Author Archive

Latest HSE statistics show huge increase in prosecution fees

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have released their annual statistics on Britain's annual workplace injury and ill health.

Latest figures show that Britain remains one of the safest places to work, but as always much can be done to make workplaces even safer.

There was a decrease in both the amount of fatal injuries and non-fatal injuries to workers between 2016/2017. The amount of workers suffering from a work-related illness remained the same at 1.3 million workers. In 2016/2017 there were:

  • 137 fatal injuries to workers, (144 the previous year);
  • 609,000 non-fatal injuries, (621,000 the previous year);
  • 70,116 non-fatal RIDDOR reportable injuries, (72,702 the previous year).

Despite the decrease in reported injuries and fatalities the costs of workplace injury and days lost due to injury increased on the previous year:

  • costs of workplace injury, £5.3 billion, an increase from £4.8 billion last year;
  • costs of new cases of work-related illness, £9.7 billion, an increase from £9.3 billion last year;
  • days lost due to non-fatal injuries, 5.5 million, an increase of 1 million days from the previous year.

There was however a slight decrease in the amount of days lost due to work-related ill health which decreased from 25.9 million working days to 25.7 million working days.

This year's figures represent the first full year that the sentencing guidelines for England and Wales were in force. Consequently there was a marked increase in fines resulting from prosecutions, which increased from £38.3 million the previous year to £69.9 million. Another interesting point on this is that this increase in fines occurred despite 106 fewer cases brought to prosecution. There was however an increase in the amount of notices issued by the HSE, with 510 more notices issued in 2017 than the previous year.

Both last year's and this year's statistics show 500,000 workers suffer from work-related stress, depression or anxiety and a further 0.5 million workers suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. 

Figures for 2016/2017 indicate the increasing issue of stress, depression and anxiety in the workplace with 526,000 workers suffering from this type of ill health (236,000 of these are new cases this year). Work-related stress, depression and anxiety has led to 12.5 million working days lost, which equals a total of 49% of the total days lost due to ill health.

Musculoskeletal disorders also remain an issue in the workplace, with 35% of the total days lost due to ill health attributed to musculoskeletal disorders, this equates to 8.9 million working days lost. There are approximately 507,000 workers suffering from this, 159,000 of these are new cases.

HSE Chair, Martin Temple commented on the latest statistics: “These latest figures should act as a spur to reduce the impact of ill-health and injury on Britain’s workforce and businesses and we cannot rest on our reputation. We will only achieve long term improvement by a collective approach to improve workplace standards. Poor standards lead to poor health and increased injuries which is bad for the workforce and business.”

For more information, see:

Comments Off on Latest HSE statistics show huge increase in prosecution fees more...

RIBA calls for repeal of Fire Safety Order

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has said that the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) SI 2005/1541 should be scrapped. They have said it should be replaced by a regime similar to that which preceded it, where fire services would issue building owners with fire certificates.

The RIBA said in its submission to the independent review of building regulations and fire safety, established following the Grenfell Tower fire, that the problems with the current regime were highlighted by the 228 high-rise buildings across the country that have been found by Government checks to have flammable cladding, meaning that they are a fire risk and fail to comply with Building Regulations.

The RIBA made fifteen recommendations, for example that sprinklers should be mandated in all new and converted high-rise residential buildings, and retrofitted to all buildings over eighteen metres in height. They further recommended a review of the 'stay put' policy, central fire alarms that can facilitate phased evacuations, and the introduction fo a requirement for more than one means of vertical escape in residential buildings higher than three storeys.

The RRFSO came into force in 2006 and repealed around 70 pieces of legislation related to fire safety, principally the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations SI 1997/1840. Under the Fire Precautions Act, fire services or local authorities were required to issue a fire certificate to certain classes of premises that assessed issues such as the provision of adequate precautions and means of escape.

A system of self assessment was introduced by the RRFSO, placing a duty on a building's 'responsible person' to carry out a fire risk assessment. Often, a fire risk assessor will be hired by the responsible person to carry out the assessment. However, the RIBA's submission claims that the appointment of fire risk assessors is made in an “unregulated professional environment”. The RIBA would like to see the re-introduction of mandatory fire certificates for designated premises that are based on independent inspections by fire brigades, as well as firefighters being given statutory powers of entry to buildings.

