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Group Newsletter Issue 9 Volume 4 March 2013 1. Group NewsPage 3 Members PagesPage 5 Dissertation winner presentationPage 7 Visit to BBC Media City ReportPage.

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Presentation on theme: "Group Newsletter Issue 9 Volume 4 March 2013 1. Group NewsPage 3 Members PagesPage 5 Dissertation winner presentationPage 7 Visit to BBC Media City ReportPage."— Presentation transcript:

1 Group Newsletter Issue 9 Volume 4 March

2 Group NewsPage 3 Members PagesPage 5 Dissertation winner presentationPage 7 Visit to BBC Media City ReportPage 8 Exhibitions InformationPage 12 Exhibitions reportPage 14 SGUK NewsPage 15 HSE Information Page 16 Other stories/informationPage 22 2

3 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 3

4 Craig McAdam, Partner, Slater and Gordon A campaign for fees During the annual month long drive to improve standards in the construction industry the HSE commenced their campaign on the 18 February 2013 which is set to conclude on 15 March. The annual month long site inspection drive has been running for 7 years and in the last year involved the inspection of 3,237 sites for 4,080 contractors. This is the first year that the fee for intervention scheme is up and running. You will recall that from October last year HSE now have the right to bill for any intervention costs as a result of finding material breaches at any inspection. Material breaches where there has been a breach in Health and Safety Law serious enough for the inspector to warrant notifying you of that in writing or taking such other enforcement action as he sees fit. The costs accrue from the moment the inspector enters the sites and charge at £124 per hour. The first set of invoices for fees for intervention and charges went out in late January and I have not as yet seen any data with respect to numbers and costs but will hopefully be able to update you in a later article. The head of Construction at the Health and Safety Executive Philip White stated in an article I read in late February 2013 that construction was going to generate a larger amount of cash not because it is easier but because it’s a higher risk industry. Many businesses were cynical about the fee for intervention being a drive to make the Health and Safety Executive self sufficient and inspectors to be given targets on. As the invoices have started to be sent out these can now be examined to determine whether any particular sector has been targeted to a greater degree then there previously had been. In addition we will now start to see whether companies have an appetite to challenge the HSE on the terms of what a material breach is. The first stage of challenging an invoice is to contact the fee for interventions team and raise your concerns. With the aim of getting a response within 15 days if you are not satisfied with the outcome then the query becomes a dispute that is escalated to a HSE Senior Manager. All disputes become Level 1 disputes with a decision made within 15 days to which if you are not satisfied you can raise it to a Level 2 dispute which goes towards the dispute panel with a decision in a further 15 days. Of course any decision made within this process could be challengeable in the administrative court. I would be interested to hear any members experiences of ever receiving a fee for intervention and whether they have engaged in any dispute of that fee for intervention. This would assist in the transparency in the process so that duty holders know what is fair or an unjust outcome when in receipt of an invoice. Craig McAdam, (Partner) Slater & Lawyers 4

5 I attended the Coniac meeting at HSE’s Rose Court in London on 13 th March and thought the information below which I noted from the meeting may be useful to other members: Philip White (Chief Inspector of Construction) noted that the response to FFI from contractors / duty holders had been mixed so far with some contractors reportedly doing their utmost to reduce the Inspector’s intervention time as much as possible, while others reported not being aware of the scheme and some even thanked the visiting Inspector for informing them of it! Generally the HSE’s view of the impact of the FFI scheme was positive. Philip White made a point during the meeting of categorically stating that HSE Inspectors’ FFI scheme work is not target driven (contrary to much speculation within the industry). Anthony Lees (Head of HSE Construction Policy Unit) stated that the HSE would continue to expect the use of head protection in appropriate situations even after the Head Protection Regulations had been revoked (expected soon). 5

