Archive for September, 2015

Chemical firm fined after factory explosion

Chemical firm Catalloy Ltd has been fined following a hydrogen explosion at their factory which saw a vessel lid blown through the factory roof and left a worker with minor injuries.

The company produces metal catalysts used in the pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries.  They made a modification to one of their reactors, fitting a new seal to prevent air getting in. However they had failed to consider the risk posed by the increased pressure inside of the vessel during production. On the first day of production following the modification the vessel exploded, blowing the lid and other equipment through the factory roof. The incident led to a worker suffering cuts to his back and hand.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Mhairi Duffy said it was lucky that only one worker had suffered minor injuries as the explosion could have so easily been fatal. She added: '' Catalloy deals with potentially dangerous substances every day and so it's vital nothing is left to chance when it comes to the safety of its workers. The company should have carefully considered the risks of sealing the reactor but instead it continued with the production process and there was a major hydrogen explosion as a result.''

Warrington Crown Court found Catalloy Ltd to be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in failing to ensure the safety of their workers. The company were fined £80,000 and ordered to pay a further £80,000 in costs.

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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations SI 2015/1693

These Regulations came into force on 1 October 2015 and apply to England only.
Their purpose is to require landlords in the private rented sector to ensure that a smoke alarm is equipped in every storey of their rented dwelling when occupied under a tenancy. A carbon monoxide alarm must also…

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

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Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers

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

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Merchant Shipping (Code of Safe Working Practices) (Amendments and Revocation) Regulations SI 2015/1692

These Regulations will come into force on 20 October 2015 and apply to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
They are made in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 which consolidated previous Merchant Shipping Acts and legislation relating to merchant shipping.
These Regulations amend the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and…

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

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Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers

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

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Merchant Shipping (Code of Safe Working Practices) (Amendments and Revocation) Regulations SI 2015/1692

These Regulations will come into force on 20 October 2015 and apply to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
They are made in accordance with the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 which consolidated previous Merchant Shipping Acts and legislation relating to merchant shipping.
These Regulations amend the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and…

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

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Builder and housing company prosecuted for safety failings

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have revealed that poisonous and potentially fatal gases could have been pumped into the loft space of two properties after a builder capped the chimneys.

After the work was completed, Cornwall Housing Ltd’s own gas engineers had inspected the properties and classed the situation at both properties as 'immediately dangerous' – which means it was an immediate risk to life.

The HSE found that the chimneys were used to flue working gas boilers and fires at the properties, meaning that the gases had no means to escape and could build up inside.

Prosecuted by HSE, Cornwall Housing Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £6,660 and ordered to pay £697 in costs.

Moreover, contractor Barry Shipton pleaded guilty to a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 was fined a total of £2,664 and ordered to pay £692 in costs.

At a hearing in Bodmin Magistrates' Court, HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Although no-one was hurt, this was an incredibly dangerous situation where gas appliances could have pumped poisonous and potentially fatal gasses into the loft space of a home instead of to outside the property…proper work instruction and control by Cornwall Housing Ltd and then proper on-site enquiries by Barry Shipton would have prevented this dangerous situation from arising and putting the lives of their tenants at risk”

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Jaguar Land Rover in court over employees death

Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover has been sentenced for safety breaches which were discovered during an investigation into a workers death at its plant in Merseyside.

It was heard in Liverpool Crown Court that Graham Begley, from Halewood, was found trapped between two 24 tonne pieces of car making machinery called 'dies' on 26 September 2011.

It is thought that Graham, 49, was moving the machinery with a crane when it's chain or hook snagged on the die which caused it to move towards him and crush him.

As part of their investigation into the incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Jaguar Land Rover had failed in its duty to undertake a suitable risk assessment of the risks to its employees.

It was accepted in court that the regulation breach was not causative of Mr Begley’s death but Jaguar Land Rover Ltd were prosecuted by the HSE over breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

After entering a guilty plea, the company were fined £30,000 and agreed to make a contribution towards HSE costs of £20,000. 

HSE head of operations for the north west, Mark Dawson, said: “A suitable risk assessment is an essential step in ensuring that the risks arising from work activities are properly controlled. This is particularly important where the work is hazardous and has the potential to result in serious harm. Employers are therefore reminded of their legal responsibility to identify the hazards and decide on the precautions that may be necessary.”

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Construction industry called upon to learn from national company’s mistakes during HSE’s refurbishment initiative

A national interiors fit-out company, who's client's include high end retail brands, is backing the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) annual construction refurbishment initiative and asking construction colleagues to act now in the improvement of standards in order to reduce the number of death, injuries, and ill-health in their industry.

Newman Scott was visited by the HSE in 2013 during their inspection initiative which resulted in the company, and one of their directors, being prosecuted due to the poor standards found as a sub-contractor for the company was using a poorly erected mobile scaffold, on an escalator between the ground and first floor.

John Graham, Newman Scott's new Joint Managing Director, said:

“We were mortified at the thought of being prosecuted because we had a good safety record and thought we were pretty good at health and safety…although no-one was hurt there was a very real and high risk of injury, or worse, to the operatives. We had a choice, we could consider ourselves lucky there were no injuries or we could hold a full and frank internal investigation, understand what had gone wrong and make sure our sites were safe for our workers.”

Graham continued by saying that they “focused on improving the already positive safety culture in the company through better communication, more training, more competency checking and giving more ownership of health and safety” to their employees.

It is believed that although changes would have eventually been made, the HSE's enforcement action acted as a catalyst for Newman Scott to make effective changes.

In response, Jo Anderson, HSE's lead for the construction initiative, said:

“We are grateful to Newman Scott for sharing their experience and for how they have responded to the prosecution. We hope everyone can learn from their lessons and realise it is vital when carrying out construction work that the right management systems are in place so risks to workers’ health are controlled just as effectively as safety. Workers within construction are paying too high a toll on their health and safety when it is completely avoidable by planning the work, providing the right kit and making sure it is used properly.”

John Graham also said:

“I would urge everyone in the construction industry to take action now in protecting the health and safety of your workers. Don’t let a prosecution or worse the death or injury of a colleague be the catalyst for change.”

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Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015 (Commencement and Transitional Provision) Regulations SI 2015/808

These Regulations apply to England and Wales and brought the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015 fully into force on 13 April 2015.
They also set out the transitional provision and provides that the Act only has effect where the act or omission that gives rise to the claim in…

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

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