HSE eBulletin service Press Releases Update for the Week Ending 28.10.2016

Posted 26th October 2016:

Employer jailed for killing teen who fell from a ladder

The tragic consequences of cutting corners on cost when working at height – In this case a seventeen year old who fell to his death when working from a ladder.

 Read the full police press release


Fragile roofs

05/10/16: Worker suffers severe injuries in roof fall

Further information

Free leaflet – Fragile roofs

Busy Builder leaflet –Fragile roofs: What you need to know as a busy builder, contractor or maintenance worker

Busy Builder leaflet – Fragile roofs: What you need to know as a building owner, user or managing agent 

 Working at height

06/10/16: Building contractor prosecuted following worker’s fall

07/10/16: Council fined after employee was injured from fall 

Further information

Busy Builder leaflet – Construction Phase Plan

Construction Safety Topic – Assessing all work at height

Construction Safety Topic – Working at height

Construction Safety Topic – Using ladders safely

 Lifting operations

05/10/16: Worker injured after being struck by concrete skip

13/10/16: Building contractor in court after worker killed by falling load

Further information

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)

Construction Safety Topic – Lifting operations


20/10/16: Council and contractors fined more than £1.5 million after man dies and another seriously injured in roadworks 

Further information

Construction Information Sheet (CIS 53) – Reducing risk in temporary traffic management operations

 Carbon monoxide

21/10/16: Testing Services firm fined over worker’s CO death 

Further information

Construction Health Topic – Carbon monoxide

Struck by

07/10/16: Construction company fined after worker losses both legs

Further information

Construction Safety Topic – Dumpers


03/10/16: Bolton night club owner fined over asbestos exposure 

Further information

Asbestos survey

 Overhead power lines

24/10/16: Farming and drilling contractors fined after mast strikes power line

Further information

Construction Safety Topic – Overhead power lines


24/10/16: Worker seriously injured in mobile platform fall

Further information

Construction Safety Topic – MEWPS

HSE eBulletin service Press Releases Update for the Week Ending 21.10.2016

Latest automated update(s) to Press Releases on HSE’s Website:

Building contractor in court after worker killed by falling load

A building contractor has been fined after a worker was killed when a load fell from a tower crane during a lifting operation in Colchester.

Manufacturing firm fined after worker crushed to death

Oldham manufacturing firm R Tindall (Fabricators) Ltd has been prosecuted after a worker died after he was crushed under metal pipework.

Construction firm fined after hoarding falls on passer-by

A construction company from Cambridge has been fined after temporary hoarding from one of their sites fell onto a member of public walking along the high street.

Metal company fined after worker loses foot

A Bedfordshire metal company has been fined for safety breaches after a worker suffered severe leg injuries and lost most of his foot.

Torbay plumber sentenced after illegal gas work

An illegal gas fitter has been prosecuted after he installed a gas boiler and left it in a potentially dangerous state because he did not commission it.

Council fined after employee was injured from fall

A Yorkshire council has been fined after an employee was injured when he fell from a ladder.

Construction company fined after worker losses both legs

A Cornish construction company has been fined after their worker had to have both legs amputated, around the knee, after being crushed by a dumper truck.

Tyre explosion seriously injures worker

A tyre maintenance company has been fined after a tyre exploded seriously injuring a worker.

Building contractor prosecuted following worker’s fall

A building contractor from Wokingham has been prosecuted after a worker fell and punctured his lung while carrying out demolition work.

Concrete company fined after worker suffers head injuries

A concrete company in Ilkeston, has been fined a worker after a worker suffered head injuries.

Landlord given suspended prison sentence over gas failings

A Durham landlord has been given a suspended prison sentence following his failure to maintain or check the gas fittings in one of his properties

Environmental services firm fined for safety failings

A Lancashire based environmental services company has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries when his arm was crushed by machinery.

Star Wars film maker fined £1.6 million for injuring Harrison Ford

The makers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens have been sentenced after failing to protect the actors and workers while on set during filming at Pinewood Studio, Slough, Buckinghamshire.

Harrison Ford suffered a broken leg and deep lacerations when he was knocked off his feet and pinned to the floor of the Millennium Falcon set, as a prop door closed on him. HSE’s investigation found that there was no automatic emergency cut off, to protect those on set, instead relying on the reactions of the prop operator(s) to bring the door to a stop.

Aylesbury Crown Court heard how a combination of preventable events, starting with how the door was designed, led to the incident.

