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Construction company and employee sentenced after worker killed

Construction company and employee sentenced after worker killed

Clancy Docwra Limited and one of its employees have been sentenced for health and safety breaches after another worker was struck by an excavator and was killed.

Southward Crown Court was told how site operative Kevin Campbell was struck by an excavator mounted vibrator (EMV) attached to a 35-tonne excavator that he was working in close proximity too. The incident happened during a night shift on a construction site in Stratford on 2 March 2014.

Mr Campbell had been disconnecting lifting accessories from a metal pile that had just been extracted from the ground when he was crushed against a concrete wall a short distance away. He died from his injuries. Another site operative who was directly next to him also faced a risk of being struck, the court heard.

Investigating, the HSE found the construction company which was the principal contractor; Clancy Docwra Limited, failed to ensure the safety so far as is reasonably practicable of its employees and of others who were not their employees working on the site. The investigation also found that Daniel Walsh, who was the site supervisor for the site and the person operating the excavator at the time, failed to take reasonable care for other persons on site at the time.

Clancy Docwra Limited of Coppermill Lane, Harefield, Middlesex pleaded not guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £1,000,000 and ordered to pay costs of £108,502.30.

Daniel Walsh of Eastcote, Orpington, Kent pleaded not guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was given a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £15,000.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Darren Alldis said: “This death was wholly preventable and serves as a reminder as to why it is so important for companies and individuals to take their responsibilities to protect others seriously and to take the simple actions necessary to eliminate and minimise risks.

“If the risks had been properly considered by the company, and simple and appropriate control measures were put in place, then the likelihood of such an incident occurring would have been significantly reduced. Informing all site operatives of the specific risks they face when carrying out such tasks and the control measures required of exclusion zones, the importance of communication and the mandatory use of excavator safety levers were simple actions that should have been put in place and their effectiveness monitored.

“All those with legal responsibilities must be clear that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action including where appropriate prosecution against those that fall below the required standards”.

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Construction company and employee sentenced after worker killed


Over five million UK workers could be suffering from a mental health condition

Over five million UK workers could be suffering from a mental health condition

The British Safety Council published its new literature review, Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work, in December 2018. Shehzana Mamujee, Policy and Research Analyst at British Safety Council, tells SHP about some of the findings.

A ubiquitous ‘catch-all’ term, ‘wellbeing’ is nowadays used to refer to everything: from a good diet, to a positive experience, to the protection of those suffering serious mental health conditions. While occupational safety remains a key priority for employers across all sectors, there is growing public awareness of the impact health and wellbeing has on individuals, organisations and society as a whole.  The latest research estimates that over five million UK workers could be suffering from a mental health condition each year.[1]

Examining current literature on occupational health and wellbeing, Not just free fruit seeks to define ‘wellbeing’ in workplace contexts, exploring the term’s varying connotations and applications. Furthermore, it serves as a call to action for all senior leaders and executives, no matter the size or sector of their organisations. Workers’ health and wellbeing can no longer be relegated to the bottom of managers’ ‘to do lists’, absent from strategy meetings, exempt from financial forecasts. The Centre of Economic and Business Research predicts that the cost of sickness absence will increase to £21bn in 2020.[2] The link between wellbeing and productivity is undeniable and calculable. It cannot be ignored.

At the British Safety Council, we believe ‘no-one should be injured or made ill through their work’. This means protecting workers from hazards and risks, and providing an environment which enables them to address issues arising in the workplace and elsewhere. These steps include not only traditional health benefits but, crucially, the conditions characterising the working day: workload, collegiality, autonomy and salary, to name a few.

Calling for the government to ‘place equal importance on the quality of work as it does on the quantity’, 2017’s Good Work: The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices recognised that ‘“quality of work” needs to be more clearly understood, defined and measured’.[3] In February 2018, the government’s Good Work Plan committed to enacting the Taylor Review’s recommendation that it ‘should identify a set of metrics against which it will measure success in improving work, reporting annually on the quality of work on offer in the UK’. Alongside physical injury and mental health, these measures include, among others, ‘job security’, line manager relationship’ and ‘satisfaction with pay’, all of which, this review argues, constitute wellbeing at work.

Covering such topics as ‘types of wellbeing interventions’, ‘health, wellbeing and productivity’, ‘good work and wellbeing’, ‘workplace bullying’ and ‘mental wellbeing’, Not just free fruit includes a number of case studies, from BAE Systems to our own British Safety Council. Our aim is to demonstrate the ways in which organisations currently implement initiatives designed to protect and improve