Water company fined after pleading guilty to health and safety breach
A fine of £400,000 has been handed out following two separate incidents at Anglian Water.
Luton Crown Court heard that safety failures at the water company had led to the incidents, which took place at Houghton Regis and Essex. Three workers were injured during the incidents, resulting in Anglian Water pleading guilty to health and safety breaches.
One incident occurred at the Dunstable Water recycling centre in October 2013. A worker was standing on metal grids above a well, lowering a refurbished pump down to a colleague so that it could be fixed in place. The metal grid collapsed, causing the worker to fall, resulting in cuts to his head, bruising, a punctured lung, a fractured shoulder blade and broken ribs. The employee at the bottom of the well was also injured by the falling grid, and has been left suffering from recurring nightmares.
The second incident took place at the Water Recycling Centre located in Essex. A worker fell into a well after a cover gave way when he stepped onto it. He fell into the well, which also contained sewage, and had no means of escape. A colleague came to his rescue after he heard him calling for help. The employee sustained minor injuries and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
A number of faults were uncovered during the health and safety investigation, which the company has corrected. Anglian Water has also made further improvements to demonstrate that it takes the subject of safety seriously. This may have included the provision of PPE, including specialist workwear.