During dress rehearsals on the 12 June 2014 Harrison Ford walked back towards the entrance ramp of the Millennium Falcon and pressed the prop door button to ‘close’ the door. As the cameras were not rolling he did not expect it to close. The production crew member who was operating the prop believed they were in full rehearsal and closed the door.

The door’s steel frame was overlaid with sheets of metal and had a tapered edge. It’s operation moved from ceiling to floor in a sharp downward motion. It did not have any automated safety mechanisms to cut out if a person was unexpectedly under the door.

The risk of the door causing a serious injury or death had been highlighted by one of the health and safety officers for the production company. Foodles Production (UK) Ltd should have put a system in place to ensure the actors and production workers were protected. A different design with inbuilt safety features or using a different material could have guarded against any possible miscommunication on a busy film set.

Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, who had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to Section 2 and Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, were today fined £1.6 million and ordered to pay costs of £20,861.22 at Aylesbury Crown Court.

HSE’s Divisional Director Tim Galloway said: “This incident was foreseeable and preventable and could have resulted in more serious injury or even death.

“The power and speed of the door was such that, had Mr Ford or anyone else had been struck on the head by the door as it closed, they might easily have been killed.

“It was only the almost instantaneous actions of the prop operator in hitting the emergency stop that prevented the door from continuing to press down on Mr Ford as he lay on the floor.

“I think everyone would accept that all the people who work in the film industry have a right to know that the risks they take to entertain us, including when making action movies, are properly managed and controlled.”

Recalls for medical devices

Leonhard Lang: Defibrillation electrode SCHILLER DF87C and DF56C

Defibrillators, non-implantable

Model: DF87C, DF56C

For Further Information MHRA reference: 2016/010/028/299/006

Automatic external defibrillator (AED) LIFEPAK CR Plus and LIFEPAK EXPRESS – risk of failure to deliver a shock.

Manufactured by Physio-Control – risk of delay to defibrillation due to an intermittent component failure. Specific serial numbers are affected

Update: First published.

For further information on this published alert:


Night shifts not linked to breast cancer risk, new study finds

Researchers found that women who had worked night shifts (including those who had done so for up to 30 years) had no increased risk of breast cancer compared with women who had never worked shifts.

In the Million Women Study, EPIC-Oxford, and UK Biobank respectively, 673, 28 and 67 women who reported night shift work developed breast cancer. The combined relative risks taking all ten studies together were 0.99 for any night shift work, 1.01 for 20 or more years of night shift work, and 1.00 for 30 or more years night shift work.

The findings contradict a 2007 review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer that said shift work disrupted the “body clock” and was a probable cause of cancer. This was mainly based on animal and lab studies.

The latest work builds on a Canadian study of 1,134 breast cancer sufferers and 1,179 women of similar ages without the disease which found the risk factor was apparent only in those working nights for more than half a normal working life.

Dr Ruth Travis, lead author and a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, said: “We found that women who had worked night shifts, including long-term night shifts, were not more likely to develop breast cancer, either in the three new UK studies or when we combined results from all ten studies that had published relevant data.”

The research, Night Shift Work and Breast Cancer Incidence: Three Prospective Studies and Meta-analysis of Published Studies, was funded by the HSE, Cancer Research UK and the UK Medical Research Council.

Sarah Williams, Cancer Research UK’s health information manager, said: “This study is the largest of its kind and has found no link between breast cancer and working night shifts. We hope [this] news reassures women who work night shifts.”

Professor Andrew Curran, chief scientific adviser for the HSE, which commissioned the study, added: “This study has shown that night shift work, including long-term shift work, has little or no effect on breast cancer incidence in women. However, there are a number of other known risks with shift work that employers must take into consideration when protecting their workers’ health and safety.”

On average, one in seven (14%) women in the UK have ever worked nights and one in 50 (2%) have worked nights for 20 or more years. Each year in the UK around 53,300 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and around 11,500 die from the disease.

HSE Recent Enforcement Activity

A round up of some recent HSE prosecutions and enforcement action in the construction sector and links to relevant advice. 

Fragile roofs

21/09/16: Somerset manufacturer prosecuted for workers death

Further information

Free leaflet – Fragile roofs

Busy Builder leaflet –Fragile roofs: What you need to know as a busy builder, contractor or maintenance worker

Busy Builder leaflet – Fragile roofs: What you need to know as a building owner, user or managing agent 


Roofwork/Working at height

30/08/16: Conservatory roof manufacturer fined after workers fall

01/09/16: Construction firm in court after worker fractures spine in roof fall

16/09/16: Two scaffolders receive suspended prison sentence following workers death 

Further information

Busy Builder leaflet – Construction Phase Plan

Construction Safety Topic – Assessing all work at height

Construction Safety Topic – Working at height


Traffic management on site

16/09/16: Construction company fined £800,000 after worker injured 

Further information

Construction Safety Topic – Traffic management on site


HSE construction inspectors will be carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

This year the Initiative is being undertaken as a series of two week inspections across the country, beginning 3 October 2016 ending 4 November 2016.

