Group Newsletter Issue 3 Volume 5 September 2013. Contents. Group NewsPage 3 Exhibitions InformationPage 4 SGUK NewsPage 6 HSE Information Page 7 Other stories/informationPage 13. Group Info.
Issue 3 Volume 5
Group NewsPage 3
Exhibitions InformationPage 4
SGUK NewsPage 6
HSE Information Page 7
Other stories/informationPage 13
Please remember that the book written by Doctor Bob Rajan on Controlling Skin Exposure to Chemicals and Wet-Work, a practical book is still available on loan to members.
Please remember that if you are employed by an SME or are an individual wishing to do a NEBOSH Certificate then please contact us as some sponsorship may be available if you meet the criteria. Courses are provided either by SETA in Stockport or ACT Associates
Please contact the Secretary for details [email protected]
Please add these dates to your diary and consider visiting the shows . These shows are supported by Safety Groups UK
Other local events taking place, though not supported by Safety Groups UK include
17 October: South Cumbria Conference contact Lucy on [email protected] for further info..
Discounts available through SGUK
Please remember if you work for a small company, or Consultant, who perhaps do not receive a discount at Arco to request a Safety Groups UK card which gives 15% off in Arco shops only (not online). You must produce a card to obtain the discount.
(only available to members).
Members 15% Exclusive discount
Safety Groups UK has negotiated corporate benefits for Group members. ACT is working with Safety Groups UK to provide an exclusive discount to all Safety Groups UK members.
ACT offer an exclusive 15% discount off the list price of any product or service to all Safety Groups UK members.
ACT is established as a high quality single point solutions provider of auditing, consultancy and training services. We have evolved into an integrated provider of all learning solutions including conventional, e-learning and blended learning options.
Obtaining the 15% discount
Call ACT on 01384 447915
E-mail – [email protected]
For more info on our products and services go to www.actassociates.co.uk
Builder pays price for unsafe work
The owner of a Leeds building firm has appeared in court after two workers were injured, one seriously, when they fell from a mezzanine floor they were dismantling.
One worker, then 61 and from Seacroft, broke two vertebrae and was in hospital for five days following the incident on 15 July 2012. He has been unable to continue working in the construction industry because of impaired lifting and carrying abilities.
The second man, then 18 and from Halton, suffered concussion, but has since made a full recovery.
The mezzanine, in a Cross Green warehouse that was being vacated, was being purchased by George Simms, a partner in Simco Services, who brought in the two men to dismantle it.
Leeds Magistrates heard (18 Sept) that Mr Simms gave inadequate thought to planning the work, and existing handrails, intended to prevent falls from the mezzanine, were removed. As the work went on, it is thought one of the boards broke and the two men fell to the concrete floor below.
The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted George Simms for a breach of the Work at Height Regulations.
HSE told the court that Mr Simms had not considered how the work should be undertaken and this led to the two men working at height with no safeguards in place to prevent them falling. The men were repeatedly required to work close to the open edges, often while carrying materials and tools, making a fall more likely.
The investigation was unable to identify exactly how the two workers fell together but a probability was that a board broke, causing it to slip. However, HSE said it was the ad-hoc nature of the work which ultimately led to the serious risks faced by the men.
George Simms, of Ramshead Drive, Seacroft, Leeds, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £3,210 in costs after admitting a breach of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
After the hearing, Inspector Martin Hutton said:
"The two men who fell from height could easily have been killed. While one has been lucky enough to make a good recovery, the other suffered lasting spinal injuries which meant he had to give up work.
"As far as Mr Simms goes, his only method of work was an unsafe, poorly-planned one, presenting abundant risks to workers of falling off or through the mezzanine.
"Work at height is the single biggest cause of fatal incidents in the workplace and proper planning is vital to ensure it can be carried out safely. That includes choosing the most suitable equipment and making sure work is properly supervised."
For information and advice about safe working at height, visit www.hse.gov.uk/falls
A Tyneside firm has been fined after a worker's hand was badly crushed in a machine on which a safety guard had been deliberately disabled.
David Potts, 31, from Stanley, sustained nerve damage in the incident at Radford HMY Group Limited, in Burnopfield, Newcastle on 10 February 2012 and had no strength or feeling in his right hand for several months.
The company was prosecuted today (10 September) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified serious safety failings.
Consett Magistrates' Court heard how Mr Potts was attempting to reposition a component that had become jammed on a shelving assembly and welding machine, causing the machine to stop.
