Archive for November, 2012

Construction firm ignored safety warnings

Peak Construction (London) Ltd has been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,629 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2007/320.

The firm was carrying out a redevelopment project in Bristol city centre in order to convert the upper floors of Riverside House to residential accommodation and to add two new timber framed floors on top of the building.

However, members of the public raised concerns about some of their working practices, which led to six site visits from the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) inspectors. On each visit, inspectors found failings relating to unsafe work at height, including the use of a mobile elevating work platform without worker harnesses, a lack of edge protection and poorly constructed scaffolding. Fire risks were also identified.

Despite being issued with seven prohibition notices, the firm still continued some dangerous practices at the site.

HSE inspector Steve Frain said, “Right from the start of the job, the company was warned about its health and safety performance and individual directors were made aware of the initial failings we identified at the site. The number of follow-up inspections and interventions we made in this case went far beyond what would normally be required. The same risks were clearly pointed out at each inspection, yet still the company failed to take sufficient action.”

He added, “These are not minor technical breaches of the law. They show a failure of leadership across the company which led to a high risk of significant injuries.”

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Worker not feeling too well after plummeting into sewage

A company has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 in costs for breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, after a worker fell and slid seven metres into a sewage well in Halesowen, Dudley.

The 34-year-old worker, who has asked not to be named, was clearing a blockage for Tardis Environmental UK Ltd at a partially completed housing development when the incident occurred on 26 August 2011.

To remove the waste from the bottom of the sewage well, which consisted of bulky material like nappies, the employee used a road tanker with pump and hose attachments. He opened a grid at the top of the well and stood over it to support and manipulate the hose. As he did, the hose kicked back and hit him, causing him to lose balance and fall into the chamber.

He managed to grab the hose as he fell and slid down it into the waste at the bottom where he stood disorientated for around twenty minutes before he realised he had his mobile phone with him and was able to call for help. He ingested raw sewage, sustained friction burns to his arms, and bruised his elbows, knees and head in the fall. He was off work for a number of days.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the Tardis employee had been trained in the use of the pumping equipment but had not received any instruction or training in how to empty deep, below-ground sewage wells with specific regard to the risks involved with working at height.

After the hearing HSE inspector Anthony Woodward said, “The incident was entirely preventable. The nature of the work meant the worker was right next to, and leaning over, the deep well. Although he was working at ground level the depth of the pit meant he was working at height so reasonable precautions to prevent a fall should have been provided by the company, such as a worker’s restraint or harness.”

For more information, see:

  • INDG401 – The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (as amended): A brief guide.
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Regulation (EU) 1037/2012 (OJ:L308/15/2012) approving the active substance isopyrazam, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market

This Regulation approves the active substance isopyrazam 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 active substances for which a…

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

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Scheduled Cedrec Maintenance

We are carrying out some essential server maintenance at Cedrec Towers this evening.

It all should run smoothly, but if you do happen to experience any problems with our site please don't hesitate to get in touch with Gareth Billinghurst, at gareth@cedrec.com.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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School taught lesson on safety

Alderbrook School in Solihul has been fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to ensure the safety of pupils.

The prosecution came after a year seven student trapped his hand between the rotating face of a bench sanding machine and the machine's table edge. Surgery was required to repair damage to his hand following the incident which occured in October 2011, and the pupil still suffers pain in cold weather.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that although the machine had guarding, it was designed for adult use. As such, the gap that existed between the rotating face of the machine and the table edge was large enough to trap smaller hands.

The school had carried out a generic risk assessment which identified the risk of the machine, although it did not seek the advice of the manufacturer and it did not attempt to adapt the machine.

HSE inspector Karl Raw said, “Health and safety management for design and technology within Alderbrook was not of the expected standard. Guidance was out of date, risk assessments were generic and concerns raised in a 2010 audit by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council relating to this had not been addressed. This prosecution is not about schools abandoning or being stopped from allowing pupils to use machines. It is about sensible assessment of risk given the age and maturity of school pupils.”

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Third company charged with corporate manslaughter

A garden nursery based in Norfolk is the third company to be charged with corporate manslaughter due to the death of an employee in July 2010.

The incident occurred at Belmont Nursery in Terrington St Clement, when Grzegorz Krystian Pieton, was towing a metal hydraulic-lift trailer. The trailer touched an overheard power line and caused Mr Pieton to receive a fatal electric shock. The nursery is run by PS & JE Ward Ltd, based in King’s Lynn.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident on the same day and immediately served the company with two prohibition notices to prevent further vehicles and metal pipework coming into contact with overhead power lines.

An improvement notice was also issued to the company to provide information, instruction and training for employees relating to transport and deliveries close to overhead power lines. The firm complied with all the notices.

Rene Barclay, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said, “I have carefully considered the evidence and have concluded that it is sufficient to charge PS & JE Ward Ltd with corporate manslaughter and with failing to discharge a duty imposed by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.”

The company has been summonsed to appear at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on 23 November.

For more information, see:

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Decision 2012/677/EU (OJ:L305/27/2012) allowing Member States to extend provisional authorisations granted for the new active substances ametoctradin (initially applied for under the development code BAS 650 F) and disodium phosphonate

This Decision allows Member States to extend provisional authorisations for plant protection products containing ametoctradin or disodium phosphonate until 31 October 2014.
Legislative background
Directive 91/414/EEC, on the placing of plant protection products on the market, although revoked by Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, on the same subject, continues to apply to active substances for…

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

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Regulation (EU) 844/2012 (OJ:L252/26/2012) setting out the provisions necessary for the implementation of the renewal procedure for active substances, as provided for in Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market

This Regulation sets out the provisions necessary for the implementation of the renewal procedure for active substances, as provided for in Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, on the placing of plant protection products on the market.
Legislative background
Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, provides that the approval of an active substance may be renewed upon expiry.
It…

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

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Public Bodies (Abolition of the Commission for Rural Communities) Order SI 2012/2654

This Order will come fully into force on 2 April 2013 and applies to England and Wales.
It is made in accordance with the Public Bodies Act 2011 and abolishes the Commission for Rural Communities.
As a consequence of this, this Order also amends various legislation.
Revocations and amendments
This Order will amend, on…

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

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HSENI visits aim to make farmers think SAFE

Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister, Arlene Foster, has announced a scheme that will aim to address the increase in fatalities currently affecting the farming industry.

Supported by the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) initiative will begin in November and will see at least 1000 targeted farm visits take place by March 2013.

Arlene Foster said, “HSENI teams will be focusing their efforts on reminding farmers to stop and think safe before starting any job on the farm. They will also be advising farmers on how to work safely around the four key dangers of Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment (i.e. SAFE).”

Malcolm Downey, who heads up the Farm Safety Team at HSENI, said, “I believe that farm safety visits along with one-to-one advice are vital tools in helping to limit the devastation caused by accidents. With the support of our Farm Safety Partnership colleagues at the Ulster Farmers’ Union, the DARD, NFU Mutual and the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, I want every farmer in Northern Ireland to talk openly to our teams and take on board our advice and guidance.”

Downey continued to say, “It is vital that those working in the farming sector familiarise themselves with the guidance and put it into practice. This increase in farm visits will help to drive those messages home. I would appeal to everyone, including family and friends to help get the safety message to farmers and farm workers to ensure that they are aware of the dangers involved.”

The Farm Safety Partnership intends to publish its first action plan in November covering the periods October 2012 – March 2014. The action plan is intended to both reflect the current and ongoing efforts of all partners as well as identifying new areas for action over the coming months.

For more information, see:

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