6 A BBC employee was awarded for her research in the field of occupational health and safety, at flagship event in London, last night (26 February). Sarah Davidson, health and safety adviser for the BBC, was commended by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) for her research into laser use in the entertainment industry, at the IOSH 2013 Conference and Exhibition. Sarah, who advises on health and safety for programmes including Top Gear, The One Show and Bang Goes the Theory, conducted the research as part of an MSc in Occupational Health and Safety, at the University of Salford. She said: “I was really pleased to obtain recognition for the research and I feel winning has enabled the research topic to be more widely understood and of course, it has given me confidence and encouragement to further the work.” The commendation came as part of the Institution’s Bright Spark student research poster competition - a contest run to recognise and disseminate the work of up-and-coming researchers in occupational safety and health. As overall winner of the competition, Sarah scooped a £1,000 prize and a pass to the IOSH 2013 Conference and Exhibition. Runner-up Garry McGauran bagged a £500 reward and free pass for his research into building design. Sarah, from Chiswick, London, added: “I’m in the process of raising funds to support me to be a crew member on 2013 Clipper round the world yacht race and the money is a great contribution. It's the first money to go in the sailing money jar. “My research gained positive feedback from the Health Protection Agency and the Safety Advisory Group in Entertainment. “As a result of this research, I have now been asked to contribute to a working group to advance current guidance on safe laser use.” The study, commended by the Institution, identified that there was limited information on the perceived risks associated with laser use in the entertainment industry. According to the research, there is a wider trend for audience scanning in pubs and clubs. The research also highlighted key barriers to the application of safe working practices and considered that users of the technology and regulators can fail to consider safety risks. Mary Ogungbeje, research and development adviser at IOSH, said: “Research plays an instrumental role in improving occupational safety and health policy. “Everyone loves the ‘wow’ factor when it comes to entertainment. So it was great to see a stunning poster as well as research into the very real and technical risks of using high powered laser displays at events” The competition is an annual event where universities running IOSH-accredited BSc and MSc courses can put forward two of their best students. The judging panel not only took into account the presentation of the posters but also the context of the research, approach, methods used, results and conclusions made. 6

7 On Wednesday 20 March, 2 Groups of members and invited guests from the University of Salford M.Sc. course board visited the BBC at Media City, Salford. The first party left Bridge House reception for a tour round some of the studios that are operated by an independent company. These included the BBC Philharmonic and Sports Studios. Unfortunately, as they were setting up the Blue Peter Studio for a recording later, we were unable to see in that particular one. The array of lights in the sports studio had to be seen to be believed. It is possible for a studio to be hired for as little as 24 hours and this includes rigging, filming and derigging increasing the potential risks. The studio manager takes responsibility for all that happens in the studio. All studio doors are 2 hour fire rated and sound proofed. Statutory checking of lifting equipment is a marathon task that needs to be carefully programmed into the diary. After the tour, the first party assembled in the Morecambe and Wise room, meeting up with those who had arrived for the presentations and second tour which followed later in the afternoon. We were welcomed by the Head of BBC Safety, Stephen Gregory. He explained how his role works in the BBC and then introduced Aileen Spankie, Head of Vision Production who gave us a brief overview of what type of programming is covered by her department. Some examples of factual programmes are: Top Gear 80 Faiths around the World School Choir of the Year Aileen then handed over to Dominic Parry, BBC Children’s Chief Operating Officer 7

8 Dominic then handed over to Helen Foulkes who described some of her work as Executive Producer of BBC Learning. Most of the Learning programmes are either on BBC2 or online. The majority of the educational programmes are in bite size chunks that can be used by teachers during class lessons. Some of the programmes that are covered are various types of roadshow where matters including cost per head are very important. Time on these types of event is critical. Security features highly on shows that are on location, volunteers are also required to assist. With some of the programmes, e.g. Stargazing, local astronomy clubs will assist. A question and answer period followed, and then Mike thanked all the presenters for the day and Sarah Davidson for organising the event on behalf of the Group with assistance from her colleagues Kat and Sandeep. Those who were to go on tour 2 then left for their tour, those of us who had been on the morning tour departed for home. 8

9 Dominic explained how different the programming is for children. The station is essentially divided into two channels CBBC (for 6 – 12 year olds) and CBeebies (for 0 – 6 year olds). Children’s programmes started on radio in 1922 and transferred to Television in Blue Peter was first broadcast in Working with children is far more difficult than with adults, for one thing, child protection needs to be considered particularly when working on location. Various risks require to be assessed, including Work at Height Sports and other high risk activities Driving Working hours and fatigue First Aid Extreme weather Fire and Water As with all departments in the BBC there are always budgetary constraints to be met. 9

