Latest News from BPCA

02 August 2017

The cost of getting it wrong

All pest management professionals should be able to recognise the importance of health and safety in their day-to-day duties.

If you do get it wrong, the financial implications and impact on a colleagues’ well-being can be devastating. Every single person in a company has a responsibility to manage health and safety risks in a sensible way that protects the business, your colleagues and yourself.

Amid a series of successful prosecutions and press releases from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), we thought it was worth wrapping up a few case studies so you can get a clear picture of the consequences of “getting it wrong” when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.

Danger fragile roofWorker falls through fragile roof

When a construction worker fell more than five metres through a fragile roof, a HSE investigation lead to the successful prosecution and a fine for the company.

26-year-old Ryan Sartin suffered a broken pelvis and wrist as a result of the fall - however, it could have been a lot worse.

The investigation found that safety netting wasn't installed and a handrail wasn't provided around the roof edge. T Broom Construction, Devon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and has been fined £6700 and ordered to pay costs of £1016.60.

T Broom Construction failed in its duty to protect employees working at height by not appropriately planning the work. Suitable planning would have identified the measures required to minimise the risks of a fall from height.

HSE Inspector

Risk of fire

Chemical explosion injures two

Two people suffered minor injuries as a result of the blast, which was due to the operation of the hydrochloric acid (HCl) burner on 26 September 2013.

Of the two workers that were injured, one suffered grazed knees from a block being dislodged from a wall and another had minor caustic burns caused by a drip from the plant following the explosion.

The investigation was conducted by HSE acting as part of the COMAH competent authority. HSE found that the company routed the vent gas, containing mostly hydrogen, through to the plant emergency scrubber where it was able to come into contact with oxygen or chlorine which found an ignition source and then exploded.

Industrial Chemicals, Thurrrock pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999, was fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £35,854.

This incident could have been avoided if simple checks had been carried out.

HSE Inspector

Head ingury health and safety28kg ducting strikes worker in head

Warwick Crown Court heard that a Maxi Haulage employee was seriously injured when a piece of metal ducting - weighing 28kg - fell from the top deck of the trailer, hitting him on his head. The incident caused serious, life changing injuries, including a fractured skull.

The HSE investigation found that the company had not put proper procedures in place, nor had they properly educated employees about relevant health and safety rules for the site.

Maxi Haulage, Irvine, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and have been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £53,401.

This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing suitable control measures and safe working practices. The company itself had identified and easily implemented the necessary measures after this tragic event.

HSE Inspector

Getting it right

Good health and safety practices mean you’ll avoid significant fines, prosecutions and most importantly, keep your colleagues fit and healthy. Always make sure you’ve conducted a proper COSHH and risk assessment as part of your site survey.

Health and safety is so embedded into our normal working day, this can sometimes lead to complacency, the risks far out way any savings, we live in a busy world, time is precious, however take time each day to stop, think and assess the work you are doing, those few seconds could not only save your life but also save your business

Dee Ward-Thompson, BPCA Technical Manager

The consequences of getting it wrong can be costly for your company, your bank balance, your reputation, our industry, and potentially, your teammate’s lives.

If you’d like some more information about how to keep yourself and your employees safe, BPCA Members can take advantage of the BPCA BusinessShield which is packed full of useful safety documents. If you have a specific question, you can contact our technical team


Scott-Johnstone-Staff-bubbleScott Johnstone
Content and Communications Officer

2 August 2017  |  BPCA Bulletin 

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