Health & Safety, Environmental and QA Services and Systems

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Legal Case Updates February 2011
R v Tangerine Confectionary: April 2010 
•Fatality – trapped in machine
•Company fined £300k + £73k costs
•Section 2 HSWA - £150k
•Reg 3 MHSWR – failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient  risk assessment - £150k
•Guidelines relevant as breaches were a significant cause of death
R v Hanson Building Products Ltd: June 2010 
•Company fined £280k + £29k costs
•s.2(1) HSWA 1974
•Employee died when his head became trapped between concrete blocks and a metal platform when removing blocks from a conveyor
Starting point for fine was £500K
R v Nixon and Transtore (UK) Ltd (2010): 
•workers exposed to lead and other chemicals while paint sprayed without safety measures and
•put at risk of falls from height with no safety equipment
•Prosecution followed a complaint from a concerned employee
–Nixon (MD of company) fined £17k + £9k costs and disqualified from acting as a director for 5 years
–Transtore fined £70k + costs of £27k and is now in administration

Fire cases

LFEPA v Shell International  
•June 2009
–Shell fined £300,000 and £45,000 costs for failing to review the risk assessment
–No separate penalty for the other 2 offences
–No injury or fatality
LFEPA v New Look (November 2009)
•Fire at Oxford Street store
•450 evacuated from store and surrounding premises
•Investigation revealed an inadequate fire risk assessment; inadequate procedures to follow when alarm sounds (which caused delay in calling the fire brigade); inadequate staff training (that added to the delay); materials stored in escape routes and inactive fire exits.
•Criticised for having only 1 safety advisor for 600+ outlets
•£400,000 fine plus costs of £136,000
•Pleaded guilty to 2 offences under RRO
R v New Look Retailers Limited
•Court of Appeal – June 2010
•Upheld fine of £400k – severe but not disproportionate
•No death/injuries
•No causation but failed to manage risks
•Relevant factors were:
–Seriousness of the breach;
–Ability to pay;
–Need to send clear message to management and shareholders
Tesco: April 2010
•Fire in staff kitchen and following inspection
•5 breaches of RRO 2005
•Fined £95,000 plus costs of £24k
–Blocked fire routes and exits;
–Failure to review risk assessment
–Fire doors wedged open
–Flammable materials stored in escape routes
Co-operative: April 2010
•6 breaches of RRO 2005
•Fined £210,000 (£35k per offence) plus costs of £28k
•No fire. Resulted from fire safety inspections
–Blocked/locked fire exits;
–Lack of staff training;
–Testing of fire alarm system;
–Poor early warning and detection of fire
Poundstretcher: November 2010
•7 breaches of RRO 2005
•Fined £51,500 plus costs of £3k
•No fire. Resulted from fire safety inspections
–General fire precautions;
–Risk assessment review;
–Emergency routes – blocked with combustible material
–Exits – 1 out of 6 available
–Inadequate staff training.
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This lists some cases of note. It is not a comprehensive list.