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Health and Safety

Much of Ros’ practice involves Health and Safety work, representing prosecuting authorities including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and defendants alike. As a specialist Regulatory barrister, Ros has been appointed as the Health and Safety Executive's list B Specialist Regulatory Advocate in Health and Safety Law. She is particularly adept in dealing with cases involving two defendants; frequently companies who have contracted with each other for specific work to be carried out.  The following are examples of recent Health and Safety cases:

HSE v Thompson Contracts Ltd. [2019]

Defended TCL in respect of an allegation that they were in breach of s.2(1) HSWA, which came to light when an employee suffered injury when moving MDF sheeting.

Preston City Council v Halfords Ltd. [2019]

Acted for the City Council against Halfords Ltd., who breached their statutory duties in respect of employees who were exposed to risk in relation to the storage of boxed bikes.  A stack collapsed, causing injury.

Preston City Council v Tile Mart Ltd. [2018]

Acted for Preston City Council in the prosecution of Tile Mart Ltd. (t/a Roccia), who breached H&S legislation by exposing a 4 yr old to risk.  A sink unit, which had not been fixed into the showroom wall according to the manufacturer's specification, fell onto her causing injury.

Carlisle City Council v Pegasus Storage Solutions Ltd. and Brian Vallely [2018]

Successfully defended Brian Vallely, who had subcontracted his storage fitting service to Pegasus. An incident occurred at a facility owned by Edmundson Electrical Ltd. who had contracted with Pegasus to supply storage racking for heavy duty cable.

HSE v Vertellus Specialties UK Ltd. [2017]

Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations were breached, exemplified by a serious fire at a chemicals site in Middlesbrough.

HSE v Armstrong World Industries Ltd. and Another [2017]

A contractor, undertaking electrical cable replacement works at a factory, received burn injuries from cutting through a live cable.  Defendants were “medium” and “large” under the new Sentencing Guidelines.

HSE v British Telecommunications PLC [2016]

Case involving life-changing injuries caused to two employees as a result of deficiencies in construction and maintenance of electrical systems, and work at height. Sentence under the new Sentencing Guidelines.

Darlington Borough Council v Aldi Food Stores Ltd and Wilkinson Maintenance Ltd. [2016]

Case involved Aldi contracting Wilkinson for construction work.  Work was not adequately particularised in the latter’s Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS). An unsecured smoking shelter blew over causing injury to an employee of Aldi.  Both defendants liable under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974 and fined under new Sentencing Guidelines.

HSE v Brims Construction Ltd. and M & C Roofing Contractors Ltd. [2015]

Case involving a fall from height by a roofer through a roof light.  Obligations of principal contractors. Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM). Bad character.

HSE v Wright [trading as PW Joinery and Building Services] [2015]

Involved a fatal fall of an employee from a ladder and inadequate construction and maintenance of scaffolding.

HSE v Gateshead Council and Connelly [2014]

Involved Gateshead Council contracting with Connelly, who was not suitably qualified, to fell trees adjacent to a live railway line.  Tree caused significant damage to track and oncoming train.  Duties of contracting companies, even where no involvement by them in the contracted work.  Duty to conduct due ‘diligence checks’ on contractors. 

Middlesbrough Borough Council v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd. and Wincanton Group Ltd. [2014]

Injuries caused by roll cages toppling over when off loaded from lorries.  

HSE V Stannah Lifts Services Ltd and C G Grant [2014]

Case involved the fall through a roof light located in Stannah premises by an employee of C G Grant, a roofing company.  Duties of contracting companies, even where no involvement by them in the contracted work.  Duty to conduct ‘due diligence’ checks on contractors.

Middlesbrough Borough Council v Park Gates Leisure Ltd. and Solomon [2013]

Case involved the fall of an employee through a cellar hatch in a public house, causing serious injury.  Duties and criminal liabilities of directors.

HSE v Wood Recycling Ltd [2013]

Involving breaches of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.  Fatality due to lack of segregation in time or space between vehicles and pedestrians working on site.

HSE v Cleveland Cable Co. [2012]

Life changing injuries to two employees on two separate occasions involving falling, or ‘out of control’, cable-drums.