Weekly Quote

Better a thousand times careful than once dead.  ~Proverb

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

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.

AcornEHS deliver CDM-C and Site Safety for Nexus Business Centre Swindon

Acorn Environmental Health and Safey Ltd (AcornEHS)  are currently delivering Consrtuction Design and Management Services for Nexus Business Centre Swindon as they further develop thier serviced offices due to  additional requirements for new tenants. Nexus offer believe that a 21st century businesses never stands still. As businesses grow, change shape, develop new needs – or even go virtual, Nexus aim to meet thier needs, that’s why they have created prestigious easy-in, easy-out office space and semi-serviced leased space that suits thier clients business needs now – as well as any changes they may want to make in the future.

Acorn Environmental Health and Safey Ltd (AcornEHS) are part of this process supporting Nexus Business Centre Swindon during thier construction phases by offering CDM Co-ordinator services as required by the The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007  and site safety advice during the projects build through to final completion and handover.

Toilet Pollution Killed 300 Fish

Toilet pollution killed 300 fish

Posted Mon, 25 Mar

Effluent from a chemical toilet polluted a tributary of the River Avon, killing 300 fish, a court heard.

Orchid Investments Ltd was fined £16,000 after admitting causing the pollution of the Gran Brook tributary at Long Marston Airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon without having an environmental permit. Leamington Magistrates’ Court heard the firm was supplying sanitation services for the annual Bulldog Bash event in August 2011.

Effluent would normally have been contained in sealed plastic holding tanks before being taken to a sewage treatment works, magistrates heard. But on this occasion effluent was contained in a ‘lagoon-type’ cutting within the watercourse, which the company assumed was lined, resulting in it being discharged straight into Gran Brook.

Speaking on behalf of the Environment Agency, which prosecuted the firm under the Environmental Permitting Regulations, solicitor Sheila Abrahams said there was significant pollution of the tributary.

The court heard the company had expressed remorse for the incident and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, cooperating fully with the agency and taking steps to ensure the incident was not repeated. The firm was also ordered to pay £9,367 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Following the case Kate Grimsditch, the officer who led the investigation, said the agency would not hesitate to prosecute when regulations designed to protect rivers and watercourses were disregarded.

Copyright Press Association 2013

Source:http://www.iosh.co.uk/news_and_events/news/industry_news-1-1.aspx?i=N0052081364211961496A

CIEH Health and Safety in The workplace 1 day Course in Milton Keynes

CIEH – H & S in Workplace – 8th May, 2013

Acorn Environmental Health and Safety (AcornEHS) have a CIEH Health and Safety in The workplace  1 day course in Milton Keynes on the 8th  May, 2013 there are still spaces available

If you are interested in our course please contact us click here. if you would like more infomation about the course please click here.

Firm in court after teenager scarred by toxic chemical

A Cannock vehicle repair company was today (20 March) fined after a 16 year-old on work experience suffered burns when toxic paint stripper splashed into his eyes and face.

The school pupil should not have been exposed to the risk of being splashed with the dangerous chemical, and should have been provided with appropriate safety goggles to prevent this happening.

Bret Thomas, from Cannock, now 17, had his vision seriously affected for a month and has scarring on his face. He still suffers vision sensitivity and will be prone to suffering from migraines for the rest of his life.

Stafford Magistrates were told that Bret, a pupil of Cannock Chase High School, had been on an extended work placement at Motorhouse 2000 Ltd at its Adini House site on Wolverhampton Road since September 2011.

On 18 January 2012 he was told to assist an employee who was refilling the wheel stripping tank. The employee poured toxic paint stripper from plastic containers into the tank and then passed the containers to Bret who was removing all the labels and cutting them in half in order to dispose of them.

However, as Bret was cutting the last container with a Stanley knife, the plastic container flicked up and remnants of the toxic substance splashed into his eyes and face. He was not wearing any face or eye protection.

Bret suffered burns to his face and eyes. After initial treatment at Cannock Hospital, he was transferred to the specialist eye unit New Cross Hospital. It was approximately a month before his sight returned sufficiently enough for him to go outside and even then, he needed to be accompanied and wear sunglasses.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigated, told magistrates that Motorhouse 2000 Ltd had changed to chemical stripping from a mechanical process to save time. It failed to risk assess this process, which involved employees coming into contact with toxic substances, nor ensured face or eye protection was worn by employees.

Motorhouse 2000 Ltd, of Watling Street, Cannock, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 19(2)(b) of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,319.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Katherine Blunt said:

“This young man has suffered an extremely painful ordeal in an incident that was totally preventable. The impact will be long lasting but Bret could have been blinded for life.

“The substance involved contains dichloromethane, hydrofluoric acid and methanol, which have been known to cause death through inhalation, burns when in contact with skin and eyes, and irreversible damage.

“Motorhouse 2000 Ltd gave little consideration to the health or safety of its employees when working with chemicals by not ensuring protective equipment, including face and eye protection, was worn. They failed to adequately assess the risks of the chemicals used which resulted in poor control measures being put in place for everyone working in that area.

“Work experience is very important for young people in order for them to gain an understanding of the world of work. However, employers must fulfil their responsibilities to assess risks and protect young people by putting the appropriate control measures in place.”