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November 6, 2008

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Rise in health and safety convictions by councils

A new report compiled by the HSE has revealed that local authorities made 340 convictions under health and safety legislation over the last year.

These figures, which were compiled between April 2007 and April 2008, represent a 7-per-cent increase in the number of convictions from the previous year.

The report also revealed that the total amount of fines issued during this period was £2,559,557, representing an average fine of £7528 per conviction.

The largest combined fine for a single company was £275,000, which was handed to TDG Ltd, of Barden, Leicestershire, after a worker was crushed to death between two lorries that were parked back to back.

The incident occurred on 8 March 2008 after lorry driver, Peter Atkins, was carrying out safety checks to his vehicle, when another lorry rolled backwards and crushed him between both vehicles. TDG Ltd, was found guilty of breaches to section 2(1) of the HSWA 1974 and regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It had originally been fined £325,000 but had this reduced on appeal.

The report is not comprehensive, as it only contains cases that prosecuting LAs have notified to the Local Authorities Unit.

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