However, once it was moved back into the correct position, the machine immediately restarted and the man's right hand became trapped between a moveable robotic arm and a fixed section of the machine's frame. It was crushed for around five minutes before he was freed and taken to hospital for treatment.
The HSE investigation found that an interlocking device to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machine had been defeated, which allowed workers to easily enter the machine enclosure whilst the machine was still running. The company failed to ensure that the machinery and its interlocking safety devices were in effective working order, as is required by law.
Radford HMY Group Limited, of the Hobson Industrial Estate, Burnopfield, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £5,388.30 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Cain Mitchell said:
"Mr Potts suffered a serious and preventable injury because of the failure by Radford HMY Group Limited to ensure that safety devices were maintained in an effective condition and that suitable procedures were in place to safely enter the machine enclosure.
"Too many incidents occur during the setting up and the undertaking of maintenance tasks on machinery. They are easily avoided if suitable precautions are taken to prevent access to dangerous moving parts."
A construction firm has appeared in court over a major gas leak which caused widespread disruption and sparked fears of an explosion in Liverpool city centre.
The damaged gas pipe which sparked fears of an explosion in Liverpool city centre
Hundreds of people were evacuated from the area around the former Lewis's department store on 19 January 2012 after a gas supply pipe was damaged during demolition work inside the building.
The contractor overseeing the project, Merepark Construction Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found it had failed to warn the demolition firm about the live gas supply.
Liverpool Magistrates' Court heard Merepark had been hired as the principal contractor for a multi-million-pound project to convert the building on Ranelagh Street into a new hotel, shops and offices as part of the Central Village development.
A gas supply pipe, which was clearly visible entering the building's service duct from street level, was damaged by falling debris during demolition work causing a two-inch hole in the pipe.
After one worker smelt gas, the emergency services evacuated the building and surrounding area due to the risk of a major explosion. The city's busiest train station, Liverpool Central, was closed for most of the afternoon along with shops and local businesses.
The court was told Merepark Construction had arranged for the pipes, which led from the gas meter into the building, to be disconnected but had failed to take any action to either disconnect the gas supply to the meter or to protect the four-inch supply pipe from demolition work.
MereparkConstruction, of Garden Lane in Altrincham, was found guilty of two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of workers or the public following a trial at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.
The company, which is currently in voluntary liquidation, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £8,490 in prosecution costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Catherine Willars said:
"The gas supply pipe could clearly be seen entering the service duct from the street but Merepark Construction failed to take any action to disconnect it, protect it from falling rubble or to warn the demolition firm of the dangers.
"A single spark could have set alight the leaking gas and caused a major explosion in the city centre, with the potential to put dozens of lives at risk.”.
"Luckily the emergency services' response worked effectively and they were able to prevent an explosion but the incident caused significant disruption and hit the income of local businesses.
"Merepark was the principal contractor on a major refurbishment project but its safety standards fell way below the legal minimum on this occasion."
Information for construction companies on tackling the risk of gas explosions is available at www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion.
The director of a Norwich giftware manufacturing company has been given a suspended six-month prison sentence and 180 hours of community service for safety failings in relation to electrical systems at the company's premises.
Norwich Crown Court heard today (13 September 2013) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had found that Mr Lustig was found to have dangerous electrical installations and equipment in his workplace.
In addition, inspectors told the court that the company and its director, Michael Lustig, had failed to report the fall of an employee despite it being classed as a major incident.
Dorothy Amos, aged 49, had been working at Homenaturals Ltd's manufacturing plant on Burton Close, Norwich, when the incident occurred on 19 December 2011.
She had slipped on a floor strewn with debris from the manufacturing process and sustained a serious leg fracture that has kept her off work ever since.
Mr Lustig was found guilty of breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the electrical systems at the manufacturing unit. The prison sentence he received will be suspended for 18 months and he was also disqualified from being a company director for three years.
In addition, both Homenaturals Ltd, of Burton Close, Norwich, and MikaelLustig in his capacity as sole director of the company, admitted a single breach of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.
Mr Lustig and the company were fined a total of £300 for failing to report Mrs Amos's fall.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Malcolm Crowther, said:
"Employers and the self-employed have a legal duty to ensure electrical installations and equipment are safe for use. You should always use a qualified electrician when you install wiring and equipment, and get the electrics periodically checked and tested by an electrician.
