Health and Safety Sentencing
09 November 2023 09 November 2023
Health and safety sentencing update
|Date||Turnover/size of company (N.B approx only)||Court||Fine||Sector||Incident type|
|8th Sept||£10,014 million||High Court in Aberdeen||£6.7 million, reduced from £10 million because the defendant admitted culpability||Rail||
Three people died and six people were injured after a derailment. The train derailed after hitting a landslide following heavy rain. The defendant rail company admitted a series of failings that resulted in the deaths. These included failing to inform the driver that it was unsafe to drive the train at a speed of 75mph or caution him to reduce his speed on the day of the derailment. There were also failings in construction, inspection and maintenance of drainage assets and in adverse and extreme weather planning.
|17th July||£378 million||Leicester Magistrates' Court||£400,000||Retail||
An employee of the defendant dry cleaning company tried to manually clean a sensor to initiate movement of a conveyor belt. As she did so her left hand was drawn into a gap where two conveyor belts meet. This caused the skin to be ripped off the palm of her left hand.
|18th July||£51.8 million||Derby Magistrates' Court||£200,000||Manufacturing||
The defendant manufactures and supplies metal bars for aerospace and automotive industries. Two of its employees carried out a variety of tasks, which included the use of vibrating tools, throughout the manufacturing process. They were diagnosed with HAVS after using the tools for a number of years, without adequate systems in place to control their exposure to vibration.
|30th Aug||£4.1 million||Westminster Magistrates' Court||£80,000||Education||
15 schoolchildren and their teacher were injured when their classroom ceiling collapsed during a lesson. They sustained upper limb fractures, cuts as well as concussion.
|21st Aug||Small company||Exeter Magistrates' Court||£60,000||Agriculture||
The victim was employed by a plant hire company. He was operating a tipper lorry at the defendant farm when the hydraulic arm of the tipper lorry came into contact with an 11kV overhead power line.
|27th July||Small company||Liverpool Magistrates' Court||£40,000||Retail||
A self-employed delivery driver was hit by a forklift truck at the defendant clothing company’s site. He suffered multiple leg fractures and a dislocated ankle.
|25th Aug||Small company||Staffordshire Magistrates' Court||£90,000||Construction||
The defendant construction company exposed people to asbestos during a renovation project. Significant amounts of asbestos-containing debris was found at the front and rear of the building and along the public highway. The defendant had also failed to appoint a competent person to carry out a refurbishment and demolition asbestos survey of the premises prior to carrying out work on site.
|4th Sept||Micro company||Carlisle Magistrates' Court||£16,000||Construction||
The defendant roofing company was undertaking work on a building. The roof was known to be fragile, and at the time of the incident, safety nets were being erected below the work area, although this work had not been completed.
|5th July||n/a||Southwark Crown Court||£35,000||Education||
During a school carol concert 60 children were waiting in costume in a narrow corridor. They were holding 10-inch lit taper candles. One boy wearing a homemade sheep costume made of cotton wool balls caught fire. He sustained 45% burns to his body.
|31st Aug||u/k||Westminster Magistrates' Court||£800,000||Food||
The defendant food chain was fined after a worker was stuck in a walk-in freezer for two and a half hours, wearing only jeans and a T-shirt. There was no suitable risk assessment in place for employees working in temperature-controlled environments. The defendant pleaded guilty to a health and safety offence.