The chair of the RIBA expert advisory group on fire safety, Jane Duncan, said: “The RIBA welcomes Dame Judith Hackett’s review but we believe it must be more comprehensive, addressing the details of Building Regulations guidance as well as the broader regulatory system. The review should cover all building types and construction methods, not just those relating to high-rise, multiple occupancy residential buildings.”

The independent review is to look at regulatory systems used in different industries and other countries as it examines the effectiveness of regulation in the UK with regard to protecting people and buildings. Its call for evidence closed on 13 October, with an interim report expected this autumn. The Government will then make a written response, identifying any changes that can be made while the review continues. The final report is due by spring 2018.

For more information, see the:

Comments Off on RIBA calls for repeal of Fire Safety Order more...

Massive fines for two companies following death of a worker

A manufacturer of large concrete panels and a plant hire company were sentenced following the fatal crush of a worker by a concrete panel at construction facility in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

On 8 July 2014 Richard Reddish, a 29 year old father of one, who was employed by Explore Manufacturing Ltd, was working in a mobile elevating working platform (MEWP) in the finishing area, removing the lifting attachments from the top of a concrete panel, which weighed around 11 tonnes and was stored on a transport pallet.

The accident took place when the panel started to topple, while Reddish was standing in the raised MEWP basket. The first panel struck the MEWP, throwing the worker from the basket, also causing other panels to topple like dominoes, one of which fatally crushed him. The transport pallets were supplied by Select Plant Hire Company Ltd who shared the responsibility for their maintenance with Explore Manufacturing Ltd.

An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that a rectangular metal frame attached to the pallet was not correctly connected to the pallet and there was no system of pre-use checks. The pallets were also in a poor condition, with a number of defects, including missing support bearers and stabilising legs. Other failings included inappropriate storage of freestanding concrete panels in the finishing area, which should have been secured in storage racks, and a lack of sufficient planning. The investigation also identified failings in the other storage systems on site.

Explore Manufacturing Ltd pleaded guilty for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 for failing to ensure safety and welfare of its employees during the transportation and storage of pre-cast concrete panels. The company was fined £1.3 million and ordered to pay costs of £13,922.

Select Plant Hire Company Ltd pleaded guilty for breaching the same Act for failing to properly maintain the transport pallets, exposing the Explore employees to risks to their health and safety. The company was fined £1.2 million and ordered to pay costs of £13,922.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Stuart Pilkington said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man, whose death could easily have been prevented if the companies had acted following previous warnings to identify and manage the risks involved, maintain the equipment, and put a safer system of work in place.”

For more information, see the:

Comments Off on Massive fines for two companies following death of a worker more...

Recycling company fined 650k following death of worker

Savanna Rags International Limited, a clothing and textile recycling company, have been prosecuted following the death of a 76-year-old employee. The woman was fatally injured by a reversing delivery vehicle on 26 April 2016.

Mansfield Magistrates' Court heard that the woman had been walking towards the smoking shelter in the rear yard during her afternoon break when a delivery vehicle being driven by a visiting driver reversed towards the rear yard. She was struck by the rear of the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed that the company had not made suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks arising from vehicle movement. It was custom and practice for vehicles to reverse from the weighbridge that was also used by employees to access the factory. No measures were in place to adequately separate pedestrians from moving vehicles and there was no safe system of work to ensure that vehicles could safely manoeuvre.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242, and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations SI 1992/3004. The company was fined £650,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3,300.25.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Aaron Rashad said:

“This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to undertake a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks arising from the movement of vehicles and implement safe systems of work. This meant the company failed to put in place a number of simple safety measures including segregating vehicles and pedestrians and reducing the need for vehicles to reverse. Sadly, this is the most common cause of fatal injuries in this sector. HSE is currently in the middle of targeting waste and recycling premises with an inspection initiative that will look at certain activities to ensure effective management and control of risk.”

He further called on people working in the industry to refresh their knowledge of HSE advice and guidance, adding that “every worker has the right to return from work safe in the knowledge that their employer takes their health and safety seriously.”

For more information, see the:

Comments Off on Recycling company fined 650k following death of worker more...

March 2018 planned for ISO 45001

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has confirmed that a third and final vote on the revised draft standard ISO 45001 on occupational health and safety will take place, before the finished version is published by the end of March 2018.

The announcement came after a week long meeting of the project committee working group, who are overseeing the replacement of OSHAS 18001, with ISO 45001, in Malaysia between 18 and 23 September. Their task was to consider comments on the second draft, which amounted to some 1630.

