St. Albans Scaffolding Limited and its director have today been fined after an employee fell more than 20ft to the ground

Released 6th July 2017:

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 February 2016, the 20-year old employee was working with colleagues to erect a scaffold at a house on Cunningham Avenue, St Albans when he lost all points of contact whilst climbing a 25ft (7.6m) ladder carrying a 16ft (4.8m) scaffold pole weighing about 20kg. He fell approximately 20ft (5.7m) to the ground.

The worker suffered multiple fractures to his right leg and ankle requiring surgery. .

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found both the company and director failed to ensure the scaffolding labourer was trained to the required competence to install scaffolding components.

It was also found the worker had not been adequately supervised and was working alone on the Temporary Roof Scaffold. The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) has been the industry recognised scaffold training scheme for more than 40 years. The director knew the workers had not been trained but allowed work to continue unsupervised in his absence.

St. Albans Scaffolding Limited of Wellington House, London Colney, St. Albans pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The company has been fined £5500 and ordered to pay costs of £442.

Simon Christopher Bruce of Wellington House, London Colney, St. Albans also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

He has been fined £915 and ordered to pay costs of £443.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said: “The employee in this case is extremely lucky to have not suffered more severe and life threatening injuries.

“The director knew the workers had not received the appropriate training in order to carry out the safe installation of the scaffolding and he put him at risk of harm by allowing unsupervised work to continue.

“Duty holders must ensure all employees are trained to the required industry standard before carrying out any scaffolding work.”

Medical Device Alert

All LIFEPAK 1000 automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) – risk of device shutting down unexpectedly during patient treatment and possible failure to deliver therapy.

The LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillator can be found in hospitals and in public places.

The manufacturer’s logo on the front cover may vary, displaying ‘Medtronic’ or ‘Physio-Control’.

1. Identify all LIFEPAK 1000 defibrillators in your possession.

2. Ensure that all those responsible for the AED follow the instructions in the manufacturer’s Field Safety Notice (FSN).

3. If you have already acted on this FSN, no further action is required.


Construction worker crushed by vehicle in unsegregated area

Credit: SHP Online

A worker was killed by a reversing vehicle while he was working at a construction site in Dawlish, in Devon.

Exeter Crown Court heard how the employee of Steve Hoskin Construction Limited (SHCL) was working for the groundwork contractor when he was crushed by a reversing telescopic material handler.

John Small, 47, was crushed by the vehicle after it reversed while he was walking alongside it on 28 June 2013. Mr Small was pronounced dead after suffering multiple injuries.

The HSE found that Cavanna Homes, the principal contractor for this site, failed to ensure this area of the construction site was organised to enable pedestrians and vehicles to move safely.

SHCL had not fully considered the risks to their employees at this part of the site.

Cavanna Homes (SW) Limited, of Riviera Park, Nicholson Road Torquay, Devon, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 36(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

Steve Hoskin Construction Limited, of Ten Acres Lane, St Ive Industrial Estate, Pensilva, Liskeard, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,000.

HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said:

“There were no control measures in place to segregate vehicles and pedestrians in the area where the incident happened. Separating pedestrians and vehicles by introducing measures such as walkways with barriers, could have prevented John Small’s death”

Worker buried in 2.7 m trench collapse

A Fife, Scotland-based construction company has been handed a £14,000 fine after a worker was buried under dislodged earth at a house renovation in Falkland in September 2011 when an excavator caused a trench excavation to cave in.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that none of the workers had formal health and safety training to manage a construction site and that the excavation work had not been risk assessed. As a result, workers were given instructions through verbal briefings rather than detailed, mapped out plans.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard how a 43-year-old employee of Wallace Roofing and Building was part of a team that had been using an excavator to dig a trench to help connect the drainage system of the property with a new extension. When the workers came across a boulder that prevented further digging, they used the excavator to try and shift it.

The injured man was laying the new pipe in the trench and helping to guide the machinery when one of the trench walls, 2.7 m deep, subsided, burying him. His colleagues immediately started digging the soil away from his head to enable him to breathe. The worker remained partially buried in the trench until emergency services arrived and dug him free.

The worker sustained a broken shoulder and collarbone, punctures to both lungs and fractures to all but two of his ribs. He remained in hospital for almost three weeks.

The HSE found that the trench had not been supported or “stepped back” to control the risk of it collapsing. Wallace Roofing and Building, of Star, Glenrothes, Fife, pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

HSE inspector Ritchie McCrae said: “The risks associated with collapsing excavation walls are well known, as are the necessary control measures … the company failed to identify the risk and there was a total absence of any control measure which would have prevented this incident from occurring. The worker sustained serious, permanent injury and is extremely lucky to still be alive.”