10 10 Stephen Gregory, Aileen Spankie, Dominic Parry & Helen Foulkes BBC building, Philharmonic studio, BBC Sport studio x 2, Typical sound control unit, Quiz from Dominic

11 Please add these dates to your diary and consider visiting the shows. These shows are supported by Safety Groups UK 11

12 The following additional Exhibitions are to be supported by Safety Groups UK with Mike and Cathy manning the stand. April 23 – SHE Show South, Doubletree by Hilton, Milton Keynes May 14 – 16 Safety Expo, NEC, Birmingham June 25 – SHE Show North West, Hilton Hotel, Blackpool Other local events taking place, though not supported by Safety Groups UK include 18 September – North West Regional Association Conference, Barton Grange Hotel, Barton, nr. Preston Exhibition enquiries to Mike Nixon on October South Cumbria Conference contact Martin Fishwick on 12

13 Mike and Cathy recently manned the stand at the Health and Safety Show at Sandown Park, Esher on 12 and 13 March. Despite snowy weather in some parts of the South, we had a respectable 46 visitors to the stand, including some from other Groups who kept us abreast of what is happening in their areas. The second day was not so good for visitors to the stand, however an overall 73+ was not too bad, considering that this event was only two weeks after the IOSH Exhibition. Bob Rajan presented an update on Health Risks at Work. Unfortunately the attendance at these events was not as good as last October at Bolton. However some approx. 36 delegates attended the three presentations. Next year this show moves to the NEC in mid March and co-locating with Maintec. Thanks are given to Tim Else and his team for providing us with an excellent stand and any support necessary over the two days. We look forward to Scotland in April for our next Exhibition, followed by the SHE Show South at Milton Keynes the following week. 13

14 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 – Quote ACTSG12 For more info on our products and services go to 14

15 Macclesfield window firm fined over severed finger A Macclesfield window manufacturer has been fined after one of its employees had a finger cut off by a rotating saw. East Cheshire Glass Ltd was today (25 February 2013) prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its factory on London Road on 30 July The poorly guarded rotating saw at East Cheshire Glass in Macclesfield Macclesfield Magistrates' Court heard that the 26-year-old from Cheadle Hulme was positioning a piece of uPVC plastic under the circular blade while it was still running. His left hand came into contact with it and his index finger was severed to below the second knuckle. The court was told that, in order to keep production moving swiftly, the machine would not be switched off in between cuts. This meant it was common for the unguarded saw blades to be raised and left running while pieces of plastic were placed underneath by hand. The guard on the blade had also been adjusted to stop it hitting the pieces of plastic as the saw came down, but this meant several inches of the blade were left exposed. East Cheshire Glass Ltd was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,342 in costs after admitting a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 by failing to prevent access to dangerous parts of machinery. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jane Carroll said: "These kinds of injuries are sadly all too common in the manufacturing industry so it is vital companies make sure suitable guards are in place. "If the guards on the blades were causing problems then East Cheshire Glass should have adapted them in a way that meant the blades were still fully protected when they were raised. "The company's priority should have been the safety of its employees but instead one of its workers suffered a permanent injury when his hand came into contact with the unguarded rotating blade." Information on improving safety in the manufacturing industry is available at 15

16 Thurrock Council has been fined after admitting to failures in how it managed asbestos across its schools. Basildon Crown Court heard today (1 March 2013) that despite being made aware of asbestos concerns in a boiler room at Stifford Clays Junior School, no action was taken. A specialist contractor tasked with carrying out an asbestos survey by the council in 2004 said that dust and debris found in the boiler room containing asbestos fibres should be removed immediately under licensed conditions. However, an HSE inspection in April 2010, as part of a national initiative to ensure that local authorities understand their duties in managing asbestos across their school estate, found that nothing had been done. This was despite school staff and contractors alike regularly entering the boiler room in the intervening six year period. HSE served a Prohibition Notice on 24 April 2010 barring entry to the boiler house until it was made safe. Thurrock Council was also served with two Improvement Notices regarding the management of asbestos in its schools elsewhere in the county. Thurrock Council, of Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, was fined a total of £35,000 and ordered to pay £15,326 in costs after pleading guilty to a Regulation 10 breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2006) and a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations both in relation to failings across the school estate. The council also admitted a Regulation 11 breach of the Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAR 2006) in relation to the specific incident at Stifford Clays Junior School. After the hearing HSE inspector Samantha Thomson, said: "This was a clear example of a local Authority failing to manage asbestos across its schools for a number of years. "At Stifford Clays Junior School, the caretaker regularly worked in the boiler room with dust and debris over a period of six years. She will have been exposed to asbestos fibres and now faces an anxious wait to see if it results in any long-term health issues. "This was easily preventable. Thurrock Council was informed of the potential for exposure in 2004, yet failed to act on the knowledge until HSE's involvement some six years later." 16

