HSE International

NHS prosecuted after pensioner killed in mobility scooter plunge

The NHS Litigation Authority has been prosecuted after an 82 year old man fell 12 feet to his death from an elevated walkway outside a health centre.

Benjamin John Withers from Fareham in Hampshire died after the mobility scooter he was driving collided with a wooden weather screen which was situated around the main entrance and access bridge to Fareham Health centre. The collision caused a section to give way and Mr Withers and his mobility scooter fell through the gap onto a walkway below.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that on 20thSeptember 2012 Mr Withers left the centre after attending an appointment and accidentally drove his mobility scooter forward into the side of the glazed screen instead of reversing away from it.  After the initial impact he then moved forward again and fell through the opening in the screen which had partially given way.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the barrier had not been constructed to the required standard to resist impact from a mobility scooter, no assessment had been made to consider the suitability of the weather screen and the structure had not been adequately maintained.

The investigation also found that the collapsed section was so badly decayed that portions of the wood could be easily removed by hand. Planned maintenance work to replace the rotten wood had been cancelled and rescheduled on more than twenty occasions without ever being carried out.

NHS Litigation Authority of Buckingham Palace Road London, pleaded guilty to breaching s.3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £15,000 costs.

Speaking after the hearing Mr Wither’s son Trevor spoke on behalf of his family: “This has been a traumatic event for all my family, due to these breaches in health and safety our family has lost a devoted husband, father and grandfather.

“My Mother has lost a husband and a major part of her life, this has affected her deeply, she has not been able to visit her local shopping centre or walk past her local surgery where my Dad died.  The centre is also close to my brother’s place of work and he has to see it every day.

“My Dad was full of life, I will never forget that sunny day on September 20th 2012 when me and my nephew last saw him going into Fareham Health Centre, I  never thought that this would be the last time we would ever see him.”

HSE Inspector Michael Baxter said: “This tragic incident could have easily been avoided if the barrier at Fareham Health Centre had met the well-known and established standards for design and construction of barriers and if the required maintenance had been carried out as soon as it was identified.

“Instead a family has lost a well-loved husband and father. Mobile scooters are being used increasingly, especially in pedestrian areas. Businesses need to appreciate this and ensure existing structures and barriers are re-assessed to ensure they are suitable for these machines.”

The British Standard BS6180:2011 ‘Barriers in and about buildings – code of practice’ can be found here http://www.freestd.us/soft/259378.htm link to external website


Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/nhs-prosecuted-after-pensioner-killed-in-mobility-scooter-plunge/?

School fined after pupil paralysed when swing collapsed

A Hertfordshire school firm has been fined for safety failings after a pupil suffered permanent paralysis when a swing collapsed.

St Albans Magistrates’ Court heard how on September 2011 a 13-year-old pupil at the school was playing on a wooden swing in an adventure playground.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the swing had collapsed because the supporting timbers had rotted. The heavy wooden cross beam of the swing fell onto the pupil’s head and neck causing spinal injuries that resulted in permanent paralysis.

Queenswood School, of Shepherd’s Way, Brookmans Park, Hatfield, was fined a total of £50,000, and ordered to pay £90,693 in costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Alison Ashworth said:

“This case shows how important it is that schools and other providers pf play equipment maintain them in a safe condition. This tragic accident could have been avoided had the school implemented the findings of its own risk assessment.”

For more information about safety in schools log onto the website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/services/education/sensible-leadership/


Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/school-fined-after-pupil-paralysed-when-swing-collapsed/?

Wimbledon nursery in court over death of toddler who chocked on a jelly cube

A Wimbledon nursery where a toddler choked to death on a jelly cube will appear in court charged with two counts of contravening health and safety regulations. 

Dicky Birds Nursery, in Dundonald Road, Wimbledon, was the scene of tragedy on August 23, 2012, when little Tiya Chauhan was found unconscious and not breathing on the floor.

Tiya, who was just 22 months old, died after choking on a raw jelly cube. She died the next day at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

The raw jelly had been part of a sensory table, and was used with spaghetti to create a swamp with prehistoric animal toys for the youngsters to play with.

The company is based in Lower Teddington Road, Kingston, but has nurseries in Surbiton, New Malden and Raynes Park.

