Firm heavily fined after serious accident at work

by Redmans Solicitors on March 25, 2014

A Staffordshire firm has been heavily fined after a worker suffered serious injuries as a result of a workplace accident, according to a report by the Health and Safety Executive (“HSE”).

The unidentified worker – who asked not to be identified by the HSE – was working for Thomas Bolton Limited when the accident occurred on 30 August 2012 whilst he was working on a construction site.

On the day in question, the worker was standing in a factory whilst a crane worked overhead on the roof of the factory. The crane was holding a fabric sling that was used to apply torque  to bolts that were being tightened on an extrusion press. However, one of the pegs that was being used for the work came loose and catapulted out of the sling, through the roof of the factory, and hit the worker on the head. This caused the worker serious injuries to his head and he was rushed to hospital (although discharged the same day). The Health and Safety Executive were subsequently informed of the accident and investigated. This investigation found that there had been health and safety breaches which had caused or contributed to the accident, including:

  • A failure to carry out a suitable risk assessment on the work being undertaken;
  • A failure to properly plan the work; and
  • A failure to use appropriate equipment for the work

The HSE also concluded that Thomas Bolton Ltd may be liable for these breaches and therefore recommended that Thomas Bolton Ltd be prosecuted for single breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The case came to the Stafford Magistrates’ Court on 19 March 2014. Thomas Bolton Limited pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. The company was also fined £19,050 and ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs to the amount of £10,361.

Neither Thomas Bolton Ltd nor its criminal defence solicitors appear to have commented on the matter since the judgment of the Magistrates’ Court.

HSE inspector Rachel Bradshaw commented on the judgment after the sentencing: “This was a serious incident that could have resulted in a fatality. It was only a matter of luck that the employee, or indeed anyone else in the vicinity, was not killed by the projectile.”

Chris Hadrill, a solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers have a duty to their staff to take reasonable steps to ensure their health, safety, and welfare. It was clearly felt in this instance that the company hadn’t taken the necessary reasonable steps to prevent this accident from occurring.

Redmans Solicitors are employment solicitor in Richmond and can help injured employees claim personal injury

Redmans Solicitors

Redmans Solicitors

Commercial law, employment law and litigation firm based in Richmond, London
Redmans Solicitors

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