Seven Surrey companies prosecuted for health and safety breaches and the accidents that occurred

There have been seven prosecutions in the last year against Surrey companies that have breached health and safety rules including a case where someone died. That’s according to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) public register of prosecutions, which lists prosecution cases pursued by the body that resulted in successful convictions. Cases included an employee crushed to death by a dumper truck, a gas main erupting into a fireball, and people falling from height.

The cases led to companies paying a combined GBP2,078,170 in fines for safety breaches. More than half of that – GBP1,200,000 – was issued against Horley-headquartered Southern Gas Networks Plc.

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That was after an employee suffered serious burns while repairing a gas main damaged during construction work, after it burst into flames. HSE found that the company did not follow their own procedures or recognised safe systems of work when repairing the main.

Byfleet-headquartered construction firm Allenbuild Ltd was prosecuted after an employee was struck and crushed by a dumper truck, sustaining fatal injuries. They were fined GBP600,000 for the 2016 incident, which led to the death of labourer Vince Ramsay, 55.

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Cobham based Willmott Dixon Construction Limited was fined GBP120,000 after a worker fell through a fragile roof light while working on the roof of a school sports hall undergoing refurbishment. The three and a half meter fall led to him fracturing one wrist, and an unconfirmed fracture on his left wrist.

HSE found that earlier in the project, access to the fragile roof lights had been prevented, but preventative measures had been removed, without other measures being put in place. HSE is responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare across the UK.

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Cases are published on its register nine weeks following conviction, to account for any appeals. Records of prosecutions of organisations are published on the register for a year, before being removed and placed on a historic register for nine years.

Full list of Surrey cases

The dates listed below are the dates of the incidents, not the dates the fines were issued.

Southern Gas Networks Plc Breach: A damaged gas main burst into flames while an employee was working on it, causing serious injuries. Date: May 27, 2016

Total fine: GBP1,200,000

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Allenbuild Ltd Breach: An employee was carrying out mark respraying in an area where moving plant machinery, including a dumper truck, was operating, with the result that the employee was struck and crushed by the dumper truck, sustaining fatal injuries. Date: December 5, 2016

Total fine: GBP600,000 Willmott Dixon Construction Limited Breach: The injured person was working on a flat roof above an existing sports hall that was undergoing refurbishment as part of contracted works to develop Wildernesse Grammar Annexe.

He was tasked, with others, to clear waste roofing materials from a flat roof. He tripped and fell 3.4m through a fragile roof light into a room below.

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He then walked through the building back to his place of work on the roof where his work colleague then told him to report the incident to the Willmott Dixon (WD) site team. He was taken to hospital by a WD employee and subsequent x-rays showed he had fractured his right wrist and possibly his left as well, but this could not be confirmed.

Date: November 24, 2016 Total fine: GBP120,000 Croudace Homes Limited

Breach: While working in the loft space of a property, the injured person fell through the ceiling, landing on the staircase before rolling to the ground. The circumstances were found to have been a breach of working at height regulations. Date: October 31, 2016

Total fine: GBP80,170

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Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Limited Breach: An unspecified accident to Mark William Stuart. Date: April 23, 2017

Total fine: GBP66,000 Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited Breach: The company failed to ensure that an acoustic enclosure, enclosing a turbine, was maintained in a safe condition and a roof panel fell from the enclosure, hitting an employee on the head while he was operating an overhead travelling crane.

Date: March 11, 2013 Total fine: GBP12,000

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Thompson Roofing And Guttering Breach: The company was deemed to have been guilty of unsafe working at height on a domestic property, while replacing roof tiles.

Date: March 4, 2017

Total fine: GBP0

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