A representative from the nursery will appear at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, January 15, charged with failing to ensure that Tiya Chauhan was not exposed to the risk of choking on the jelly cube, and with failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of health and safety risks.

 No plea has been entered.

At a two month long inquest held in summer 2014, a jury concluded Dicky Birds had been responsible for gross failure over the death.

he jury foreman said at the time: “The jury concludes that there was a gross failure on the part of the nursery to provide appropriate care to Tiya.

“Inadequate communication between all staff led to a gross failure of supervision of Tiya, which was a significiant contributing factor to her death.”

Original Source: http://bit.ly/231jQv6


Wilko driver’s death was ‘accident waiting to happen’

Retail giant Wilko has been fined £200,000 after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches which resulted in the death of an employee at a Worksop depot…

Dale Farm fined £30k after workers exposed to asbestos

Dale Farm Ltd says it has reviewed its health and safety procedures after it was fined £30,000 plus costs for asbestos-related offences.

The dairy firm pleaded guilty to breaches of health and safety legislation at court in Dungannon yesterday, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSENI), which brought the case.

In a statement HSENI said the prosecution related to an incident on March 13, 2013, when two ventilation engineers were exposed to asbestos fibres during extension work at Dunmanbridge Creamery in Cookstown.

The engineers were not given information on the location of asbestos-containing materials at the site prior to work commencing.

An investigation by HSENI found that Dale Farm had an asbestos management survey carried out 10 years before the incident but an asbestos management plan had not been developed, nor had a refurbishment or demolition survey been undertaken before the work began.

Dale Farm Ltd had also failed to update its asbestos register to take account of asbestos insulation board that was discovered in 2007 in the area where the incident took place.

Jonathan Knox, an inspector with HSENI’s major investigation team, said: “Asbestos exposure is the single greatest cause of work-related deaths in Northern Ireland.

“Although the supply of asbestos-containing materials was prohibited in 1999, many buildings in Northern Ireland still contain such products.

“Those in charge of non-domestic premises have a duty to manage the risks presented by asbestos-containing materials.

“A suitable assessment of the presence and condition of asbestos-containing materials must be carried out and relevant information passed to anyone liable to work on or disturb them.”

Dale Farm said it acknowledged there was a breach of health and safety at its Dunmanbridge site in March 2013, and accepted the two charges brought by the HSENI.

“Dale Farm has reviewed its health and safety systems to ensure that it complies with the highest standards and to mitigate the risk of this happening in future,” it added.

Original Source: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/dale-farm-fined-30k-after-workers-exposed-to-asbestos-34358959.html?

Bar owner fined after customer accidentally served line cleaner

A bar and its owner have been fined £25,000 for serving a glass of beer line cleaner (caustic soda) instead of beer to a customer.

David Caminal suffered “exquisite pain” immediately after swallowing the liquid and was taken to hospital with severe internal injuries. He was placed in an induced coma and eventually had to have surgery to remove his oesophagus.

A “flawed line cleaning system” led to the incident, which happened at The New Conservatory in Leeds on 19 July 2014, the Judge said.

The court heard Mr Caminal asked to taste a pale ale called “Sunbeam” and on swallowing it, began gasping and vomiting.

The bartender who served it did not know the line was being cleaned at the time, as the liquid which came out of the pump was a similar colour to the beer.

An investigation revealed a new member of staff had inadvertently turned the beer badge on the pump to face customers prior to the drink being served, not realising turning it the other way indicated it was unavailable.

Passing sentence, District Judge David Kitson said: “A system that relies on a beer badge not being inadvertently turned around the other way and staff being aware potentially exposes people to risk.

“This is not a case of saying, ‘Oh well, if only we knew then what we know now’, because the coming together of these events were, to an extent, waiting to happen.”

Director Nick Bird admitted failing to protect the health and safety of customers and was sentenced earlier.

The company and Mr Bird, 31, of Back York Street, Leeds, were also ordered to pay costs of almost £18,000.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental protection and community safety said: “What started out as a day off sightseeing in Leeds ended in tragedy for Mr Caminal.

“When taken on their own, the events that led to this incident seem minor but the knock-on effects had a catastrophic outcome.”

Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/bar-owner-fined-after-customer-accidently-served-line-cleaner/

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