Recent Enforcement Activity


01/03/17: Contractor fined for poor asbestos assessment

Further information

Asbestos health and safety

Chemical/ Substance Exposure

27/02/17: Boat builders fined after worker suffers burns

Further information



15/03/17: Construction worker seriously injured in wall collapse

Further information

Structural stability


08/03/17: £600,000 fine for Council contractor after major burns to employer

Further information

Electricity – underground cables

Falling Objects

06/03/17: £300k fine for concrete firm after employee has leg amputated

Further information

Vehicles at work

Roofwork/ Working at height

20/03/17: Partnership fined following death of long-serving farm manager

14/03/17: Construction firm fined after worker fell from height

07/03/17: Construction company fined after worker fell from height

06/03/17: Company and self employed contractor sentenced for lift shaft death

28/02/17: Balfour Beatty fined for safety failings

24/02/17: Oldham building contractor in court over fall from height risk

22/02/17: London construction firm fined after workers injured

22/02/17: Estate agents fined after member of the public fell down a well


Changes to approved methods of roof tile cutting

When cutting roof tiles, workers are exposed to respirable crystalline silica (RCS).  This dust, if breathed in, causes severe lung diseases such as silicosis. HSE have produced a video of the effects of silicosis on people’s lives. To view a video on the impact of silicosis visit HSL’s Case Studies Webpage.

For more information on silicosis and lung disease visit HSE’s Lung Disease Webpages.

HSE has identified reducing incidents of ill health as one of the top three strategic priorities for the next three to five years as set out in the construction sector plan, Occupational Lung Disease is a particular focus.

Become a member of the Helping Great Britain work well LinkedIn discussion group and network. You can comment on our strategies and plans, share ideas and tell us what you are doing to help improve Britain’s record on work-related health

News from HSE

updated 22.03.2017

HSE issues MOD with Crown Censure over driver death

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been issued with a Crown Censure by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an agency driver, working for the MoD, was fatally injured by a reversing vehicle.

London council fined after school injury

Islington Borough Council has been sentenced after admitting a role in an incident at a London school where a boy was left with serious hand injuries. 

Flashback arrestors are a legal requirement on oxy-acetylene sets

The regulations pertaining to the use and maintenance of oxy-acetylene equipment were updated in late 2014 under The Acetylene Safety (England and Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2014 and included a new mandatory requirement to use suitable flashback arrestors.

There is concern that the requirement to use flashback arrestors may not have been fully implemented by all welding operators.  The requirement for flashback arrestors is a reasonably practicable control of the risk and that is why the law requires them.  Please ensure you and your workers are protected by fitting the arrestors. 

Free advice on the law and best practice in this area is available from the BCGA on its Welding Matters Webpage

Clean Air? – Take Care!

Clean Air? – Take Care! is a new joint initiative between the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and HSE aimed at reducing occupational lung disease. The initiative is cantered on a range of national activities and educational seminars designed to raise awareness among RPE users, employers, fit testers and advisors on the correct selection, deployment, use, maintenance and storage of RPE. More information including campaign videos, posters and campaign documents visit British Safety Industry Federation’s Webpages.

Health Risks at Work – do you know yours?

The Health Risks at Work initiative provides simple, concise information to help small businesses manage five key health at work risk areas:

  • Breathing
  • Skin
  • Muscles, bones and joints
  • Hearing and touch
  • Wellbeing

For more information on the Campaign visit Safety Groups UK

Find your local Safety group by visiting Local Safety Groups

Uxbridge manufacturer fined after workers develop debilitating lung conditions

An Uxbridge manufacturer of ejector seats has been fined £800,000 after three workers developed debilitating lung conditions. Three skilled CNC machine operators developed extrinsic allergic alveolitis after many years of years of exposure to the mist of working metal fluid. More information on the fine visit HSE’s Press Release. 

More information on extrinsic allergic alveolitis and metalworking fluids visit HSE’s Website.

