Archive for May, 2014

Fine for reckless roofer

A roofer has been fined after appearing in court following his decision to foot a double extension ladder on a transit van in order to access a third floor façade.

George Nicholls blatantly risked harming himself and others as he used the ladder to paint the front of a shop on St Marys Road in Southampton on 14 March 2013. His handiwork was captured on camera by a council environmental health officer following a tip-off from a concerned member of the public.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted Mr Nicholls for safety failings, along with the company that paid him to carry out the work. Trading as Laser Roofing London and South East Roofing Limited, he had been sub-contracted by Norfolk-based Maintenance 24-7 Ltd for the paint job because the company did not possess the correct equipment or expertise.

Ladders were specified as the chosen method of work, but after finding the façade was too high for the ladder, the roofer improvised by placing it on the roof of his van and worked from it fully-extended – around eight metres off the ground – with a labourer providing the footing.

The court heard this system was incredibly risky. Not only could Mr Nicholls or his labourer have fallen, but there was no segregation to prevent vehicles or pedestrians from passing under or near the work area. So they could have been struck by falling equipment or materials. The van in question was also parked over a bus stop on a busy road with double yellow lines. A pavement licence should have been obtained to create a properly segregated safe-working area, and scaffolding or a mobile elevated work platform would have provided a safer option for accessing the façade.

Maintenance 24-7 Ltd admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and a further breach of the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735. They were fined £10,000 with £784 in costs. George Nicholls was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay £666 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the same Act.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Frank Flannery commented, “The photographic evidence speaks for itself in terms of the risks created. Anyone can see the system of work is plain wrong, so why a supposedly competent roofer chose to work in this way is anyone's guess.

“George Nicholls blatantly and recklessly risked harming himself and others, and he did so on behalf of Maintenance 24-7 Ltd, who had clear duties of their own to ensure the work at height was properly planned, managed and executed in a safe manner.

“The standards of both parties fell far below those required, and I would like to thank the concerned member of the public who initially brought the matter to the council's attention.”

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Regulation (EU) 568/2014 (OJ:L157/76/2014) amending Annex 5 to Regulation (EU) 305/2011 as regards the assessment and verification of constancy of performance of construction products

This Regulation amends Regulation (EU) 305/2011, which lays down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products, as regards the assessment and verification of constancy of performance of construction products.
It replaces Annex 5 to that Regulation in order to better reflect current practice and to bring it in line with…

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

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Regulation (EU) 491/2014 (OJ:L146/1/2014) amending Annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005 as regards maximum residue levels for certain substance in or on certain products

This Regulation amends Annexes 2 and 3 to Regulation (EC) 396/2005, on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin, as regards the maximum residue levels for:

ametoctradin;
azoxystrobin;
cycloxydim;
cyfluthrin;
dinotefuran;
fenbuconazole;
fenvalerate;
fludioxonil;
fluopyram;
flutriafol;
fluxapyroxad;
glufosinate-ammonium;
imidacloprid;
indoxacarb;
MCPA;
methoxyfenozide;
penthiopyrad;
spinetoram; and
trifloxystrobin,

in or on certain products.
Revocations and amendments
This Regulation amends:

Regulation (EC) 396/2005, on maximum residue levels…

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

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Regulation (EU) 460/2014 (OJ:L133/51/2014) amending Regulation (EU) 823/2012 as regards the expiry date of the approval of the active substance cyfluthrin

This Regulation amends Regulation (EU) 823/2012, derogating from Regulation (EU) 540/2011, as regards the expiry date of the approval of the active substance cyfluthrin.
Legislative background
For the active substance cyfluthrin, Regulation (EU) 823/2012 postponed the expiry of the approval period, as set out in Regulation (EU) 540/2011, to 31 October 2016…

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

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Regulation (EU) 574/2014 (OJ:L159/41/2014) amending Annex 3 to Regulation (EU) 305/2011 on the model to be used for drawing up a declaration of performance on construction products

This Regulation amends Annex 3 to Regulation (EU) 305/2011, which lays down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products, in relation to the model to be used for drawing up a declaration of performance on construction products.
It replaces Annex 3 to that Regulation in order to provide a new…

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

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First construction company found guilty of corporate manslaughter

A company has been found guilty of corporate manslaughter, following the death of a stonemason's mate.

On 9 February 2010, David Evans, an employee of Cavendish Masonry Limited, was building a large wall at the Well Barn Estate in Moulsford, Wallingford. A two-tonne limestone block fell off a concrete lintel and crushed him.

Cavendish Masonry were this week found guilty by jury at Oxford Crown Court of corporate manslaughter, having pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. They were found to have committed a gross breach of their duty of care in their management and organisation of work at the Well Barn Estate, by failing to take reasonable care in the planning and execution of those activities.

The company admitted to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.

Following the verdict, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Peter Snelgrove said, “David Evan's tragic death was completely avoidable had Cavendish Masonry properly planned and managed the installation of the heavy limestone.

“The lift itself was relatively straightforward and there is no blame on the part of the crane operator who put the stone in place. The stone toppled because its shape was such that it was potentially unstable when free standing, yet nothing was used to fix it in place. It needed to be sufficiently restrained before the lifting slings attaching it to the crane were removed.

“The drawings for the work were wholly insufficient, and the overall execution of the project fell significantly below the standard required and expected of a competent masonry company.”

