Transport company fined following investigation

The director of a plastering company was killed when a pallet containing more than a tonne of render fell on top of him during a lorry delivery at premises in Devon.

Phillip Ring, 37, from Whitleigh, Plymouth, was hit by a falling pallet in the incident on 31 March 2009 at Yelverton Business Park, Crapstone, near Plymouth.

The incident led to an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which included a review of the safety management arrangements by the delivery company, RR Transport Ltd of Redruth.

Plymouth Crown Court heard that the delivery that resulted in Mr Ring’s death should have been offloaded at a nearby construction site in Crapstone using a forklift truck or telehandler.  However, restrictions on access to the site and a lack of mechanical handling equipment meant the driver ended up unloading the pallet by hand at a nearby business park using the pallet truck and tail lift on his lorry.

At some point during the delivery, he lost control of the load and it fell from the tail lift, crushing Mr Ring who was standing on the road at the back of the vehicle.

Mr Ring suffered serious head injuries and died later at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

RR Transport, who’s registered office is Peat House, Truro, was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jo Fitzgerald said:

“This was a tragic incident and it illustrates the significant risks involved in delivery operations.  Thinking through those risks in a structured way helps delivery firms identify what could go wrong and improve safety.

“While HSE does not say that RR Transport’s failings caused Mr Ring’s death, by failing to assess the risks properly the company did not have a number of important steps in place, which would have made their operation safer.  They did not have a clear, consistent system for drivers to follow for using tail lifts, the tail lifts on their vehicles had not had the thorough examinations required by law and they did not have a proper system for inspecting their pallet trucks.”

Further information on unloading vehicles can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/vehicle.htm

Unregistered gas fitter sentenced for false claims and endangering life

An East Devon gas fitter who risked the lives of a young couple through his dangerous work falsely claimed to be on the Gas Safe Register, a court has heard.

Luke Potts, who trades as Devon Plumber, installed a new gas boiler at a home in Chelmsford Road, Exeter, in May 2012 that was classed as “immediately dangerous” when checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

He claimed to be a registered engineer himself, an untruth that came to light after the householders complained about his dangerous work.

Exeter Magistrates’ were told today (10 April) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register found the flue for the boiler had been incorrectly fitted, which could have led to lethal carbon monoxide leaking into the property.

In addition, the gas meter box had been altered by drilling a hole in it to feed in a new gas pipe, which could have allowed gas to leak into the building.

Although Mr Potts was unregistered, having failed to renew his registration in January 2012, he continued to display the Gas Safe Register logo on his website. The householders relied on this when they asked him to fit the boiler, assuming he was fully accredited and qualified.

Luke Potts, of Cornhill, Ottery St Mary, was given a 20 week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 60 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs after pleading guilty to three separate breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said:

“Mr Potts’ poor work could have had tragic consequences for the householders, who put their lives in his hands.

“They believed he was a registered engineer and asked him to do the work as a result. If an individual is working on gas appliances and installations is not on the Gas Safe Register they are working illegally.”

Paul Johnston, chief executive for Gas Safe Register said:

“A quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by fitters who don’t have the skills or the qualifications to work safely on gas. It’s therefore vital the public always make sure the person working on their gas appliances is on the Gas Safe Register.

“You can check your engineer is legal and safe by asking to see their Gas Safe ID card. You can also check the engineer’s registration number by calling us on 0800 408 5500, or visiting the website www.gassaferegister.co.uk link to external website.”

Further information on gas safety can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/gas.

South West Construction Sites Fail Safety Inspections

Nearly a third of the construction sites visited across Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire during a month-long inspection initiative failed health and safety checks.

Inspectors visited the areas as part of a national Health and Safety Executive (HSE) clampdown aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

At total of 61 of the 215 sites inspected were found to have significant failings and 40 enforcement notices were issued as a result.

Specific work activities on some of the sites were deemed so dangerous that 27 Prohibition Notices were served by inspectors, immediately halting further work until standards had been improved.