Worker injures hand in drilling machine

An Essex castings company has been fined £250,000 with £12,632.92 costs after a worker suffered injury to his hand when it was dragged into a drilling machine and required skin grafts. More information on the accident and fine can be found on HSE’s Press Release.

Bedford Metal company fined

Bedfordshire metal company has been fined £130,000 with £2,456 costs for safety breaches after an agency worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot. He was was injured when a trolley carrying metal stock fell on his legs causing severe injuries. More information on the accident can be found on HSE’s Press Release.

HSE 2017 – what inspectors are looking for and how to stay one step ahead!

By Angela Southall In Fee For Intervention, Health and Safety Legislation And Guidance, Risk Assessment

In order to improve associated death and injury statistics, the HSE and Local Authority inspectors are tasked with focusing on the following priority areas within businesses in 2017:

1. Falls from height – work on/adjacent to fragile roofs/materials
2. Health risks – respirable silica dust exposure
3. Duty to manage asbestos
4. Construction

What does this mean in practice for businesses?

A health and safety inspector may visit a business if its work activities fall within any of these focus topics. This visit may focus solely on these topic areas or form part of a routine inspection where all areas of risk are looked at, but with greater emphasis on these focus topics.

Businesses may think that if their primary activities are not listed above, that they are safe from an inspector’s visit, but this is unfortunately not the case. This makes it even more paramount that businesses stay on top of their health and safety management, especially with the new sentencing guidelines in place.

What do inspectors look for?

  1. Falls from height – work on/adjacent to fragile roofs/materials – Fragile roofs/skylights etc. are common place in workplaces. Inspectors will be looking at and questioning business owners on how repair and maintenance work (e.g. gutter cleaning) is performed.
  2. Health risks – respirable silica dust – dust, containing harmful respirable crystalline silica (RCS), can be generated during common operations such as block cutting, chasing brickwork and cutting concrete floors. There is detailed HSE guidance for controlling this dust. Inspectors will be looking at whether there is any minor construction work going on at a business that could generate this dust and whether this is effectively controlled in accordance with the guidance. This also applies to routine business operations that create this dust, such as granite cutting, where again, the focus will be checking controls are adequate.
  3. Duty to manage asbestos –Buildings built before 2000 may contain asbestos. Inspectors will be checking to see whether the risk of asbestos in the building has been assessed, whether an asbestos survey has been conducted and a management plan with necessary monitoring put in place. They will also look for any minor construction work going on that breaches the fabric of the building without a proper asbestos survey and effective controls in place.
  4. Construction – The construction sector includes building construction, trades and civil engineering and whilst improvements have been made to reduce the injury statistics, the fatal and major injury statistics remain high. The key risk areas inspectors will focus on in this sector are exposure to asbestos, silica dust, and paint and diesel exhaust fumes. Furthermore, exposure to dust, fume, vapour or gas, and dermatitis risk, along with manual handling, noise and vibration are all focus areas in this sector.

What can the inspector do?

The purpose of inspection is to assess how well businesses are managing these health and safety risks and, where they are not, to bring about improvements to achieve this.

Inspectors have a range of enforcement tools they can use to achieve improvement but must be proportionate to the level of risk and used in accordance with their enforcement policy.

This can range from verbal and written advice, through to Improvement Notices, Prohibition Notices and/or prosecution. Under the Fees for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme, the HSE can charge you for their time for inspection, investigation and enforcement action.

Three tips to stay one step ahead

  1. Be prepared by making sure you have considered the risk of asbestos in your building if it was built before the year 2000. Building owners or landlords may need to invest in an asbestos survey and act upon the results.
  2. Prior to employment of contractors for work at height or minor building works, make sure you check their risk assessments, method statements, insurance, professional membership and references. It is your responsibility to engage a suitable contractor.
  3. For those involved in processes generating respirable crystalline silica (RCS), ensure you effectively follow the HSE guidance for controlling this dust.

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