17 Some useful info from HSE

18 A Worcestershire man has been prosecuted for carrying out illegal and dangerous gas work which put lives at risk at a home in Worcester. Self employed unregistered gas fitter Mark Crake, of Worcester Road, Malvern was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after he left a resident with a newly-installed gas hob leaking gas. Despite not being registered, Mr Crake fitted the gas hob on 29 July 2011 without carrying out a pressure test to confirm there were no leaks and without tightening the connections to the gas hob. Worcester Magistrates were told today (11 March) the home owner smelt gas after returning home in the evening and went to bed with windows open. In the morning, she contacted the National Grid and was advised to immediately turn off the gas supply at the inlet valve. National Grid sent a First Call Operative to the house that morning, who confirmed there was a significant leak from the gas hob, and isolated and turned off the supply. Mr Crake also returned some days later to tighten the connections to the gas hob. An investigation by Gas Safe Register confirmed the boiler had not been fitted correctly and to current standards. Mark Crake pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 3 (7) and Regulation 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 as well as a breach of Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act He was sentenced to four months in prison for each of the three offences with the sentences to run concurrently, but suspended for 12 months, alongside 250 hours of unpaid community work. He was ordered to pay £3,500 towards costs. After the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Gregory said: "Mark Crake carried out potentially lethal work at a home in Worcester. Poorly maintained, faulty or badly installed gas work can cause explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal or cause serious long-term health problems. "This is why it is essential that only people who are registered as competent, qualified gas engineers with Gas Safe should carry out work on gas fittings.“ Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, added: "A quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by people who don't have the skills or the qualifications to work safely with gas. "It's therefore vital that people always make sure the person working on their gas appliances is on the Gas Safe Register. If they don't, they could be putting their family's lives and homes at risk from gas fires, explosions, leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. "You can check if your engineer is legal and safe to work with gas by asking for the Gas Safe ID card. You can also check the engineer's identification number by calling us on , or visiting the website at On average, 20 people each year die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by poorly installed, maintained or ventilated gas appliances and flues. Many more people become seriously ill and in extreme cases, prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause paralysis and brain damage. 18

19 A Cannock vehicle repair company was today (20 March) fined after a 16 year-old on work experience suffered burns when toxic paint stripper splashed into his eyes and face. The school pupil should not have been exposed to the risk of being splashed with the dangerous chemical, and should have been provided with appropriate safety goggles to prevent this happening. Bret Thomas, from Cannock, now 17, had his vision seriously affected for a month and has scarring on his face. He still suffers vision sensitivity and will be prone to suffering from migraines for the rest of his life. Stafford Magistrates were told that Bret, a pupil of Cannock Chase High School, had been on an extended work placement at Motorhouse 2000 Ltd at its Adini House site on Wolverhampton Road since September On 18 January 2012 he was told to assist an employee who was refilling the wheel stripping tank. The employee poured toxic paint stripper from plastic containers into the tank and then passed the containers to Bret who was removing all the labels and cutting them in half in order to dispose of them. However, as Bret was cutting the last container with a Stanley knife, the plastic container flicked up and remnants of the toxic substance splashed into his eyes and face. He was not wearing any face or eye protection. Bret suffered burns to his face and eyes. After initial treatment at Cannock Hospital, he was transferred to the specialist eye unit New Cross Hospital. It was approximately a month before his sight returned sufficiently enough for him to go outside and even then, he needed to be accompanied and wear sunglasses. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigated, told magistrates that Motorhouse 2000 Ltd had changed to chemical stripping from a mechanical process to save time. It failed to risk assess this process, which involved employees coming into contact with toxic substances, nor ensured face or eye protection was worn by employees. Motorhouse 2000 Ltd, of Watling Street, Cannock, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 19(2)(b) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,