The inspectors visited sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place, to support a drive to improve standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

They made unannounced visits to ensure companies are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height. They also checked for general good order, assessed welfare facilities and checked whether Personal Protective Equipment, such as head protection, was being used appropriately.

During 2011/12, three workers were killed while working in construction across Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, and a further 131 were seriously injured. Nationally, there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in the industry that poor standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Andrew Kingscott, HSE Principal Inspector for the Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Construction Division, said:

“It is good news that the majority of the construction sites we visited were obeying the law and making the effort to manage safety, but sadly some sites are letting down the rest of the industry.

“Poorly erected scaffolding, exposure to dangerous types of dust, and inadequate washing facilities were among the poor standards we found on some sites.

“I hope by carrying out these spot checks we will help to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction workers being killed or seriously injured at work.”

Further information about working safely in the construction industry can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/construction

South West construction sites fail safety inspections

Date:
10 April 2013
Release No:
HSE/SW/Cons

Nearly a third of the construction sites visited across Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire during a month-long inspection initiative failed health and safety checks.

Inspectors visited the areas as part of a national Health and Safety Executive (HSE) clampdown aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health.

At total of 61 of the 215 sites inspected were found to have significant failings and 40 enforcement notices were issued as a result.

Specific work activities on some of the sites were deemed so dangerous that 27 Prohibition Notices were served by inspectors, immediately halting further work until standards had been improved.

The inspectors visited sites where refurbishment or repair work was taking place, to support a drive to improve standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

They made unannounced visits to ensure companies are managing high-risk activity, such as working at height. They also checked for general good order, assessed welfare facilities and checked whether Personal Protective Equipment, such as head protection, was being used appropriately.

During 2011/12, three workers were killed while working in construction across Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, and a further 131 were seriously injured. Nationally, there were 49 deaths and more than 2,800 major injuries.

The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in the industry that poor standards are unacceptable and could result in enforcement action.

Andrew Kingscott, HSE Principal Inspector for the Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Construction Division, said:

“It is good news that the majority of the construction sites we visited were obeying the law and making the effort to manage safety, but sadly some sites are letting down the rest of the industry.

“Poorly erected scaffolding, exposure to dangerous types of dust, and inadequate washing facilities were among the poor standards we found on some sites.

“I hope by carrying out these spot checks we will help to raise awareness of the dangers and reduce the number of construction workers being killed or seriously injured at work.”

Further information about how Acorn EHS can assist your organisation with construction safety please click here we offer CDM-C Services and on Site SEHQ Services.

Please also visit the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk/construction

Fatalities/serious injuries in 2011/12

Fatalities Injuries
Former County of Avon Bath and North East Somerset Unitary Authority 1 3
Bristol Unitary Authority 27
South Gloucestershire Unitary Authority 12
North West Somerset Unitary Authority 6
Total 1 48
Gloucestershire Cheltenham Borough Council 4
Cotswold District Council 7
Forest of Dean District Council 5
Gloucester City Council 6
Stroud District Council 6
Tewkesbury Borough Council 2
Total 30
Somerset Mendip District Council 7
Sedgemoor District Council 7
Taunton Deane Borough Council 3
South Somerset District Council 1 9
Total 1 26
Wiltshire Swindon Unitary Authority 1 8
Wiltshire Unitary Authority 19
Total 1 27

Bournemouth building contractor prosecuted after worker loses leg

A director of a Wimborne building firm has been fined after a self-employed worker was seriously injured when working on an extension at a local cottage.

Dorchester Crown Court heard today (5 April) that David Mitchell, a director of Ferndown Developments Ltd, had hired James O’Connor, from Winton, to work at the cottage when the incident happened on 29 April 2009.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the property was on a sloping site and needed excavating below the level of the shallow cottage foundation in order to construct the foundations for the extension.

Mr O’Connor, 42, was in the process of lowering the ground level when the gable wall collapsed, knocking him to the ground.