"Additionally, the Health and Safety Executive identified a number of issues in relation to Mrs Amos's fall, which could easily have been avoided had the floor surface been free of debris and kept clear and tidy.
"Incidents and injuries like this must be reported, and this did not happen.
"HSE will not hesitate to prosecute where failings of this kind occur and where workers are placed at unnecessary risk.“
To find out more preventing slips and trips in the workplace visit www.hse.gov.uk/slips
Guidance published ahead of change in first aid
The HSE has published guidance to help businesses put appropriate arrangements in place for the provision of first aid, a month ahead of changes to first aid regulations.
From 1 October, the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 will be amended, to remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training and qualifications.
This amendment follows recommendations from the Löfstedt report, which noted that "this requirement seems to have little justification provided the training meets a certain standard". Following these recommendations it became clear that the HSE approval process went beyond the minimum requirement laid out within EU legislation.
HSE's policy lead for first aid, Andy McGrory, said: "From October, the HSE will no longer approve first-aid training and qualifications. The guidance documents clarify what the law requires and provide practical help to businesses in assessing and understanding their first aid needs.
"Where a first aider is required, the guidance documents make it clear that the employer is free to select a training provider who is best suited to those needs."
L74 is aimed at all industries and takes account of the amendment to regulation 3(2), which removes the requirement for HSE to approve the training and qualifications of appointed first-aid personnel, and incorporates additional amendments brought about by previous legislative changes.
GEIS3 will help employers identify and select a competent training provider to deliver any first-aid training indicated by their first aid needs assessment.
Following two public consultations, the last of which ended in May 2013, these legislative changes have been approved by the HSE board and by Parliament.
A copy of L74 can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l74.htm and a copy of GEIS3 can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis3.htm.
Window firm fined after worker's fingers severed
Following the decision to close Infoline in 2011, HSE no longer offers a telephone service for general information enquiries but has invested in making its website easier to use and its guidance simpler.
Visitors to www.hse.gov.uk/contact will be directed one of four options:
Report an injury at work (RIDDOR incident)
Notify HSE of a workplace concern
Make Gas Safety enquiries and notifications
Obtain technical advice or interpretation of guidance
HSE is urging business and the public to use the website in the first instance, either to find information or notify HSE. New forms have been introduced so enquiries can be submitted quickly and easily online.
A small team will be available in office hours to deal with calls from those who are unable to use the website or require further technical clarification.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after Allan Thornewill, 55, from Derby, developed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome after being exposed to high levels of vibration at the company's premises in Wilmore Road, Derby. Derby Crown Court heard today (16 August) that Mr Thornewill operated wet blasting cabinets, used to clean turbine blades cast in the Derby foundry, for up to nine hours a day. He had to hold the blades in his hands as they were blasted with water under pressure which exposed him to high levels of hand arm vibration (HAV).
The court was told that after developing pins and needles and then numbness and pain, Mr Thornewill reported the symptoms to his line manager and sought treatment from his GP. In September 2009, he was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and was unable to work for around four months.
Mr Thornewill has since had four operations on his hands and still suffers dexterity problems in his right hand and weakness in both wrists.
HSE's investigation found Rolls Royce plc did not properly assess the vibration risks faced by workers using the wet blasting cabinets and no suitable control measures were implemented, such as limiting exposure, or providing alternatives.
Mr Thornewill received no pre-employment screening and was not included in the firm's health surveillance list.
Mr Thornewill has since returned to work at the company in a different role that doesn't involve working with vibrating machinery. In 2012, Rolls Royce installed an automated system to replace the use of the Vapormatt cabinets.
Rolls Royce Plc of Buckingham Gate, London, was fined a total of £60,000 and ordered to pay £18,168 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, and a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Noelle Walker said:
"Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome linked to vibration exposure are preventable. However, once the damage is done, it's permanent with no cure.
"Proper health surveillance is vital to detect and respond to early signs of damage. Rolls Royce plc failed to take action to prevent damage caused by the vibrating wet blasters, failed to provide Mr Thornewill with health surveillance and then failed to respond when he reported ill health. This has led to him suffering prolonged pain and discomfort with some permanent damage which affects the quality of his life.
"The company should have properly assessed the level of vibration exposure and limited the amount of time workers spent using the wet blasters.“
Almost two million people in the UK work in conditions where they are at risk of developing vibration-related ill health such as Hand Arm Vibration syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome. Information on preventing the condition is available at www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/hav