During this period inspectors will ensure high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

These include


Where serious breaches of legislation are found then immediate enforcement action will be taken, but inspectors will also be taking steps to secure a positive change in behaviour to ensure on-going compliance.

Health and safety breaches with clients and designers will also be followed up to reinforce their duties under CDM 2015 and to ensure that all dutyholders with on site health and safety responsibilities understand and fulfil these.

Follow the SaferSites Facebook page to see what inspectors find on site and keep updated throughout the initiative.

Crystal company sentenced over injury to worker

A Cumbrian lead crystal manufacturer has been fined after an employee suffered a serious hand injury while using machinery.

Laura Ponsford, who was 21 at the time of the incident in February last year, had the middle finger of her right hand torn off while operating a drill to widen the neck of a glass bottle.

Preston Crown Court heard the investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident at Greatdale Ltd (trading as Cumbria Crystal) found the firm had failed to prevent operatives from accessing dangerous parts of machinery.

Mrs Ponsford, 21, had only been working at the defendant’s premises at The Lakes Glass Centre, Ulverston, for one year and has since left the company.

The court heard on the afternoon of 20 February 2015, she was using a ‘pillar drill’ to widen (or ream) the neck of a glass bottle. The chuck and reamer were unguarded.  Mrs Ponsford was wearing latex gloves while performing this task, however the glove on her right hand became entangled within the rotating parts of the reamer resulting in the middle finger of her hand being severed.

She underwent 10 hours of surgery to reattach the finger but unfortunately she was later told the operation had not been successful and had to undergo a further operation in March 2015 to have the finger surgically amputated to below the second knuckle.

HSE told the court the incident could have been prevented if a suitable and sufficient risk assessment had taken place with regard to the drill and practicable control measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery had been in place.

Greatdale Limited (trading as Cumbria Crystal) of The Lakes Glass Centre, Oubas Hill, Ulverston, Cumbria, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £15,000.

After the hearing HSE inspector Leona Cameron said: “This incident could have been prevented simply by providing guarding to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machine.

“The need to guard dangerous parts of machinery is well known with established industry guidance available, and in this case, the result of that guidance being ignored is a serious injury to a young woman.”

Demolition contractor sentenced

A Hertfordshire based contractor has been found guilty for a series of safety failings across two separate sites.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received a complaint in March 2014 from a member of the public living close to the former Chesham Community Hospital site in Buckinghamshire, concerning activities taking place on the premises.

When HSE inspectors arrived they found a catalogue of failings including the presence of asbestos containing materials among building debris, demolition arrangements not recorded in writing, and witness accounts of dangerous practises including unsafe work at height and use of construction machinery, poor site security and a lack of welfare facilities. In HSE’s opinion there was also a serious risk of injury from collapse of partially demolished buildings.

Enforcement action was taken immediately by way of Prohibition and Improvement Notices being served on both the contractor and client to ensure on-going risks were controlled. The client Chesham Care Ltd) was prosecuted for failings under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) and fined a total amount of £30,000 in October 2015.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard attempts were made by HSE to contact the contractor without avail. However, in June 2015 an HSE inspector was alerted to unsafe working practices at a site in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

Upon attending, the HSE inspector found the same contractor in control of workers unsafely dismantling parts of the building to recover recyclables, such as metal. No risk assessment had been done regarding respiratory exposure to asbestos containing materials. The client told HSE the contractor was working without their knowledge on the site and had alerted the police.

As well as immediate enforcement action being taken on site to control risks, a private investigator was subsequently used to track down the contractor who had failed to respond to HSE..

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard Scot Ian Richardson t/a Aztec Demolition was acting as the contractor in control for both projects. After a trial Scot Ian Richardson was found guilty of two breaches of the CDM Regulations 2007, one breach of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and one breach of The Health and Safety at Work Act etc,1974 and was sentenced to four months suspended custodial sentence and 200 hours community service order. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said: “Sole traders who control workers to demolish and dismantle structures must understand their legal obligations. This is a high risk industry in which poor planning has no place. Family members expect their loved ones to come home in one piece.

“Clients have a key role in safely directing construction projects. Effective arrangements at the start can have an amplified positive impact down the various stages to completion, including making informed and competent appointments”