Archive for May, 2013

Consultation on proposals for a revised Approved Code of Practice on “Safe installation and use of gas systems and appliances” (L56)

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

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Man saved by landing in pig waste

An employee who had only been working at a solar panel installation firm for two weeks had a lucky escape when he fell through the roof of a pig shed onto a soft layer of animal waste, avoiding severe injury.

The employee was working for Solar Fit PV Ltd by installing solar panels on the roof of a pig shed at an East Yorkshire farm when he suddenly heard a crack and the roof gave way. A soft layer of animal waste softened the four metre fall, but the man suffered a radial fracture to his left elbow and bruising to his legs. He has since recovered and found work elsewhere.

York Magistrates’ Court was told that the farm owner spoke to the firm’s director on-site because he was unhappy with the way they had been working on the shed roof. He warned that the two roofs were fragile and no work should take place without using crawl boards, which he made available.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Solar Fit took no action as a result of this advice and both the director and the inexperienced employee carried on working unsafely on the roof. The director then left the site and instructed the man to level the rail already on the roof and chop further rails for the panels.

Also, no precautions had been taken to prevent falls through the fragile roof and there was no edge protection along the ridge or to the left of the roof. A hand rail to the right of the roof only extended partway.

Solar Fit PV Ltd was fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,585 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Andy Denison said, “This worker was extremely fortunate not to have suffered more severe injuries in a fall of four metres. It could even have proved fatal. Solar Fit PV Ltd failed to assess the risks before this job started and therefore failed to plan it properly and ensure it was carried out safely. They then chose to ignore the farmer’s warnings and use the crawlboards he had left for their use.

The company left an inexperienced worker alone to work on the roof without suitable safety measures in place, having told him to walk on the purlins – which is extremely dangerous. Falls through fragile roofs and rooflights account for some 22% of falls from height in the construction industry – or seven deaths and around 300 major injuries a year.”

For more information, see the:

  • INDG401 – The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (as amended) – A brief guide.
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Channel Tunnel (Safety) (Amendment) Order SI 2013/407

This Order was laid before Parliament on 28 February 2013 and applies mainly to England, Scotland and Wales.
Some of the amendments made also extend to Northern Ireland, in order to disapply the Channel Tunnel (Safety) Order SI 2007/3531.
It amends the Channel Tunnel (Safety) Order SI 2007/3531 in order to give…

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

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Regulation (EU) 528/2012 (OJ:L167/1/2012) on the making available on the market and use of biocidal products

The purpose of this Regulation is to improve the functioning of the internal market through the harmonisation of the rules on the making available, and the use, of biocidal products, whilst ensuring a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment.
It retains the two-step procedure…

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

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Decision 2013/204/EU (OJ:L117/18/2013) on the non-inclusion of formaldehyde for product-type 20 in Annex 1, 1A or 1B to Directive 98/8/EC concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market

This Decision provides that formaldehyde is not to be included for product-type 20 in Annex 1, 1A or 1B to Directive 98/8/EC, on the placing of biocidal products on the market.
Products placed on the market as biocidal products for use as feed preservatives and containing formaldehyde must no longer be…

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

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Decision 2013/205/EU (OJ:L117/20/2013) allowing Member States to extend provisional authorisations granted for certain new active substances

This implementing Decision is made in accordance with Regulation (EU) 1107/2009, on the placing of plant protection products on the market, and allows Member States to extend provisional authorisations granted for the following new active substances:

acequinocyl;
aminopyralid;
ascorbic acid;
flubendiamide;
amma-cyhalothrin;
ipconazole;
metaflumizone;
orthosulfamuron;
pseudomonas sp. strain DSMZ 13134;
pyridalil;
pyroxsulam;
spiromesifen;
thiencarbazone; and
topramezone,

until 30 April 2015.

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

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Chemical firm fined for fireball

A chemical firm has been fined £120,000 after an employee sustained severe burns when he was engulfed by a fireball at a factory in Wirral.

The 45 year old from Kirby was kept in an induced coma for seven weeks following the explosion at SAFC Hitech Ltd's plant in Bromborough, on 28 February last year. The company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following an investigation into the incident, which left the employee with burns to his face, right arm and upper body.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the company had been manufacturing a chemical called trimethylindium (TMI), which is used during the production of LEDs and in the semi-conductor industry. Waste from the purification process had been left on a bench to deactivate in an unsealed glass bottle, despite being explosive if it is exposed to air or water.

Shortly after starting his shift, the worker entered the waste deactivation area and the waste in the glass bottle exploded, sending shards of glass across the yard. He does not remember the incident, but colleagues reported seeing him running around in a ball of flames. He was taken to a specialist burns unit and induced into a coma. He was kept in hospital for almost three months, and still has extensive scars and difficulty moving.

SAFC Hitech Ltd pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations SI 2002/2776 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, with regard to failing to:

  • carry out a suitable risk assessment for dealing with waste from the TMI purification process;
  • supervise and monitor; and
  • ensure the safety of employees.
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Review of HSE launched

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a Triennial Review of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This is part of the Government's commitment to reform the public sector, meaning all public bodies are now subject to regular reviews.

Reviews began in 2010, which led to 500 public bodies being reformed. Following this, the Government committed to reviewing all remaining bodies at least every three years to make sure that they are still fit for purpose.

Mark Hoban, Minister for employment, said, “In 2010 we acted to close down unnecessary public bodies and ensure that those that remained were fit to deliver public services efficiently and effectively. Routine reviews, such as the one I am launching today, ensure that bodies such as the HSE continue to be fit for purpose, and that they are providing the value for money that the taxpayer expects.”

Responding to the review, HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said, “It is approaching 40 years since the HSE was created and in that time the organisation has continually adapted to keep pace with changes in industry and to ensure the HSE continues to make a positive contribution to reducing death, injury and illness in the workplace. We welcome the opportunity to work with Martin Temple and to contribute to the review, which we expect to provide robust and helpful scrutiny of the HSE and its responsibilities.”

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