20 After the hearing, HSE inspector Katherine Blunt said: "This young man has suffered an extremely painful ordeal in an incident that was totally preventable. The impact will be long lasting but Bret could have been blinded for life. "The substance involved contains dichloromethane, hydrofluoric acid and methanol, which have been known to cause death through inhalation, burns when in contact with skin and eyes, and irreversible damage. "Motorhouse 2000 Ltd gave little consideration to the health or safety of its employees when working with chemicals by not ensuring protective equipment, including face and eye protection, was worn. They failed to adequately assess the risks of the chemicals used which resulted in poor control measures being put in place for everyone working in that area. "Work experience is very important for young people in order for them to gain an understanding of the world of work. However, employers must fulfil their responsibilities to assess risks and protect young people by putting the appropriate control measures in place." 20

21 21 Roadworks firm charged with corporate manslaughter For the fourth time in as many months the Crown Prosecution Service has announced it is to charge a company with corporate manslaughter. Mobile Sweepers (Reading) Ltd is being charged with the offence, along with its sole director, Mervyn Owens, who faces a charge of gross- negligence manslaughter, in relation to the death of employee, Malcolm Hinton on 6 March Mr Hinton died from crush injuries after working on a repair underneath a road-sweeping truck at Mobile Sweepers’ premises at Riddings Farm, near Basingstoke. He had inadvertently removed a hydraulic hose, which caused the back of the truck to fall on him. Colin Gibbs, senior lawyer in Special Crime for the CPS, said: “I have carefully reviewed all the evidence gathered by Hampshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive during their investigation into the tragic death of Malcolm Hinton [and] have concluded there is sufficient evidence to charge Mobile Sweepers (Reading) Limited with corporate manslaughter under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act “I have also decided there is sufficient evidence to charge the company's sole director Mervyn Owens with gross-negligence manslaughter. “In addition, I have authorised charges against both Mobile Sweepers (Reading) Limited and Mr Owens with an offence under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 and also with an offence under regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations The first hearing will take place at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on 21 March. In November, the CPS announced a charge of corporate manslaughter against Norfolk garden nursery Belmont, run by PS and JE Ward Ltd, in relation to the death of an employee in July In January, the company that owns Welsh colliery Gleision, where four miners died in a flooding incident in September 2011, was charged on four counts of corporate manslaughter. Last month, Prince’s Sporting Club, of Middlesex, was charged under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 following the death of an 11-year-old girl who fell from a banana-boat ride. On Tuesday, 23 April SHP will be running a free webinar on ‘Corporate manslaughter: five years on’ featuring a panel of some of the UK’s foremost legal experts in this area. Click here for more information.PS and JE Ward LtdWelsh colliery GleisionPrince’s Sporting Club, of Middlesexhere

22 New proposals aimed at bringing greater consistency to how the courts in England and Wales deal with environmental crimes have been issued by the Sentencing Council. The draft sentencing guidelines, which could result in larger fines for serious offenders, aim to provide clear guidance on sentencing environmental offences, and ensure that the penalties handed down to offenders match the seriousness of the breach and provide a strong deterrent. The Sentencing Council is proposing that magistrates make greater use of the highest levels of fines available to them, which would likely increase fines for those that cause the most damage, or risk to health. For less serious offences, it is not expected that fines will rise from current levels, and the overall proportions of offenders receiving the various types of sentence, such as fines, community sentences, discharges and imprisonment, are unlikely to change. The draft guidelines cover a wide variety of offences relating to the disposal of waste and rubbish, mostly covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations They include fly-tipping and offences whereby a company or individuals have not handled, or disposed of waste properly. Other areas covered include nuisance offenders who cause noise, smoke, dust or smells, or who run premises that pose a health, or pollution risk. Sentencing Council member and magistrate Katharine Rainsford said: “Offences like fly-tipping and illegal disposal of hazardous waste can cause significant damage to the environment and put people’s health at risk. “We’re improving guidance for courts to help ensure consistent and appropriate sentences for offenders, particularly for corporate offenders, who can be guilty of the worst offences. These offences are normally motivated by making, or saving money at the expense of the taxpayer. Our proposals aim to ensure that sentences hit offenders in their pocket.” The Sentencing Council is seeking views from the public, those working in the criminal justice system, and environmental professionals. The consultation, which runs until 6 June, can be found at Responses can be made online at and via to 22

