R v Director of Public Prosecutions and others ex parte Jones [2000] IRLR 373, High Court

23 March 2007

In 1998 J was sent by an employment agency to work at Shoreham docks. He was employed by Euromin, whose managing director was M. J’s work involved the unloading of bags of cobblestones from the hold of a ship. The system for this involved workers standing near an open grab bucket attached to a crane. The lever in the driver’s cab for closing the bucket was very sensitive. When it was operated, the bucket closed in one second. J was decapitated when the grab bucket closed on him.

R v Fresha Bakeries Ltd [2003] 1 Cr.App.R. 44, Court of Appeal

23 March 2007

F was fined a total of £350,000 for offences under s.2 and 3 of the 1974 Act. A grid came off a bakery conveyor belt and fell to the bottom of an oven. Two employees were told to recover the grid. This involved entering the oven. The oven should have been cooled for eight hours before entering but was only cooled for two hours. The temperature inside was 100 degrees Celsius. One employee died from circulatory collapse and heat exposure. The other died from circulatory failure and multiple injuries.

R v Friskies Petcare (UK) Ltd [2000] 2 Cr.App.R. 401

23 March 2007

F, a large company manufacturing pet food, was fined £600,000 under s.2 of the 1974 Act and regulation 3 of the 1992 regulations. Two technicians employed at F’s factory went into a silo to repair a stirrer. In the course of this work one of them was electrocuted. This was caused by the deceased coming into contact with the live parts of the welding electrode. The voltage was above the threshold where precautions were required to be taken when work was carried out in a confined or conductive location, or in damp or wet conditions. There was no system for warning technicians of the inherent risks. The repairing system had been in operation for three years before F acquired the factory, which was three months before the accident. No proper risk assessment had been undertaken and no steps had been taken to avoid the risks. F appealed against the amount of the fine to the Court of Appeal.

Rozario v Post Office [1997] PIQR P15, Court of Appeal

23 March 2007

R had been employed by P for 15 years. He was injured during the course of his employment while lifting, to a height of one metre, a box weighing approximately 10kg. R had previously requested a move from lifting work because of a bad back, but had later asked to return to his old job. No foreseeable injury arose from his system of work. R claimed compensation from his employer.

R v Howe and Son (Engineers) Ltd (1998) The Times, 27 November, CA

23 March 2007

H was a small precision engineering company. On 13 August 1996, an employee aged 20 was electrocuted while cleaning H’s factory. The company pleaded guilty to four offences under the Act of 1974 and related offences. It was fined £48,000 and ordered to pay £7500 costs by Judge Fanner at Bristol Crown Court. The company appealed against this sentence.

R v Nelson Group Services (Maintenance) Ltd [1999] IRLR 646, Court of Appeal

23 March 2007

N Ltd employed a large number of gas fitters. It was charged with a number of offences under s.3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 in relation to unsafe practices in working on gas appliances. At the Crown Court trial, the judge directed the jury on the issue of reasonable practicability. N Ltd was convicted on all counts. It appealed on the basis that:

R v Yorkshire Sheeting & Insulation Ltd [2003] 2 Cr.App.R. (S.) 93, Court of Appeal

23 March 2007

Y was a company which specialised in roofing work. It had been contracted to work on a project. A self-employed roofing sheeter engaged by Y fell through a rooflight and was fatally injured. Y pleaded guilty to a charge under s.3 of the 1974 Act and was fined £100,000 plus £8950 costs. It appealed to the Court of Appeal against the amount of the fine and made the following points.

Reid v Rush & Tompkins Group plc [1990] 1 WLR 212, CA

4 July 2006

Mr Reid suffered serious injuries while driving in the course of his employment in Ethiopia. His employer was not responsible for the accident. Mr Reid received no damages because the driver responsible was not insured and there was no system of compulsory third party motor insurance in Ethiopia. He brought a claim against the employer alleging that the employer was in breach of its duty of care in failing to advise him to obtain insurance cover. At first instance it was held that he had no reasonable cause of action.

R v Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Ltd (1995) The Times, 1 December, CA

4 July 2006

Mr Harris, the employee of a subcontractor, was instructed to repair a roof light at R’s factory in Dagenham. He was working with Mr Fagg, another employee of the subcontractor, and with Mr Mitchell who was directly employed by R. Mr Harris was told not to climb onto the roof. He did so, and fell through the roof light onto a concrete floor 28 feet below and was killed. R was charged with offences under the Act of 1974 and the Regulations of 1966. The company was fined £7500 in respect of the former and £2500 in respect of the latter, with £55,000 costs. R appealed.

R v Gateway Foodmarkets Ltd (1996) Court of Appeal, 19 December

16 May 2006

An employee of G Co. fell down a lift shaft at one of its stores and died from his injuries. Maintenance of the lift had been contracted out to a reputable and experienced contractor. The lift was faulty: an electrical contact had to be freed by hand and it had become the practice for personnel to do this regularly. The employee who died had attempted to free the contact when he fell through a trap door which had been left open by the contractor. G Co. was prosecuted under s.2(1).