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Health & Safety Executive v Block Stone Ltd

Ian Goldsack was instructed by Mark Serby of Wake Smith solicitors in Sheffield to act on behalf of the defendant company, Block Stone Limited (a long established quarrying company based in Derbyshire and which operates a number of different quarry sites).

Over the Christmas and New Year period 2012/2013, whilst the quarry was closed, its south face collapsed. This led to a van, fuel tank, and the site buildings falling into the quarry base.

The company was prosecuted for two offences:

  1. Failing to ensure the quarry was operated so as to ensure instability or movement likely to risk the health and safety of any person was avoided (regulation 30 of the Quarries Regulations 1999); and
  2. Failing to notify the dangerous occurrence (RIDDOR).

They pleaded guilty subject to a detailed written Basis of Plea which was accepted by the court following oral submissions.

The Magistrates’ Court retained jurisdiction and fined the company £10,000 and £4,000 respectively for the offences.