23 23 A worker at a demolition company was run over and killed by a tipper lorry at the company’s head office in Reading. Brian Gutteridge, 67, was crossing a road outside the J Mould (Reading) head office in Burghfield Bridge, when the vehicle struck him on 9 November The driver of the tipper lorry had pulled over at the side of the private road, so he could talk to another colleague. He pulled back out just as Mr Gutteridge was crossing the road to get to his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene when the emergency services arrived. The HSE visited the site and found there were no designated crossing points on the road, and nothing to segregate vehicles and pedestrians. The site rules also didn’t specify whether vehicles or pedestrians had the right of way on the road. It was also established that John Mould, who owned the business as a sole trader, had not created a formal workplace-transport risk assessment, despite having received advice from an independent health and safety consultant about pedestrian-vehicle interactions at another site in Reading. HSE inspector Daniel Hilbourne said: “John Mould has operated from the Burghfield Bridge site for more than 20 years, but failed to properly manage workplace transport prior to Brian’s tragic death. “There was a clear need for a formal traffic management system, including a designated pedestrian crossing, pedestrian walkways, a speed restriction and a strict rule to wear hi-visibility clothing at all times.” John Mould appeared at Reading Magistrates’ Court on 14 March and pleaded guilty to breaching reg.3 of MHSWR 1999, and reg.17 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, for failing to control traffic at the site. He was fined a total of £40,000 and ordered to pay £17,060 in costs. In mitigation, Mould said his safety consultant hadn’t properly advised him about traffic at the site. He has subsequently appointed a new consultant, which has led to the creation at the site of a crossing point with lights, and the erection of barriers around pedestrian routes. After the hearing, inspector Hilbourne added: “Had vehicle-pedestrian interactions been better controlled and managed, then Brian would not have been killed. It demonstrates the need for proper risk assessments, to undertake regular reviews, and to be wary of complacency.”

24 A pie manufacturer currently in administration has been ordered to pay fines and costs of £375,000 after a gas explosion in an industrial bakery oven killed one worker and seriously injured another. Huddersfield-based Andrew Jones Pies, which fell into administration in 2011, was sentenced today (8 March) at York Crown Court. Imposing the penalty, the judge said the company had “failed dismally” and that, although he understood it was not in a position to pay the £250,000 fine and £124,896 costs, the sentence reflected the level of the firm’s failings. According to the Huddersfield Examiner, assets of Andrew Jones Pies Ltd have since been sold to a new company called AJ Pies and Pastries Ltd, which has retained some of the same staff. The court heard that David Cole, a supervisor, had started work early at the site in Old Leeds Road, on 10 April He tried to light two large ovens prior to other workers arriving, but one of them, which was around 30 years old, apparently failed to light. It is believed he was unaware that an increasing amount of gas was building up to a critical flashpoint inside the baking chamber and, at around 5am, it exploded, killing Mr Cole, injuring his colleague, Marcus Cartwright, and causing severe damage to the building. The judge attributed no blame to Mr Cole – who had worked at the firm for 12 years – describing the incident as an ongoing situation rather than an isolated event. When the gas ignited, the blast blew the large oven door off its hinges. Mr Cole, who was standing in front of the oven, was hit by the door and then trapped when part of the roof collapsed. 24