Crane collapses at Falmouth Docks

Credit: BBC News

A crane has collapsed at Falmouth Docks leading to the evacuation of the site.

Witnesses described hearing an “enormous bang” as it collapsed on to 10 acetylene cylinders at the dockside at about 09:00 BST on 10th May 2017.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries while assessing the scene.

A 200m exclusion zone was set up over fears the cylinders could explode after the collapse, which was initially treated as a major incident. The cordon was lifted at about 13:00.

There were no other injuries.

Assistant chief fire officer Phil Martin said: “Incidents involving acetylene cylinders require a well-managed response and the cordon is put in place to ensure the safety of members of the public.

“I am pleased to report that the firefighter who was injured suffered only minor injuries and was taken to hospital as a precaution. We do of course wish him a speedy recovery.”

A&P Group, which owns the docks said: “No-one was injured in the incident, however, all personnel have been temporarily evacuated from the docks whilst an assessment of the area is made.

“Personnel will return to work as soon as possible.”

Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 – New Higher Penalties

With effect from 24th April 2017, The Sentencing Council will introduce new higher penalties for the most serious speeding offences. This means fines for offenders will have a starting point of 150% of weekly income rather than the existing level of 100% of weekly income.

Steps 1 & 2 – Determining the offence seriousness

(The starting point applies to all offenders irrespective of plea or previous convictions)

Speed Limit (mph)

Recorded Speed (mph)


41+ 31 – 40 21 – 30


51+ 41 – 50

31 – 40


66+ 56 – 65

41 – 55


76+ 66 – 75

51 – 65


91+ 81 – 90

61 – 80


101+ 91 – 100

71 – 90

Sentencing Range

Band C Fine Band B Fine

Band A Fine

Points/Disqualifications Disqualification 7-56 days or 6 Points Disqualification 7-28 days or 4-6 Points 3 Points

Band Ranges


Starting Point


Fine Band A 50% of relevant weekly income 25-75% of relevant weekly income
Fine Band B 100% of relevant weekly income 75-125% of relevant weekly income
Fine Band C 150% of relevant weekly income 125-175% of relevant weekly income
Fine Band D 250% of relevant weekly income 200-300% of relevant weekly income
Fine Band E 400% of relevant weekly income 300-500% of relevant weekly income
Fine Band F 600% of relevant weekly income 500-700% of relevant weekly income

The Court will then consider any further adjustment for any aggravating or mitigating factors. The following non-exhaustive list of additional factual elements providing the context of the offence and factors relating to the offender. The Court will identify whether any combination of these, or other relevant factors should result in an upward or downward adjustment from the sentence arrived at so far.

Factors increasing Seriousness

Statutory aggravating factors:

  • Previous convictions, having regard to
    • The nature of the offence to which the conviction relates and its relevance to the current offence; and
    • The time that has elapsed since the conviction
  • Offence committed whilst on bail

Other Aggravating factors:

  • Offence committed on licence or post sentence supervision
  • Poor road or weather conditions
  • Driving LGV, HGV, PSV etc
  • Towing caravan/trailer
  • Carrying passengers or heavy load
  • Driving for hire or reward
  • Evidence of unacceptable standard of driving over and above speed
  • Location e.g. near school
  • High level of traffic or pedestrians in the vicinity

Factors reducing seriousness or reflecting personal mitigation

  • No previous convictions or no relevant/recent convictions
  • Good character and/or exemplary conduct
  • Genuine emergency established


Step 3 – Consider any factors which indicate a reduction, such as assistance to the prosecution

  • The Court will take into account sections 73 and 74 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and any other rule of law by virtue of which an offender may receive a discounted sentence in consequence of assistance given (or offered) to the prosecutor or investigator.


Step 4 – Reduction for guilty pleas

  • The Court should take account of any potential reduction for a guilty plea in accordance with section 144 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the Guilty Plea guideline.


Step 5 – Totality principle

  • If sentencing an offender for more than one offence, or where the offender is already serving a sentence, the Court will consider whether the total is just and proportionate to the overall offending behaviour in accordance with the Offences Taken into Consideration and Totality guideline.


Step 6 – Compensation and ancillary orders

  • In all cases, the Court should consider whether to make compensation and/or other ancillary orders


Step 7 – Reasons

  • Section 174 of The Criminal Justice Act 2003 imposes a duty to give reasons for, and explain the effect of, the sentence.

HSE’s Engineering eBulletin

Useful Information

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

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 centred on a range of national activities and 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.

Free-to-download Safety Wizard app.

RNF Digital Innovation has developed an app designed to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) meet their health and safety requirements. The free-to-download Safety Wizard app, drawn directly from the HSE Toolbox guidance offers SMEs a solution to help navigate a vast array of health and safety information.

