Week Commencing 18/03/2024 – In The News

Worker fractures skull in fall

A solar panel installation company has been fined after a worker fell and sustained life-changing injuries.

The worker, employed by Everyone’s Energy UK Limited, had been installing solar panels on the roof of a house on Pentland Avenue in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire when he fell three metres on 4 July 2022.

It is believed the 41-year-old had been carrying materials up a ladder when he fell.

He landed at the foot of the ladder and suffered a fractured skull, leading to a severe brain injury. He is now unable to walk or talk.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Everyone’s Energy UK Limited had failed to properly plan, manage, and monitor the work at height. The company had not provided adequate scaffolding around the roof and there was no appropriate means to raise the materials onto the roof.

Read more on the HSM website.

Major pizza maker fined £800,000 after two workers caught up in machinery

One of the nation’s largest producers of supermarket pizzas has been fined £800,000 after two workers suffered serious injuries at its factory in Bolton.

Stateside Foods Limited produces millions of pizzas each year, supplied to major UK supermarkets. The company was hit with the fine after the employees were caught up in machinery at the Westhoughton site in two separate incidents during 2020.

Bolton Crown Court heard how one man had his arm drawn into an inadequately guarded conveyor belt at the Lancaster Way factory, on 8 January 2020. The injury to his arm resulted in the removal of muscle and required a skin graft. He has not returned to work since the injury and has been diagnosed with hypersensitivity in the affected arm.

Following on from this, on a night shift just nine months later, father of two Andrew Holloway had part of his middle figure severed after his hand was drawn between a roller and a conveyor belt on 14 October 2020. The acting team leader had been told of an issue on the production line and gone to investigate when the horrific incident happened.

Learn more about both incidents on the HSE website.

Driver suffers brain injury in fall

A company has been fined £380k after a delivery driver fell and suffered a traumatic brain injury while working at its site in Walsall.

Timothy Bates was delivering fuel for a temporary diesel generator at Haldane Fisher Limited’s timber processing site on Long Street when he fell from a trailer on 28 July 2022.

Mr Bates, who is from Stafford, had been stowing equipment in a trailer attached to his truck when the vehicle was struck by a forklift truck reversing out of a nearby mill. This led to the trailer shunting into Mr Bates, with the 57-year-old then falling over and hitting his head onto the tarmac floor below.

He spent five weeks in hospital after sustaining a traumatic brain injury before spending 13 weeks in a care facility where he undertook CBT. He suffers from memory loss and dizziness as a result of his brain injury.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Haldane Fisher Limited, trading as GE Robinson, failed to identify safe systems of work for the delivery of fuel to the temporary generators at its site. There was inadequate segregation of vehicles and pedestrians in the yard. There were no measures in place to prevent forklift trucks from entering the areas in which delivery drivers were working whilst refuelling generators.

Visit the HSM website to read more.

Almost half of UK manufacturing employers have increased spending on workforce health and wellbeing

Almost half of UK manufacturing employers have increased spending on workforce health and wellbeing – and it’s having a positive impact.

Figures from the last year have revealed 45% of companies have increased their investment in wellbeing initiatives, 49% have maintained the level of investment and the amount companies are investing per person has also increased – with 33% now investing more than £100 per employee.

Surveys by Make UK also revealed UK companies have seen an improvement in staff retention as a result.

The average days lost to absence fell to 4.7 in 2023 compared to 5.6 in 2022.

Read more on the SHP website.


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