25 A jury at an earlier hearing at Leeds Crown Court found Andrew Jones Pies Ltd guilty of three health and safety breaches. The contraventions related to: regulation 5(1) of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002, between 26 April 2007 and 10 April 2009; and regulations 8(1) and 9(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, between the same dates. The HSE investigation found the company’s procedures for operating the ovens were inadequate and informal. The bakery workers had not been given sufficient instruction or training in their use, or in the potential hazards arising from their operation. The company failed to recognise that direct-fired ovens can potentially fill with a flammable mix of gas and air if repeated unsuccessful attempts are made to light them. The investigation also revealed that an explosion-relief panel on the back of the oven, which should have safely vented excess pressure, had at some time been rigidly fixed in place. It is unclear whether the modification pre-dated the firm’s ownership of the ovens. In 2010, the CPS issued a statement confirming that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute any individual or company for gross-negligence manslaughter, in relation to the death of Mr Cole. After the hearing, HSE inspector John Micklethwaite expressed his hope that the conclusion of the case might provide some closure for Mr Cole’s family, friends and former colleagues. “The explosion could have been avoided if the correct lighting-up procedures had been followed,” said the inspector. “No more than two attempts to light the oven should have been made. If the oven still failed to light, engineers should have been called in.” Following the incident, the HSE issued a safety alert to similar companies, advising them to check the explosion-reliefs on all direct-fired bakery ovens. 25

26 A flooring manufacturer has been found guilty of safety failings after an employee was dragged into an unguarded machine at its factory in Greater Manchester. Polyflor Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its plant on Radcliffe New Road in Whitefield on 17 May During a four-day trial at Manchester Crown Court, the jury heard that the male worker, who has asked not to be named, was working on a nightshift when a conveyor belt became jammed. Maintenance workers were unable to repair the fault and guards from the machine were removed so that it could continue to operate. The injured worker was using a spanner to try to stop the belt rubbing when he was pulled into the machine. The 43-year-old from Sale had to be cut free and suffered a broken arm. He needed seven weeks off work to recover. Polyflor Ltd, of Hollinhurst Road in Radcliffe, was today (28 February) found guilty of a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for failing to ensure routine maintenance work could be carried out safely on the machine. The company, which manufactures flooring for offices, sports centres and schools, was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £34,000 in prosecution costs. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Emily Osborne said: "The Polyflor employee was lucky to escape with a broken arm. His injuries could have been much worse. "The company should never have allowed workers to be put at risk by letting them carry out maintenance work to the machine while it was still operating. "It has since installed a new safety system on the conveyor belt which makes it impossible for it to be run when the guards have been removed.“ Around 10% of British workers are employed by the manufacturing industry but the sector accounts for a quarter of all workplace deaths. The latest figures show 31 people were killed at work in 2011/12, and nearly 3,500 major injuries were reported. Information on improving safety is available at 26

27 Oldham B&Q managers ignored head office warning DIY giant B&Q has been fined £15,000 after a bathroom display unit fell on a four-year-old at one of its stores. The girl suffered cuts, bruises and a swollen face while she was visiting the retailer’s branch in Oldham, Greater Manchester, with her parents and younger sister. When officers from Oldham Council investigated, they found the child had pulled over a worktop and washbasin as her mother was talking with a shop assistant. B&Q had installed the bathroom unit without using the correct fixings to secure the worktop to the base unit. Though the firm has written policies and procedures for fitting displays, which included a system of regular checks by staff, no one had identified the defect. Oldham Council said the case highlighted a failure by B&Q to ensure satisfactory implementation of its health and safety policies at a local level. The chain’s head office sent a warning memo to all its stores after the Oldham accident, yet when council environmental health officers visited the branch almost a year later, they still found unsecured heavy items on the shop floor. On Tuesday (19 February) at Oldham Magistrates’ Court, B&Q admitted failing to ensure the safety of the public, contrary to Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. District Judge James Prowse said the company had not ensured that local managers were carrying out the necessary checks after display installation. As well as the fine, he ordered B&Q to pay costs of £5496. In 2008, the DIY chain had to pay a fine of £10,000 after a 260kg display unit fell on a 12-year-old boy at its store in Eastwood, Nottingham.fine of £10,000 The sentencing magistrates in that case noted that the retailer had processes to check equipment, but these were of no use if they weren't implemented. In another case — heard in 2004 and involving the death of an elderly customer run over by a forklift inside B&Q’s Poole store — the firm landed fines and costs of £800,000. Bournemouth Crown Court was told the control of forklift movements at the premises did not comply with the company’s own guidelines. 27