The working group submitted the revised text to the wider project committee for a decision on whether to proceed straight to publication, or opt for a vote on a final draft. ISO's central secretariat have now opted for the latter, suggesting the text will be sufficiently changed to warrant further consultation.

Speaking at a press conference in Malaysia following the meeting, ISO technical programme manager José Alcorta, said that the committee hoped to publish the completed standard by March 2018. “If we are successful in getting the final draft out and the votes are positive for the final draft, then it will be published in the first quarter of next year”.

In the meantime, the British Standards Institute (BSI) is consulting on draft guidance that will help to explain how to implement the new ISO 45001 standard. They are asking for comments on how BS 45002, on Occupational health and safety management systems – General guidelines for the application of ISO 45001 could be improved.

This consultation will close on 10 October 2017.

Fancy a ISO 45001 Roadshow?

It's almost like we planned it perfectly.

In April, just a few weeks after ISO 45001 is officially published, Cedrec will be visiting London, Birmingham and Manchester with a special Roadshow covering everything you need to know about the new standard.

Full details will be on our Events page soon.

Comments Off on March 2018 planned for ISO 45001 more...

HSE consults on asbestos medicals

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have launched a month long consultation on proposals to reduce the frequency of statutory health checks for workers who carry out licensed work with asbestos. The aim is to change from every two years, to every three.

They are seeking views on plans to amend the Control of Asbestos Regulations SI 2012/632 to align the periods between medical examinations for those employees involved in licensed and notifiable non-licensed work. It's a change that will implement one of the findings of the HSE’s post implementation review (PIR) of the Regulations published in March this year.

The PIR report involved a consultation exercise and survey on the impact of the Regulations, and essentially concluded that they remain fit for purpose. However, they did include a small number of recommendations, one of which was the idea of aligning the two types of medical checks at three year intervals. They argued that the Regulations current requirements went beyond those in Directive 2009/148/EC, which the Regulations implement into UK law.

According to the consultation, the proposal to change the frequency of medical examinations “streamlines the medical surveillance requirements of the legislation but does not represent a reduction in worker protection”. If the responses to the consultation are for the changes, the HSE board and the Government will then need to approve the proposals put forward by the HSE. It will also be necessary to amend the ACoP L143, Managing and working with asbestos.

The consultation began on 2 October 2017 and ends on 30 October 2017.

For more information, see:

Comments Off on HSE consults on asbestos medicals more...

DVSA to fine tired drivers

Traffic examiners and police officers will soon start issuing fines of up to £300 for a single offence to bus and lorry drivers who have not rested properly, and consider rest patterns in the past 28 days.

Currently, the agency can only issue on the spot fines of up to £300 for the offences committed on that day, or for manipulating tachograph readings.

From 1 November 2017, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will introduce new fines and powers to officers to curb the amount driving hour offences among professional drivers. Lorry, bus and coach drivers must take a 45-hour rest break every fortnight, but the DVSA said that too many drivers spend their breaks in cabs, which may not allow them to rest properly.

Fines will also apply to drivers that are from outside the UK, and if they committed such offence, they will be immobilised and required to pay any fees before they will be allowed to continue their journey. It will not matter if the offence was committed in Britain or elsewhere.

The DVSA also said that it will soon have powers to fine bus and lorry drivers for any driving hours offences they have committed in the last 28 days.

DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “These tougher fines will help us to take stronger action against any drivers or operators who break drivers' hours rules and will help make our roads safer”.

“There's no excuse for driving while tired. The results of falling asleep at the wheel of 44-tonne lorry can be devastating to families and communities. Any driver breaking these rules is putting other road users at risk and could face losing their license and livelihood.”

For more information on the driving hours see:

Comments Off on DVSA to fine tired drivers more...

HSA report shows fall in Irish work deaths

The annual report of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has shown that the workplace fatal injury rate in the Republic of Ireland decreased from 2.4 to 2.1 per 100,000 workers between 2015 and 2016. The three-year rolling fatality rate has stayed relatively stable since 2009, following a downward trend between 1999 and 2009.

The HSA said that it received reports of 45 workplace deaths last year. 43 of these involved workers, whilst members of the public accounted for the rest, with the highest number of fatalities occurring in the agricultural, forestry and fishing sector. In this sector, 24 people died due to workplace accidents, with the second highest death rate being in the construction sector.

In 2016 3.9 non-fatal injuries were recorded per 100,000 workers, a minor increase from 3.8 in the previous year. There were 7,957 non-fatal injuries to workers, with around one third of them sustained carrying out manual handling tasks. The largest proportion of non-fatal accidents happened in health and social work.

