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Home Tradesman Insights Millions paid out in the biggest fines of 2022

Millions paid out in the biggest fines of 2022

Last year saw a number of firms pay huge fines for breaking health and safety regulations.

Work related injuries 2022

Data for all work related injuries in 2022 has been published by the Health and Safety Executive.

Overall, there were 1.8 million work related health cases across 2021/22, including 123 work related deaths.

Work related stress, depression and anxiety was reported 0.9 million times, with education and social work topping the list.

The construction industry came second highest for musculoskeletal disorders, trailing the forestry and fishing industry. There were 477,000 injuries in total, with 7.3 million working days lost to disorders.

The most common musculoskeletal areas, were:

  • Back (42%)
  • Upper limbs or neck (37%)
  • Lower Limbs (21%)

Exposure to asbestos led to 20% of lung-disease cases, with 12,000 lung related deaths recorded across all industries.

Non-fatal injuries were reported to be significantly higher in the construction sector compared to other industries.

The most common injuries across all industries were:

  • Slips, trips, falls on same level (30%)
  • Handling, lifting or carrying (18%)
  • Struck by moving object (11%)
  • Falls from height (8%)

As you can see these injuries are more likely to occur in construction, and highlight the importance of safety on site.

However, some construction firms and companies take shortcuts or bend the health and safety laws.

Top fines of 2022

Here are five of the biggest health and safety fines of 2022.

1. Riding in digger’s bucket

A building firm in Greater Manchester has been fined £120,000 for using a digger inappropriately on a new build.

Two employees at Hoyle Developments Limited were seen riding in a digger’s bucket up to the roof of the house and setting a stone.

Inspectors with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) made four visits to the firm’s projects between 2018 and 2021, and found evidence of repeated breaches.

Other red flags on site included, a lack of scaffolding, unsafe fencing, and limited welfare facilities.

2. S&S Quality Building Contractors Ltd

The Essex based building firm was investigated after reports of people sleeping on site were sent to HSE. Further inspections revealed a number of risks, including poor fire management.

Follow up visits from the regulator found that S&S had failed to address safety issues, which resulted in a hefty fine.

The firm was ordered to pay £600,000, plus £37,000 in costs.

3. Cleveland Bridge UK Ltd

An electrician fell to his death while working on a overhead travelling crane. As he walked across the crane an access panel fell through sending him eight metres to the ground.

Issues with the crane’s walkway were raised previously and underwent repairs. However, the panel was not tested for load.

Cleveland Bridge UK were found guilty of breaching a number of health and safety codes, and fined £1.5 million, plus £29,000 in costs.

4. Boulby Mine

Two employees suffered severe burns on two separate occasions while working for Cleveland Potash Ltd.

The Boulby mine near Loftus, admitted arc flashes that occurred in both 2016 and 2019 were preventable.

The first incident happened when a vacuum cleaner nozzle was placed into a live 11,000-volt chamber. And the second, three years later, saw a contractor hit by 415-volts while testing an electrical system.

The limited company was fined £3.6 million, plus £185,000 in court costs.

5. Northern Gas Networks Ltd

A gas leak that had not been maintained caused an explosion that ripped through a home, killing the owner.

Northern Gas Networks were liable, with the investigation revealing a build up of gas underneath the property as the cause of the explosion.

The company was ordered to pay £5 million in fines, plus £91,500 in costs.

Tradesman Talk

What checks do you go through before your start work on site?

Have you or any of your colleagues been injured at work?

Have your say in the comments below, and click the social links to share this story.

Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson has an MA in Creative Writing and has been crafting content for over a decade. He writes for a range of niches, including the construction industry and insurance sector. Mark has worked internationally as a content writer and teacher.

All articles by Mark McPherson

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