Cavendish Masonry Limited are due to be sentenced on Thursday 3 July.

For more information, see the:

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HSE to host twitter chat

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Small Business Advisor Barbara Hockey will take part in a live hour-long Twitter-chat on Thursday 5 June, at 12:30pm to answer questions on the health and safety of small businesses.

Barbara will be supported by HSE inspectors to answer any questions or concerns that small businesses may have and hopefully dispel some of the myths surrounding health and safety.

You can find the HSE on Twitter as @H_S_E, and can ask your questions using the hashtag #askHSE.

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Survey gives EU environment and safety legislation thumbs-up

UK health and safety and environment professionals have given the EU the thumbs-up when it comes to the impact it is having on legislation, according to a new survey by specialists Cedrec.

The news comes ahead of this week's European elections (22 May) and shows that despite misgivings by many, environment and safety professionals generally feel the EU is having a positive impact on boosting the quality of health and safety and environmental legislation.

Cedrec, which specialises in providing advice in understanding, interpreting and complying with environmental and safety legislation, completed the survey to gauge popular perceptions about the EU.

Although generally positive about the EU, the survey did reveal that the majority of environment and safety professionals were content with current levels of legislation and did not want to see anymore EU legislation – some would even welcome a reduction in current levels.

More than three fifths (68%) of those surveyed believed that the EU was helping to improve the environment while a quarter (25%) felt it was making things worse. Seven per cent of those questioned thought it was making no difference.  

When it came to safety, more than half (54%) of those surveyed believed that the EU was having a positive impact on making workplaces safer while 12% thought that it was making no difference at all and those who felt it was having a negative effect was only a third (34%).

Cedrec's survey revealed that there's a reluctance to see the introduction of further environment and safety legislation – only 3% said they would welcome more with over a half (54%) of respondents keen to see a reduction in legislation. Forty three per cent thought the current amount of EU legislation was right.

The overwhelming amount of those who participated in the survey thought the UK should take the EU elections seriously and will be voting on Thursday, with the majority considering the EU elections as important as the UK elections.

Cedrec Director Gareth Billinghurst echoed the responses from the survey, and stressed the importance of the UK having a strong presence within the EU.

He is however aware of the image being portrayed of the EU's role in legislation, and added: “The concerns I have with these elections are that they are being hijacked by various fringe political parties that have no intention of working with or within Europe, or working with Europe for the greater good of Great Britain.

“The majority of our health and safety and environmental legislation has its roots in Europe so as we are part of the EU, we need to ensure Europe works for us and take the lead when and where we can. Our votes in this election are key to this.

“A national general election is the only platform where we should be considering anti-European or protest votes. Raising such concerns at an election for MEPs to represent the UK in the European Parliament are misguided, badly timed and just weaken our voice. We need to take this election seriously.”

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Dock company prosecuted following injury

Harwich Dock Company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and subsequently fined £15,000 after a dock worker suffered serious leg injuries in an operation to unload a cargo container.

The incident occurred in October 2012, when 26 year-old Andrew Gotts was helping to unload containers from a ship using the ship's crane and chains on one of the company's two berths in the Port of Harwich. Chelmsford Crown Court heard that Mr Gotts was standing on an access platform on the deck of the ship while colleagues attempted to free a jammed container. The container then moved suddenly towards him, trapping Mr Gotts against the handrail of the platform and crushing his leg.

Mr Gotts suffered multiple fractures and a destruction of soft tissue on his lower right leg in the accident. As a result, he needed extensive reconstruction surgery and, at this point in time, it is not clear as to when, or if, he will be fit for work.

Following the accident, a HSE investigation found that the company did not have a safe procedure in place for freeing jammed containers and there was no clear instruction as to who should be in charge of the operation. As a result, nobody asked Mr Gotts to leave the danger zone as the container was freed.

In addition, the HSE found that workers were being exposed to the risk of falls during off-loading operations, seeing as they would walk across the top of the container to attach chains with nothing in place to prevent falls. Whilst the company actually stated in their policy that harnesses should be worn, the supervisors were not enforcing it.

Harwich Dock Company Ltd pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were subsequently fined. The company was also ordered to pay £14,761 in costs.

HSE inspector Toni Drury said following the hearing, “This incident was entirely preventable. Mr Gotts was injured by a jammed container when it suddenly freed and he sustained horrific and life-changing injuries. The risk of containers jamming is well-known in the port industry. There should have been a clear procedure known to the workers, including keeping people clear of the jammed container and having one individual designated to manage operations.”

“If Harwich Dock company had properly assessed and managed the risks to all dock workers during the unloading of containers, and particularly to agency workers who are less familiar with tasks and settings, an alternative method of working would have been used and risks reduced. As it was, they were exposed to significant dangers exacerbated by failings in the company’s supervision.”

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Regulation (EU) 492/2014 (OJ:L139/1/2014) supplementing Regulation (EU) 528/2012 as regards the rules for the renewal of authorisations of biocidal products subject to mutual recognition

This Regulation supplements Regulation (EU) 528/2012, on the making available on the market and use of biocidal products, as regards the rules for the renewal of authorisations of biocidal products subject to mutual recognition.
Subject matter and scope
This Regulation sets out rules for the renewal of a national authorisation of a…

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

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