October 23, 2018

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In court

Council fined after worker suffers head injuries and breaks ribs

Hull City Council failed to address the ‘obvious risk’ of employees working on ice before a worker fell and suffered broken ribs while re-laying ice at The Hull Ice Arena, according to the HSE.

Hull Crown Court was told that on 30 August 2014 a worker was marking the lines for the ice hockey pitch at the venue on Kingston Street. He was walking towards the centre of the ice rink when he slipped and fell heavily onto the ice, suffering head injuries and breaking three ribs.

The HSE’s investigation found there had been a number of previous incidents of employees slipping and falling on ice.

Hull City Council of The Guildhall, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £185,000 with costs of £44,442.71.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Denise Fotheringham commented: “No effective measures had been taken to reduce the risks of employees working on ice.

“Measures could have included providing systems of work that avoided the need for working on ice in the first place. Where this was not reasonably practicable, providing suitable footwear for working on slippery surfaces such as ice would have been an appropriate measure against a quite obvious risk.”

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Stephen
Stephen
2 years ago

This is an interesting one and I wonder who involved in the prosecution or defence have any real experience or understanding of working on ice. 1. There are no safety shoes that I am aware of that will prevent you slipping on the ice. That said, different soles will have different levels of traction and some safety shoes, even ones that say, non-slip, are totally unsuitable for ice. They are designed to stop you slipping on oil and grease. Ice is a very different substance. 2. Instead of safety shoes you should be looking at shoe grips. These are elastic… Read more »

Rolf Clayton
Rolf Clayton
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen

Crampons or spiked ice grip attachments make it easy and safe to walk on ice.

safetylady
safetylady
2 years ago

Don’t know if the coiled wire shoe grips chew up the ice – but you have to experiment, surely.
Even old socks over shoes improves grip on ice – also ‘walk like a penguin’.
Other reports suggest a poor culture had developed. Falling is not funny…

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