Latest Information from The HSE

Fine for two companies following asbestos investigation in Surrey

Two companies have been fined after unsafe asbestos work was carried out on a property in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Electricity supplier fined after workers death

Electricity North West Ltd has been fined £900,000 after a worker died from falling six metres while carrying out routine maintenance of power lines.

Construction company fined after worker loses fingers

Coldmac Limited has been fined after one of its workers suffered life changing injuries to his hand which required surgical intervention.

Laing O’Rourke fined £800,000 after worker fatally crushed at Heathrow Airport

A construction firm has been sentenced following the death of Philip Griffiths at Heathrow Airport in October 2014.

Roofing companies fined after worker fell through skylight

Two roofing companies have been fined after a worker fell nine metres through a skylight onto concrete flooring below.

Principal contractor fined for safety failings

A London based construction company has been fined for safety failings after complaints from the public

Recycling company fined after worker crushed

Arrow Recycling Ltd has been fined after a worker was left fighting for his life after being crushed by about 400kg of cardboard.

Electrical appliance company fined after worker’s death

Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited has today been fined after a self-employed contractor fell from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) and later died from his injuries.

Partnership fined following death of long-serving farm manager

A farming partnership has been fined £60,000 following the death of a farm manager in Staffordshire.

Suspended prison sentence for Plymouth man undertaking illegal gas work at tenanted property

An unregistered gas fitter has been sentenced for illegally carrying out gas safety work at a rented house.

Trailer firm fined after worker injured between vehicles

A Bedfordshire trailer firm has been sentenced after an employee suffered crush injuries when he was trapped between a lorry’s cab and a trailer.

Health and safety events focus on sectors

Great Britain’s independent safety and health regulator is holding a series of events across the country to look at what businesses can do to look after people at work.

Paper recycling company fined after worker’s death

Recycle Paper UK Ltd has been fined after a worker was thrown from a fork lift truck and died as a result of the injuries he sustained

Firm fined after worker injured when pipe fell into trench and struck him

An Essex company who are specialists in gas infrastructure have been fined after an employee suffered serious injury when a pipe fell into the trench he was working in and struck him.

Engineering firm fined after worker crushed in machinery

Moy Park Ltd has been fined after a worker was injured at the company’s site in Anwick near Sleaford, Lincolnshire

Company fined after worker suffers hand injuries

PD Lift Services Limited has been fined £36,000 after a worker lost his thumb while working on passenger lifts in north London.

Bakers fined after workers suffer hand injuries

Penrith based bakery Bells of Lazonby Limited has been fined after two workers suffered hand injuries while operating machinery on site.

Manchester Hostel owners sentenced over asbestos failings

Two family run companies have been fined after admitting health and safety failings at a site in Manchester, where they were carrying out a basement conversion.

Electrician fined after apprentice left with life changing injuries

A Birmingham electrician has been ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community after his trainee fell three and a half metres through a plasterboard ceiling.

Company sentenced after worker loses finger in machinery

A cable manufacturing company has been sentenced today for safety breaches after a worker suffered the loss of his left little finger.

South Devon engineer sentenced for unregistered gas work

An unregistered plumber has been sentenced after conducting gas work and leaving it in a dangerous state.

Two construction companies fined after worker electrocuted

BAM Construction Limited and Shoreland Projects Limited have been fined after a man suffered multiple life changing injuries including severe burns to his neck.

Haulage company fined after worker crushed

Bryan Alexander Ltd has been fined after one its workers was crushed by a hydraulic extension on one of its vehicles on the roadside in Plymouth.

Essar Oil UK Limited fined after explosion at Ellesmere Port refinery

An oil company has been fined £1.65m following an explosion at its Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port.

Engineering company fined after worker crushed

Multi-Stroke Ltd has been fined after a worker’s left hand was crushed, causing him to lose his thumb, index and middle fingers

Latest Information from The HSE

Updated 05.04.2017:

Sentence after historic home butler fatally crushed in lift incident

The operators of one of Britain’s most iconic stately homes have been sentenced after a domestic servant was crushed to death by a lift.

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.

Care worker imprisoned after the death of service user

Nikki Deaney, a former care worker at Springwood Day Centre, has been sentenced after the death of service user Majid Akhtar.

Contractor fined for poor asbestos assessment

A Bedfordshire based contractor has been fined after failing to carry out suitable assessment of asbestos removal work.

£600,000 fine for Council contractor after major burns to employer

Gloucester Crown Court heard the 61-year-old man was working at the site on Eastgate Street on 29 May 2015. While trying to replace the traffic light pole he came into contact with a live underground cable which immediately gave him the electric shock …

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