Archive for September, 2012

Quavers waste not floaty light

The snack that purports to be light and curly has caused a worker to break his leg when a 400 kilogramme block of compacted Quavers waste fell on them.

Lincoln Magistrates' Court was told that waste pellets from the Quavers production line ran off a machine into a magnum bin. The pellets solidified into a large block, which could not be dug out of the magnum so the worker and a colleague used a forklift to turn the magnum over so the block fell out.

But as the block was then lifted into the wheeled bin, it became stuck at the top. When the two men attempted to move the bin, it tipped over causing the block of pellets to fall onto the employee and fracture his lower leg.

The employee, who has asked to remain anonymous, was off work for 15 weeks but has since returned to work with the company.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told magistrates that the work had not been properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner.

Walkers Snack Foods Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations SI 1998/2307. The company was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Scott Wynne said, “The task of devising a method to dispose of the waste pellets had been given to an agency worker who did not have the experience or training required to allow him to properly plan how the task should be carried out. As a result it was carried out without supervision and, as the injuries to the employee suggest, the task was not carried out in a safe manner.”

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Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/283

This Order came into force on 1 October 2012 and applies to Northern Ireland only.
It amends the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order (Northern Ireland) SR 1999/401 by adding the following to the list of prescribed persons:

Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations; and
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

It…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Safety inspections to be cut again

Plans to exempt thousands of businesses from health and safety inspections are set to be announced by ministers. New rules will be introduced in 2013, meaning checks will no longer be routinely carried out on premises considered to be low-risk.

Ministers claim that such checks can place an unnecessary burden on businesses, and the Government has plans to scrap or change more than 3,000 regulations in a bid to cut bureaucracy and save companies millions of pounds.

Under the plans announced by Business Minister Michael Fallon, shops, offices, pubs and clubs will no longer face health and safety inspections. They will only do so if they operate in areas that are considered to be higher-risk, such as construction and food production, or if they have had an accident or a track record of poor performance. Legislation will also be introduced next month to make sure businesses will only be held liable for civil damages in health and safety cases if they can be shown to have acted negligently.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said businesses need to focus on creating jobs and growth rather than “being tied up in unnecessary red tape.” He said, “I've listened to those concerns and we're determined to put common sense back into areas like health and safety, which will reduce costs and fear of burdensome inspections.” Mr Fallon added the move will inject “fresh impetus” into the Government's drive to cut red tape.

Business groups have welcomed the plan. Alexander Ehmann, head of regulatory policy at the Institute of Directors said the announcement was good news if it marked the beginning and not the end of the deregulation story. He commented, “Excessive regulation costs time and money, both of which businesses would rather spend on developing new products, hiring staff and building up business both here and abroad.”

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New NI Building Regulations

The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/192 will come into force on 31 October 2012.

They revoke and replace the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2000/389 and impose certain functional or performance requirements in relation to:

  • the construction of any building and to certain services and fittings;
  • the structural alteration or extension of any building; and
  • any building undergoing a material change of use.

In addition, the following new guidance-based Technical Booklets for all Parts of the Regulations have been published:

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Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/192

These Regulations will come into force on 31 October 2012 and apply to Northern Ireland only.
They revoke and replace the Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2000/389 and impose certain functional or performance requirements in relation to:

the construction of any building and to certain services and fittings;
the structural alteration or extension…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Be safe when you start

When starting work for the first time, you are 50% more likely to be injured in the workplace than more experienced workers. This is just one of the shocking facts outlined in a new Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) publication – “Be safe when you start.”

The publication is aimed at young adults who are entering work for the first time either on work experience, as an apprentice or as a young worker. It highlights the common health and safety issues that they will encounter in the workplace and gives them sensible information to keep them safe.

Be safe when you start“, is written with the help of young adults and uses a number of case studies, graphic images and quizzes to reinforce the important safety and health messages that are discussed. It is a must read for any young person who is starting work for the first time and a useful guide to any employer, lecturer or teacher who is preparing young workers for their first job.

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There’s a lady in them thar hills

Opencast mining is an industry that has long caused environmental problems. The scarring left by the mining is often unsightly and measures to restore the land once it is finished with can often be expensive, challenging and imaginative.

Nowhere is this more true than in Cramlington, Northumberland, where rock and waste from a surface mine has been used to create a 396 foot long naked lady in the landscape. The reclining sculpture will officially be opened by the Princess Royal following two years of construction which has cost £3 million.

The so-called “Northumberlandia” sculpture, designed by Charles Jencks and paid for by the Banks mining group, was designed to be a lasting legacy to compensate the area for the disruption caused by coal extraction. Northumberlandia will not only be a sight to behold; members of the public can use the many paths that outline the lady's figure and enjoy an alternative countryside walk.

Katie Perkin of the Banks mining group said, “People have already taken Northumberlandia to their hearts. There was no intention to make a Pagan figure or mimic any ancient fertility symbols, despite her breasts which rise almost 100ft above the ground.”

She added, “Charles Jencks, the American artist who designed her, saw the far-off Cheviot Hills which look like a reclining woman. He has borrowed from the landscape and drawn those curves and lines into the form.”

For more information, see:

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HSE Leaflet47 – Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention (FFI)

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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