At the same time, part of the wall fell through the windscreen of an excavator and activated the reverse lever. Mr O’Connor’s leg, which was on the track of the excavator, was pulled in and became trapped between the track and body of the excavator. He suffered shoulder, back and leg injuries and had to have his right leg amputated above the knee.

The HSE investigation found that Mr Mitchell, who had been contracted to carry out the job, did not control the work in a safe manner. He failed to identify the need to support the building during the excavation and foundation stages of the project.

David Mitchell, director of Ferndown Developments Ltd, Park Homer Drive, Wimborne, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 28(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,000.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Frank Flannery said:

“This was a very serious and wholly preventable incident in which a man in his prime lost a leg as a result of the omissions and failings during the planning and construction phases of the project.

“Had Mr Mitchell fully assessed the safety aspects of the work that he was contracted to do prior to starting, he would have identified the need to support the building during the excavation and the building of the new foundation. This would have allowed a structural engineer to be instructed prior to the work starting, and a safe system of work could have been determined.

“Whilst welcoming the verdict today, the fact remains that this incident could have easily resulted in a more serious outcome and is a reminder to all those in the construction industry of their legal duties to manage health and safety.”

Further information about safety on building sites can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/index.htm

Acorn EHS Deliver Successful Level 2 Emergency First Aid Course

Acorn Environmental Health and Safety Ltd (Acorn EHS) Deliver Successful Level 2 Emergency First Aid Course for Brunel Surveys at Watchfield near Swindon.

Well done to all the delegates for completing and attending the HABC Level 2 Award in Emenrgency First Aid. If you would like to attend one of Acorn EHS First Aid Courses please click here or contact us on 0333 456 0999

News – £100 Reward to HR Dept

Peter Jones from HR Dept, based at Pure Offices in Swindon, has picked up a £100 voucher simply for referring Acorn Environmental Health & Safety Ltd to us. Acorn have taken an office here at the Business Centre and are enjoying the atmosphere and the networking opportunities. The offices and meeting rooms now allow us to keep our Health, Safety, Environment and First Aid training all locally to our Swindon Office.

Click here to find out more about our new premises.

Health and Safety Executive reveals ‘scores of bogus bans’

Bogus safety bans are being used by organisations to cover up bad service or to avoid being sued, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has said.

An expert panel set by the HSE to expose health and safety myths said such bans were being used to stop legitimate activities.

A ban on bubbles at a child’s party and a restaurant refusing to serve burgers rare were among the cases found.

The HSE said such “nonsense” overshadowed genuine health and safety.

In its first annual report, the HSE’s new panel revealed 150 cases of businesses and public bodies using non-existent rules to stop activities which were perfectly safe.

To read more follow the link Source: BBC News

If you would like practical assistance with your health and safety responsibilities or require accredited health and safety training such as NEBOSH, SMSTS, SSSTS or Level 2 courses please contact us.

The new CSkills Awards Newsletter April 2013

Find out what is happening and new at CSkill Awards the awarding body for the CITB courses click here

Acorn Environmental Health and Safety deliver the following CSkills Award:

  • Site Managers Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS)

  • Site Supervisors Safety Training Scheme (SSSTS)

If you require more information please contact us on 03334 560 999

 

Police Officer Sues Petrol Station Owner

A police officer is suing a petrol station owner after apparently tripping on a kerb on his property when called to reports of a suspected break-in.

please follow the links to the BBC New for more information:

Police officer sues petrol station

Police officer sue pertol station 2

Source BBC News:

All will be watching this as it goes through the courts, quetsions to ask, is the employer not firstly responsible for it’s employees. if this court case is successful what would we then consider reasonably practicable?

Bubble Ban At Parties: Safety Myths Exposed

Bubbles banned from a child’s birthday party and toothpicks removed from a restaurant are among a list of health and safety myths exposed in the last year.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said more than 150 cases had been reported to a panel it set up last year to target “jobsworths” who use safety laws as a ruse to ban legitimate activities.

Source Yahoo News Click here for link