Archive for February, 2014

Roof repair safety mustn’t fall through the cracks

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) is addressing the problem of farm-based accidents and fatalities by reminding farmers and contractors of their health and safety duties when carrying out roof repairs.

During 2013, two roofing contractors sadly died in separate incidents by falling through the roof of a farm shed. In addition, other accidents resulted in serious injuries to contractors brought onto farms to carry out roofing repair and maintenance.

These accidents were due to falls from the edges of the roof, through gaps or holes in the roof and through fragile materials and roof lights.

All work on roofs is a high risk activity, not only during the construction of a new roof but also getting onto an existing roof for any length of time – including for a few minutes to “have a look” or carry out a small repair. So, always consider whether it is really necessary to go onto the roof at all.

If you are a farmer and you use a building contractor for roof work then you (the “client”) have legal duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2007/291. You need to work with the contractor to make sure you get the job done safely.

The contractor also has legal duties under health and safety law which are separate to those of the “client”. These duties cannot be evaded or avoided nor passed to each other either through a verbal or written contract. They include:

  • allowing adequate time for every stage of the work;
  • providing relevant information about the site, including existing structures and the intended use of any new workplace buildings;
  • checking that adequate welfare facilities are in place during every stage of work and suitable management arrangements are on-site before work begins;
  • checking the competence and resources of the contractor to carry out the work.

If the construction work will last more than 30 days or involves more than 500 person days, then there are additional requirements.

For more information, see:

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Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 Modification Order SSI 2013/192

This Order came into force on 24 June 2013 and applies to Scotland only.
It amends the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 in order to change a reference in the Full Text of Schedule 5 to that Act as a result of the commencement of certain provisions of the Children's…

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Building (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations SI 2014/110

These Regulations come into force on 31 July 2014 and apply to Wales only.
However, they do not apply to excepted energy buildings in Wales.
They amend the Building Regulations SI 2010/2214 by:

extending the energy efficiency requirements to a conservatory or porch in which a fixed heating appliance has been provided;
enabling the…

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Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations SI 2014/58

These Regulations came into force on 10 February 2014 and apply to Wales only.
However, they do not apply to excepted energy buildings in Wales.
They amend the Building (Approved Inspectors etc.) Regulations SI 2010/2215 in order to:

require that an approved inspector ensures that the designated body or, as the case may…

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Regulation (EU) 151/2014 (OJ:L48/1/2014) approving the active substance S-abscisic acid, 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 S-abscisic acid, 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 the list of approved active substances.
Legislative background
In December 2010, an application was made to…

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INDG473 – SMART paint spraying

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HSG276 – Isocyanate paint spraying

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Decision 2014/85/EU (OJ:L45/22/2014) on the placing on the market for essential use of biocidal products containing copper

This Decision is on placing biocidal products containing copper on the market for essential use.
It determines that the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland can place biocidal products containing copper on the market for certain purposes.
Decision
In relation to the UK, such biocidal products can be placed on the market for…

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Regulation (EU) 83/2014 (OJ:L28/17/2014) amending Regulation (EU) 965/2012 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations pursuant to Regulation (EC) 216/2008

This Regulation amends Regulation (EU) 965/2012, laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations under Regulation (EC) 216/2008, on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency.
Legislative background
Regulation (EU) 965/2012  lays down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air…

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Gutter accident drains firm of 40k

A construction worker was seriously injured after safety failings by his employer led to cast iron guttering falling on top of him.

Valentin Taljan, 61, broke his right arm, seven ribs, a vertebra, punctured his lung and cut his head in the incident at disused buildings at Aberdeen Harbour on 16 July 2009.

His employer, Lawrie (Demolition) Limited, was prosecuted after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was a failure to put in place a suitable system to identify hazards that might arise as works progressed, and a failure to adequately plan and implement exclusion zones in areas where materials could fall.

Peterhead Sheriff Court heard that Mr Taljanov, along with colleagues, was working in the vicinity of a substantial piece of cast iron guttering that had been left unsupported for two days at roof height during the demolition of old offices and warehousing at the former Craig Group Buildings at the harbour. Mr Taljanov was moving roofing materials from a platform onto the ground when the guttering gave way and struck him.

Lawrie (Demolition) Limited, of Rigifa, Cove, Aberdeen, was fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2007/320.

Following the case, HSE Inspector Liz Hunter, said, “This incident was wholly preventable by taking down the guttering in one go and it was probably only Mr Taljanov’s hard hat that prevented him from being killed.

“Lawrie (Demolition) Limited failed to review the constantly changing risks that are created during demolition work.  Exclusion zones were not enforced to keep staff out of areas where materials could fall, despite there being two supervisors on-site and regular site visits by management. I want demolition firms to learn from this incident. There is no room for complacency and regular risk reviews are essential for site safety.”

For more information, see:

  • L144 – Managing health and safety in construction;
  • HSG150 – Health and safety in construction;
  • INDG411 – Want construction work done safely?
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