The report also showed that the HSA completed 10,477 inspections and investigations last year, with 6,497 of these being carried out in the construction, farming and fishing sectors. HSA conducted 17 prosecutions, leading to fines totalling €614,000, and served 369 improvement and 413 prohibition notices. According to the HSA's chief executive, Martin O'Halloran: “Last year was a successful year for the authority although there are certain industry sectors, for example farming, that remain an area of concern.”

O'Halloran went on to say that in addition to a wide range of enforcement activity across a variety of industry sectors, the HSA has also continued to focus on prevention activity by developing several important educational and awareness raising initiatives. It is through the combination of prevention and enforcement activities that the HSA believes it will deliver the best outcomes.

The Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD said: “Although this is a welcome decline of almost 20% on the 2015 figure, there is clearly still much to be done. I urge all employers, large and small, to ensure that the safety and health of their employees, and anyone affected by their work activity, is at the core of their business pursuits. Anything less is unacceptable.”

Editor's note

Wondering why we're covering Republic of Ireland legislation? Watch this space…

Comments Off on HSA report shows fall in Irish work deaths more...

HSE launch “Go Home Healthy” campaign

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a new occupational awareness campaign at their first annual conference on 18 September.

“Go Home Healthy” is aimed at a wide audience, from employers, managers and employees, to industry sector bodies, and aims to spread an overarching message that leads to specific guidance and information on the HSE's three priority areas:

  • occupational lung disease;
  • musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs); and
  • work-related stress.

The campaign centres on a website that links to videos and case studies on the three focal themes. The title “Go Home Healthy” is said to represent  the overall goal and “promise” rather than simply encouraging workers to consider their own health risks. There's also a sub-theme, which urges employers to “shine a light” on the hazards in their organisations, and to “do the right thing”, expressed by the Twitter hashtag #workright.

For more information, see:

Comments Off on HSE launch “Go Home Healthy” campaign more...

Viridor and Sheffield University’s robotics project may improve plant safety and efficiency

Viridor, a UK-wide recycling, renewable energy and waste management company, have been working closely with the University of Sheffield's robotics team for two years. Within this technological partnership's existence, various robots have been produced which may positively effect current plant safety and efficiency measures.

This combined robotics project, is hoped to produce a working robot onsite in one of Viridor's Material Recycling Facilities (MRFs) within a year. This robot will hopefully execute a 'quality control picker' role, according to Viridor's development manager and co-ordinator of technology and innovation Mr Marcus Du Pree Thomas. He has expressed his excitement for the project's future progression, and adds that the project is the first project in which a waste company has worked with academia. Du Pree Thomas adds that that the robot will not only identify an object in the waste stream, but it will identify objects in the way we receive them. For instance, a crushed metal can will be identified as such rather than just a metal can. Toxins, both inside and outside objects, must be spotted. Du Pree Thomas believes that the only way for complex challenges of waste management tasks to be fully understood by institutions like the Univeristy of Sheffield, is by their team working and hence learning from us.

According to Viridor, this project will not only have particular and practical applications, but important health and safety applications too (which the university agree with). These health and safety applications are believed to arise due to the broad range of materials in the waste stream, like gas cannisters. The project largely focuses on sensor technology, to identify single components in a complex array of materials and spot non-target materials within the feed. One precise aim of the work is to recognize non-target materials from the feed into the MRF, hence preventing harm to the facility. Both the University & Viridor examined which type of robotics or ‘cobotics’ (i.e. a combination of robotics but with human intervention) was most appropriate for the task, with Viridor stating that robotics are the preferred technological choice.

The project's future advancement is not definite, but Viridor may potentially use hive robots to find and separate a certain material from a pile of waste. In their most recent report to Viridor, Sheffield Robotics team emphasised organized separation of materials as the recycling plant's main goal. The University of Sheffield’s senior research fellow Dr Jonathan Aitken, from the automatic control and systems engineering department, believes that autonomous robotics provides a reliable way to safely prevent harmful products before they are separated, hence avoiding the risk of plant damage, which Viridor say is currently expensive to manage. Aitken believes that combining robotics and intelligent sensing would give more information at source, as the robots would be able to show potential problems and identify key markers when waste is received even when these markers are hidden deep underneath other waste.

Comments Off on Viridor and Sheffield University’s robotics project may improve plant safety and efficiency more...

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Health and Safety Blog. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress