Author Archive

Employee death leads to fine for highways company

South West Highways Limited has been fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,924.46 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

In January 2013, a 48 year-old employee was working on road repairs in Tiverton. Unfortunately, the individual was struck by a vehicle being driven by a member of the public and suffered fatal injuries.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not adequately identified the risks associated with the work at hand and the moving traffic. As a result, appropriate control measures had not been identified and implemented.

It is believed that if South West Highways Limited implemented control measures including signs, temporary speed limits, temporary traffic management and possibly a temporary closure of the road, the incident could have been prevented. The planning for the repairs had not considered the most appropriate ways of managing traffic.

Following the hearing at Exeter Crown Court, HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said, “The failures exposed in this case are alarming, given the clear and obvious risks associated with roadside work and highlight the importance of managing short term works on a high speed road. This incident could have been prevented had South West Highways implemented suitable traffic management for this work.”

Comments Off on Employee death leads to fine for highways company more...

Launch of new risk research institute

The new Thomas Ashton Institute, due to be formally launched in April 2018, will be a new research institute to improve industry's understanding of workplace risk. Jointly founded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the University of Manchester, the institute aims to make lessons learned from decades of previous research and incident investigation more accessible to industry with the hope of incident prevention.

The institute intends to draw on previous research carried out by the University of Manchester in relation to cancer, advanced materials, energy and biotechnology, and the HSE's regulatory expertise to influence and improve international safety practice. In particular its work will focus on:

  • industrial processes and major hazards;
  • human factors;
  • health;
  • the use of data; and
  • the cumulative probability of multiple factors in workplace risk.

Those partnered with the institute say that the evidence generated there in the future will be available at an international level for occupational safety and health practitioners to use to improve conditions and competence in their own countries. 

The HSE's chief executive Dr Richard Judge said as part of the launch, the partnership would be inviting forward-thinking contributors to work with the HSE and the University of Manchester on the institute's future programmes to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health.

For more information see the:

Comments Off on Launch of new risk research institute more...

Recycling company director handed prison sentence over employee injury

A company director has been handed a ten week prison sentence after a worker's arm was amputated, following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The employee was cleaning a plastic wash plant at Clark Technologies Wales Ltd., when the injury occurred.

The director, Mr Robert Shepherd, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 and was handed the sentence, suspended for 12 months.

In addition, Mr Shepherd must pay costs of £4000 and a victim surcharge of £115.

HSE inspector Mhairi Duffy said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

Comments Off on Recycling company director handed prison sentence over employee injury more...

Directors sentenced and company fined for industrial shredder fatality

A recycling company, Mid-UK Recycling Ltd from Sleaford has been fined £880,000 and two company directors have been given suspended prison sentences after a “horrific” accident involving an industrial waste shredder, which resulted in death of an agency worker at the company's site in Barkston Heath.

On 19 July 2013, Karlis Pavasars was cleaning an area around an industrial waste shredder. When working near the conveyor belt that was feeding into the shredder, the machine started up, drawing the worker up along the line through a trommel and into the waste shredder.

After an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) it has been found that the fixed gate that was aiming to prevent contact with the conveyor belt was removed weeks before the accident took place, something which the company's management were aware of. 

The investigation also uncovered a number of other failings that made work around the recycling line unsafe, including lack of appropriate design and safety provisions for employees working on and around the machine, including separation of wheeled vehicles and pedestrians, failure to install and maintain appropriate guarding to prevent access to the machine, while it was in operation, as well as failure to appropriately train and supervise agency workers.

Mid-UK Recycling Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching sections of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) on the duties of employers to their employees and persons other than their employees, and has been fined £880,000 and ordered to pay costs of £100,000.

Managing Director, Christopher Mountain and the former Operations Director, Alan Munson, pleaded guilty for breaching the HSW Act on the offences by the body corporate, and were both sentenced to a 20 week imprisonment suspended for two years. Christopher Mountain was also fined £50,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Dr Richenda Dixon said “This horrific fatality could so easily have been avoided by simply installing and maintaining physical guards around the conveyors and ensuring that safe working practices were in place. Employers should make sure they properly assess, apply and maintain effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of the machinery”.

For more information see:

  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) SI 1998/2306.
Comments Off on Directors sentenced and company fined for industrial shredder fatality more...

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...

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