Archive for June, 2013

Building (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2013/143

These Regulations will come into force on 1 October 2013 and apply to Scotland only.
They amend the Building (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2004/406 so that:

the obligation to install an automatic fire suppression system does not apply to new buildings forming part of, or an extension to, an existing school if it…

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

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Regulation (EU) 570/2013 (OJ:L168/18/2013) approving the active substance geraniol, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Regulation (EU) 540/2011

This Regulation approves the active substance geraniol, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, on the placing of plant protection products on the market.
In doing so, it amends the Annex to Regulation (EU) 540/2011, which contains a list of approved active substances.
Legislative background
In accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, on the placing…

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Regulation (EU) 546/2013 (OJ:L163/17/2013) approving the active substance eugenol, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market, and amending the Annex to Regulation (EU) 540/2011

This Regulation approves the active substance eugenol, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, on the placing of plant protection products on the market.
In doing so, it amends the Annex to Regulation (EU) 540/2011, which contains a list of approved active substances.
Legislative background
The procedure and conditions of approval in Directive 91/414/EEC,…

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Decision 2013/268/EU on the position to be taken on behalf of the European Union within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with regard to the adoption of certain Codes and related amendments to certain conventions and protocols

This Decision is on the position to be taken on behalf of the EU within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) with regard to the adoption of certain Codes and related amendments to conventions and protocols.
It specifies that the Union agrees with the new Codes and amendments.
Legislative background
The IMO Marine Environment…

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Consultation on Proposals to remove twelve legislative measures

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Chocolate company fined following accident

Ashbury Chocolates Ltd has been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,485 at Kettering Magistrates' court after pleading guilty to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations SI 1998/2306. The breach related to an accident in which an employee's finger was partially severed in an inadequately guarded machine.

Joao Countinho was cleaning a machine which pipes liquid chocolate into moulds in February 2012. Having removed the rotors, Mr. Countinho reached up to check that the stirrer cavity was clean but the stirrers were still rotating. His left index finger then became trapped where it was partially severed. It was later amputated in hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the machine was only partially guarded. Although there was an interlocking guard at the top of the stirrer cavity, there was no protective device in place at the bottom, allowing Mr Countinho to reach into the machine even though it was running.

HSE inspector Michelle Morrison said, “This was a serious incident that could have easily been prevented. Ashbury Chocolates Limited had a duty to ensure its employees were protected from the dangerous moving parts of its machines. It failed in that duty. The company has since installed a new guard to prevent a recurrence but it is a pity a man had to suffer a painful injury for that to happen.”

Although Mr. Countinho was off work for around three months, he has since returned to the company doing the same job.

For more information, see:

  • INDG291 – Simple guide to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998;
  • INDG229 – Using work equipment safely;
  • L22 – Safe use of work equipment.
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Proposal COM(2013)265 for a Regulation on official controls and activities to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health, plant reproductive material, plant protection products and amending various Regulations and Directives

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Health and safety cited in fishy excuse

Staff at Waitrose supermarket have refused to fillet a fish for a customer on health and safety grounds, stating that the fish was too slippery. Health and safety is often cited in order to avoid doing something, but this excuse, it has been suggested, may simply have been a cover up for poor customer service.

It is reported that the assistant at the fish counter had agreed to fillet the fish for the customer, but their supervisor then stepped in and said it couldn't be done on health and safety grounds as the fish was too slippery. However, the customer also noted that the supermarket's website states that the customer must only ask if they wanted their fish skinned or filleted.

This story caught the eye of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Myth Busters Challenge Panel, which said that slippery fish was a fact of life and that their view is “that this is yet another example of poor customer service hiding behind the health and safety excuse.”

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We’re all going on a (safe) summer holiday!

This summer, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) and Gas Safe Register have joined forces to warn against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when camping, caravanning or boating, and when using a BBQ.

Most of us are aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide in the home, however incidents and fatalities also occur in caravans and on board boats where faulty gas cookers, appliances or petrol powered generators have led to poisoning. Carbon monoxide has also been linked to deaths where people have brought gas and charcoal BBQs into tents and other small enclosed spaces.

Richard Meredith, Head of Major Hazards at the HSE NI, said, “We want everyone to enjoy their hard earned holiday, but all of us need to be aware that carbon monoxide can be just as deadly away from home. Just because you're camping, caravanning or boating, it doesn't mean you are free from the dangers of carbon monoxide. So please, follow our top tips to help keep you and your family safe this summer.”

When using a BBQ of any kind:

  • read the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin – even if you have finished cooking;
  • never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm;
  • never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping;
  • remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness – if concerned, seek medical advice.

If you’re using gas camping equipment:

  • read the manufacturer’s instructions;
  • never take a gas stove, light or heater into a tent, caravan or cabin unless it is a permanent fixture, installed and maintained correctly;
  • check that the appliance is in good order, undamaged and that hoses are properly attached and undamaged – if in doubt get the hoses replaced or don’t use it.

More information on safe camping and caravanning, including carbon monoxide, fire safety, gas and electricity is available from:

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No covering up bedding firm’s atrocious health and safety breaches

A Rochdale-based bedding firm has been fined £50,000 after inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the majority of its machines were unsafe to use.

Sartex Quilts and Textiles Ltd, which owns the Maison Le Vie and Night Comfort brands, were visited over a two day period in October 2011 when HSE inspectors found dozens of missing or inadequate guards on machines.

Inspectors found that one machine, used to compact bales of quilt, had been wrapped with pieces of cardboard as the only way of protecting workers from the dangerous moving parts inside.

In addition, a loose board had been placed over a large electric motor and pulley system on another machine, and guards were generally found to be in a poor condition or missing altogether.

As a consequence, three Prohibition Notices were issued, stopping some work immediately, and 12 Improvement Notices were issued requiring changes to be made.

Sartex Quilts and Textiles admitted to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees. It was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £14,614 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Helen Mansfield said, “This was one of the worst cases of missing or inadequate guards I or my colleagues have ever seen. Every corner we turned, we found another issue.

The company put production before health and safety and put the lives of its employees in danger as a result. Common sense should have meant they didn't use cardboard to cover dangerous moving parts, but that's exactly what we found on one machine.

Hundreds of injuries are reported every year across Great Britain caused by poor or missing guards, and it's only luck that no one has been seriously injured or even killed at Sartex Quilts' factory in Rochdale.”

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