Archive for November, 2012

farm safety plan launched

A detailed 18-month plan of action to tackle farm safety in Northern Ireland has been launched by the Farm Safety Partnership.

The Partnership was set up in May this year to address the shocking increase in the number of farmers who are dying or seriously injuring themselves as a result of work-related accidents. Since then, a number of initiatives have been launched. The Farm Safety Action Plan for Northern Ireland, which was developed by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI), the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), National Farmers Union Mutual (NFUM) and the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), sets out a clear strategy aimed at reducing injury and deaths in farming and includes details of specific goals and targets the partnership aims to achieve.

The agricultural sector suffers one of the highest workplace accident rates in the UK and Ireland. Since April 2007, more than 40 people in Northern Ireland have been killed as a direct result of agricultural activities. Many more have been seriously injured.

Launching the Action Plan, Health and Safety Minister Arlene Foster said, “Accidents resulting in serious injury or death continue to be a very real danger for farmers and agricultural workers across Northern Ireland. Too many families have had to suffer the unspeakable grief of losing a loved one as a result of a farming accident and I have seen at first hand the devastating effect it has on those who are left behind.”

She continued, “Work-related deaths on our farms are not inevitable and most could be prevented by taking simple steps to improve safety. We need to urgently make sure farmers are doing everything they can to stay safe. The actions contained in the Farm Safety Partnership plan have been agreed by all of the key stakeholders, and work is already well under way to deliver them.”

You can find out more about the Farm Safety Partnership and the Farm Safety Partnership Action Plan at: http://cedr.ec/iw

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“Silent killer” warning

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) have launched its annual public awareness campaign – “Watch Out. Carbon Monoxide Kills”.

The campaign aims to help prevent carbon monoxide deaths and poisoning in Northern Ireland this winter and comes less than a month after provisions which makes it compulsory for all new homes in Northern Ireland to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed. It warns people of the dangers of this silent killer from oil, gas, coal and solid fuel and calls on everyone to act now to stay safe.

With winter under way and heating systems and solid fuel fires being used more, this targeted, hard-hitting campaign reminds homeowners to make sure their chimneys and flues are cleaned at least once a year, and that appliances, such as heaters, boilers and cookers, are serviced at least annually by a registered engineer. It also demonstrates how installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home can help protect you, and your family.

You can find out more about the campaign at: http://cedr.ec/ix

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Bedfordshire Fire Services (Combination Scheme) (Variation) Order SI 2012/2879

This Order came into force on 17 December 2012 and applies to England only.
It amends the Bedfordshire Fire Services Combination Scheme, which is set out in the Bedfordshire Fire Services (Combination Scheme) Order SI 1996/2918.
As a result of the amendment, the Bedfordshire and Luton Combined Fire Authority becomes known as…

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

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Safety at aluminium company is the pits

A company which put employees in danger by allowing them to work in confined spaces without any relevant training or safety measures has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £12,348.

SAPA Profiles UK Ltd, which makes aluminium profiles, regularly sent workers into a 5.5 metre deep pit to retrieve waste aluminium that had collected at the bottom.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the company's premises in Tibshelf, Derbyshire in May 2008 and served an improvement notice after discovering that work in the pit was not carried out in accordance with a safe system of work. The company complied with the notice and developed a safe system of work, including providing training to some of their workers, but in August 2011 a member of staff contacted the HSE to raise concerns about the way in which confined spaces work was carried out.

During a follow-up visit, HSE inspectors found the company had a written safe system of work, but it was not being adhered to. The policy stated staff should be trained when either working in the pit or observing from the top, however that training was never provided to a number of the workers involved.

In addition, some of the harnesses intended to be worn by workers when accessing the pit had not been thoroughly examined to ensure that they were safe to use. It was also found that a gas analyser, used to ensure that the atmosphere in the pit was safe, had not been calibrated to ensure its accuracy.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Scott Wynne said, “Every time someone went into the pit, a permit to work had to be completed giving details of how the work was to be carried out. Of 147 permits examined, 97 had clear issues yet those issues were never identified or followed up. Conditions in the pit are very unpleasant. It is a hot, humid, dark, confined space where people could easily have become disorientated or overcome by the heat. There was a significant risk to workers from oxygen deficiency and from other substances entering the pit.”

He continued, “It was unacceptable of the company to put staff at risk in this way, especially when bearing in mind the previous enforcement action taken by the HSE on precisely the same issue just three years earlier. The company had a duty to make sure its written procedures were being followed, but it failed in that duty. It is extremely fortunate that no serious incidents have occurred in relation to this work.”

For more information, see:

  • L101 – Safe work in confined spaces;
  • INDG258 – Safe work in confined spaces.
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Proposal COM(2012)677 for a Decision authorising Member States to ratify, in the interests of the European Union, the Convention concerning Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work, 1990, of the International Labour Organization

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

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Tyre company treading dangerous ground

OM Tyre Recycling Limited have this month been fined £7,500, in addition to a 12 month conditional discharge, plus £1,764 costs after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing at Newry Crown Court on 24 September 2012, to four breaches of health and safety legislation.

The case relates to an incident on 22 July 2011 at the company's premises in Mayobridge. An employee was trying to clear a blockage of accumulated shredded tyre pieces from an operating conveyor when his right hand and arm came in contact with an unguarded tail pulley.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) found that on the day of the accident the conveyor being used in the tyre shredding process was not safe because a section of the fixed guarding around the tail pulley was missing and there was no pull cord operated emergency stop switch on the conveyor to prevent risk when an irregular event occurs. The investigation also found that such blockages were happening regularly and the system of work being used to clear the blockages was not safe.

HSE NI Inspector, Denise Donaghy commented, “This incident should have been avoided and highlights the dangers involved when clearing blockages from machinery. It is important that companies identify and address hazards in the workplace. Companies must ensure that guards are maintained in place and that procedures are in place to ensure that work is not carried out while machinery is still moving.”

This marks a bad few months for OM Tyre Recycling, who as we reported in September, were subject to a £120,000 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 at Newry Crown Court, in relation to a series of waste offences. You can read that article here: http://cedr.ec/ht.

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Decision 2012/709/EURATOM (OJ:L321/59/2012) on the adoption of the 2012-2015 High Flux Reactor supplementary research programme to be implemented by the Joint Research Centre for the European Atomic Energy Community

This Decision adopts, for a period of four years, the supplementary research programme on the operation of the High Flux Reactor (HFR) supplementary research programme.
The objectives of the programme are to:

ensure the safe and reliable operation of the HFR, in order to guarantee the availability of the neutron flux for…

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

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Regulation (EU) 1043/2012 (OJ:L310/24/2012) approving the active substance phosphane, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market

This Regulation approves the active substance phosphane as a plant protection product in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, on the placing of plant protection products on the market.
Legislative background
Directive 91/414/EEC, on the placing of plant protection products on the market, although revoked by Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, continues to apply to…

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

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Decision 2012/696/EU (OJ:L311/3/2012) amending Decision 2012/88/EU on the technical specifications for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystems of the trans-European rail system

This Decision makes some amendments to Decision 2012/88/EU, on the technical specifications for interoperability relating to the control-command and signalling subsystems of the trans-European rail system.
Legislative background
On 16 April 2012, the European Railway Agency issued a recommendation – ERA/REC/03-2012/ERTMS. This Decision is based on that recommendation.
The development of additional functionalities…

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

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Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/381

These Regulations came into force on 31 December 2012 and apply to Northern Ireland only.
They specify safety standards which will enhance the level of protection to the public from the dangers posed by electrical equipment. As a result, requirements are imposed in relation to:

the installation and use of electrical networks…

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

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