28 Employers who create healthy workplaces can reduce employee absence and boost productivity, according to a new TUC publication. The guide, Work and well-being, aims to promote healthier working and help union safety reps identify what within their workplaces is making staff ill. Every year around 170 million working days are lost because people are too sick to go into work – 23 million of these can be attributed to work-related ill health and 4 million result from injuries suffered at work. The guide builds on the premise that the best way of tackling ill health is to stop workers from getting ill in the first place. It argues that the best method for improving the general well-being of a workforce is to change the way that work is organised and managed. For example, reducing workplace stress is far more useful than providing on-site massage for stressed workers. While suggesting that organising exercise classes during lunch hours may prove popular with some employees, the report cautions that employers need to ensure workers have a proper lunch break in order to benefit. Also, any lifestyle changes must be made available in a non-judgmental manner, so that no one feels these are being forced on them. Work and well-being suggests a number of ways that employers and unions might try to encourage a healthier attitude among employees, including: Providing an on-site gym, or subsidised membership of a local fitness centre; Encouraging employees to cycle to work by providing a secure storage place for bikes, introducing schemes where staff can get discounted bikes, and having workplace shower facilities; Offering healthy options in the canteen, encouraging staff not to eat lunch at their desks, or providing a regular supply of free fruit; and Giving staff the chance to access employee assistance programmes, which can help them cope with personal problems that could have an impact on their performance at work, or offer advice with financial concerns. Commenting on the guide, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Healthier lifestyles are something we should all be aspiring to, and given the amount of time we spend at work, the workplace is a good place to start. “Work can create a lot of health issues, such as back problems, and it can also be a cause of stress, which is linked to the increased use of tobacco and alcohol. Similarly, if employees are sitting down all day and only have access to junk food during their lunch break, then they have more chance of developing heart disease, or diabetes in later life.” Work and well-being is available at: 28

29 Draft guidance unveiled on workplace first aid changes The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new draft guidance to help employers get to grips with proposed changes to workplace first aid. Two pieces of guidance have been published on the HSE website following a consultation on proposals to amend the First Aid Regulations (1981) and remove the requirement for HSE to approve first aid training providers. The guidance documents are available at: The changes are expected to take effect on 1 October 2013, subject to final approval by the HSE Board and Ministers. HSE policy advisor Peter Brown said: " � Removing the HSE approval process will give businesses greater flexibility to choose their own training providers and first aid training that is right for their work place, based on their needs assessment and their individual business needs. � The draft guidance documents aim to provide practical support to help businesses assess and understand their first aid needs and find a provider best suited to them. � HSE has used the feedback from the recent consultation exercise to shape the guidance, but would welcome any further feedback on the guidance before the regulations come into place. � Until the regulations are changed businesses requiring first aid training will still have to use a HSE approved provider. Employers will still have to ensure that they have adequate first aid provision, based on an assessment of their individual business needs. HSE will retain a role in setting standards by controlling the syllabus content for the basic first aid at work qualifications. 29

30 Roofer Fined £21 Million A South Wales roofing firm is negotiating with claimants after being ordered to pay more than £21 million in damages for its part in a fire that devastated a West Midlands factory. The High Court in London heard on 25 February that Bridgend roofer Central Roofing (South Wales) had been contracted to refurbish the roof of a factory near Wolverhampton operated by copper tube manufacturer Mueller Europe. The contractor had erected a suspended "birdcage" scaffold to work on the roof, which was boarded and sheeted with combustible materials and enclosed two suspended gas-powered radiant heaters, used to heat the factory. When the heaters were turned on in the early morning of 9 November 2008, they set the flammable scaffold alight, sparking a huge fire that caused part of the roof to collapse and triggered massive damage to the fabric and contents of the factory. BBC News reported that the judgeBBC News reported that the judge, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, said the heaters were an "obvious fire hazard" that should have been picked up. He said that although Mueller should have made sure the enclosed heaters were switched off, Central Roofing bore the primary responsibility to carry out the work safely and to point out the obvious hazard. He noted that there had been three previous incidents when heaters were switched on when they should not have been. The judge said: "Central continued to take no steps to carry out the works safely when they knew that Mueller was not routinely isolating [the heaters] and the failure to isolate had already caused near misses". He ruled Central liable to pay Mueller a total of £21,357,889 in compensation for the damage to the factory, its contents, machinery, and equipment and for the interruption of its business. Source: IFSECIFSEC 30


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