Recent Health & Safety Prosecutions

The following cases are all real-life examples of recent prosecutions by the HSE for Health & Safety breaches.

September 2021 Prosecution:

A construction company has been fined after repeated health and safety breaches, giving rise to significant risk, were found on a site in Bolton.

The HSE carried out three inspections over a five month period and issued multiple Prohibition and Improvement Notices. Work at height breaches were found on every occasion and other breaches included sleeping on site, lack of guarding on a metal guillotine, electrical safety, wood dust and safety during lifting operations.

The company in question failed to properly assess, plan and implement health and safety procedures and measures resulting in repeated breaches giving rise to significant risk. As a result of this, they were fined £23,000 with costs of £6,917.40 for breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act.

August 2021 Prosecution:

A landlord in Derby has been handed a suspended prison sentence and a fine of £50,000 for fire safety breaches.

Firefighters who responded to the fire at a converted house/HMO found that some fire doors had no self-closers or smoke seals, the kitchen door did not close due to a lack of maintenance and the fire alarm was not working. There was no evidence of a fire risk assessment and fire extinguishers were out of test date.

In addition, they also found that the landlord had failed to provide tenants with any means of escape and the emergency lighting was not in working order.

By law, all business premises and blocks of flats must have a written and regularly reviewed fire risk assessment.

September 2021 Prosecution:

A construction company based in Wakefield has been sentenced for safety breaches after multiple employees were diagnosed with Hand Arm Vibration (HAVS).

The company reported seven cases of HAVS between November 2016 and August 2018. All of the workers involved had been carrying out ground works involving vibrating tools. Many of them had been working in the industry for over 20 years. An investigation by the HSE found that there was no suitable health surveillance in place to identify HAVS prior to a change in occupational health provider.

The company has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £3,919 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Tilley said: “The company should have undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify the level of vibration employees were exposed to throughout their working day and then put in place appropriate control measures.

“Furthermore, the company should have put in place suitable health surveillance to identify HAVS in their workforce”

These examples of recent prosecutions highlight likely breaches that the HSE will look out for if they conduct a visit to your premises or site. All of the above are breaches that could easily be resolved with proactive Health & Safety management.

Craven Safety Services offer both bespoke Health & Safety support packages and one-off services including fire risk assessments, audits, site inspections, risk assessments, and general advice and guidance.

If you would like to get started in determining your possible Health & Safety requirements, please get in touch with a member of the team for a no-obligation quote.