. As the grinder had no guard the pieces were forcibly expelled across the bay, one ending up some ten metres away. A shard went straight through the visor and hit the injured person in the mouth. He was pronounced dead at the scene. HSE said the excessive speed of the grinder coupled with the added load caused by the non-standard attachment had put stresses on the disc way beyond its capacity, resulting in its catastrophic failure.
Veolia fined after worker ’s ‘entirely preventable ’ fall

Waste and recycling services company Veolia ES Staffordshire Ltd (part of Veolia UK group) has been prosecuted after a worker suffered life changing injuries when he fell more than eight feet from height. The worker, who does not wish to be named, fell from the unprotected edge of a ‘grizzly conveyor’ at the firm’s site on Enterprise Drive whilst clearing items caught on the conveyor’s forks, on 2 May 2014. He suffered serious injuries as a result of the incident and has only been able to return to work to perform limited duties. The HSE investigation into the incident found that although clearing the conveyor was a routine part of the job, no risk assessment had been carried out. Veoila ES Staffordshire Ltd of London pleaded guilty at Stafford Magistrates’ Court to breaching regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 and regulation 3(1) of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined a total of £16,600 and ordered to pay £1,773.15 in costs with a victim surcharge of £120. Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Katherine Blunt said: “This incident was entirely preventable, clearing the conveyor in this way was a routine part of the job but no risk assessment had been carried out. If it had it would have been obvious edge protection was essential.