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New Guidance To Help With Health and Safety

August 2nd 2013

The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched new guidance to help make it easier for larger organisations and businesses to understand how to manage health and safety. The completely refreshed and enhanced ‘Managing for Health and Safety’ guidance (also known as HSG65) is now available online at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/managing. The guidance aims to help business leaders, owners, directors, trustees and line-managers and is split into four key sections:


  • Core elements of managing for health and safety

  • Are you doing what you need to?

  • Delivering effective arrangements

  • Resources


The improved information will also be of value to workers and their representatives and the third section will be of great help to those responsible for putting in place or overseeing their organisation’s arrangements for health and safety including health and safety practitioners and training providers. The Managing for Health and Safety website is part of a suite of free guidance for businesses of all types and sizes. It is accompanied by Health and Safety Made Simple and Health and Safety Toolbox, which are primarily aimed at supporting the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). ‘Managing for Health and Safety’ provides targeted material suitable for larger organisations, although there is some information relevant to others... Read More


Firms Fined for Noth Devon Quarry Blast Damage

July 26th 2013

Two companies have been fined after a quarry explosion sent rocks flying 200 metres into the air and onto a public road, causing damage to waiting cars. The falling blast debris landed well outside of designated danger zone during the incident at Brayford Quarry in Brayford on 24th February 2011, and narrowly avoided striking a workman who had halted traffic whilst the blasting took place. Frome-based WCD Sleeman and Sons Ltd, who organised the blast, and quarry operator Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd were both prosecuted on the 24th July after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified serious control failings. Barnstaple Magistrates' Court heard that two cars waiting in the queue on a nearby public road, were hit by flying rock, which dented the bonnet of one and a smashed the windscreen of the other. HSE inspectors discovered an 8.5kg piece of rock on the other side of the road. Six other smaller pieces of rock were also recovered from the road. A workman acting as a sentry on the road to manage traffic during the blasting heard the rocks coming through the trees and covered his head with his stop-go board and took cover next to a large van which was waiting on the road. The driver of the van saw pieces of rock pass over the workman. WCD Sleeman and Sons Ltd, of Valley View, Vallis Park, Frome, Somerset, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £17,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974... Read More


Maintenance Man Prosecuted For Illegal Gas Work

July 26th 2013

Two companies have been fined after a quarry explosion sent rocks flying 200 metres into the air and onto a public road, causing damage to waiting cars. The falling blast debris landed well outside of designated danger zone during the incident at Brayford Quarry in Brayford on 24th February 2011, and narrowly avoided striking a workman who had halted traffic whilst the blasting took place. Frome-based WCD Sleeman and Sons Ltd, who organised the blast, and quarry operator Hanson Quarry Products Europe Ltd were both prosecuted on the 24th July after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified serious control failings. Barnstaple Magistrates' Court heard that two cars waiting in the queue on a nearby public road, were hit by flying rock, which dented the bonnet of one and a smashed the windscreen of the other. HSE inspectors discovered an 8.5kg piece of rock on the other side of the road. Six other smaller pieces of rock were also recovered from the road. A workman acting as a sentry on the road to manage traffic during the blasting heard the rocks coming through the trees and covered his head with his stop-go board and took cover next to a large van which was waiting on the road. The driver of the van saw pieces of rock pass over the workman. WCD Sleeman and Sons Ltd, of Valley View, Vallis Park, Frome, Somerset, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £17,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974... Read More


Maintenance Man Prosecuted For Illegal Gas Work

July 25th 2013

A 70 year-old self-employed maintenance worker has been fined for carrying out illegal gas work at a café and restaurant in St Austell, exposing customers and workers to the risk of injury. Alistair "Nick" Clyne, trading as Clyne Catering, who carried out servicing and repair work on commercial catering equipment, was prosecuted at Bodmin Magistrates Court today (24th July) for carrying out illegal gas work on appliances. The court heard that Mr Clyne was not registered as qualified with Gas Safe and had been warned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in September 2012 not to undertake any gas work while unregistered. HSE found that Mr Clyne carried out the work at Pit Stop Snacks in St Austell, repairing an LPG deep fat fryer and water boiler. He also carried out gas work at Simply Jude's restaurant in Pentewan, converting gas appliances to LPG and installing new gas pipework and gas appliances. Mr Clyne's illegal work came to light when the restaurant owner became concerned about the poor workmanship and called in a gas catering company to check the work. Work that he undertook at one restaurant was classed as 'as risk' when inspected, meaning there was a danger to life or property... Read More


Surrey Breaker Company Fined For Skip Fire Failings

July 24th 2013

A Surrey breaker company has been fined after a teenage worker was badly burned when a skip fire exploded. The injured worker, who was just 15 at the time, was engulfed by a fireball as he used petrol as an accelerant to burn scrap car parts, suffering serious burns to his face, neck, chest and arms. The injuries covered almost a quarter of his body. A second worker, also a teenager, sustained minor flash burns in the incident at a site belonging to Grublogger Ltd at Brookside Farm in Salfords, near Redhill, on 24th March 2012. The Tadworth-based company, which specialises in the trade of used Jaguar spares, was prosecuted (22nd July) by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified serious concerns with systems and methods of work. Redhill Magistrates’ Court heard that both injured workers, neither of whom want to be named, were amongst a number of teens employed by the firm to strip down old Jaguar cars and salvage parts to sell on as spares. Grublogger rented a unit at Brookside Farm and had access to a skip that the site landlord allowed to be used as a makeshift waste incinerator by tenants. On the day of the fire the injured workers had been instructed to burn unwanted parts in the skip using petrol that had been siphoned off from old cars. HSE established that they did so with the blessing of the Grublogger managing director, who authorised the practice and who regularly sanctioned this means of disposal. The seriously burned worker had removed his t-shirt before the fireball erupted because it was a hot day. He was treated at the specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford before being released with a warning that his damaged skin would be extremely vulnerable to further harm from the sun that summer... Read More


Skip Company Fined For Storage Failings

July 19th 2013

A London skip company has been fined for dangerous working practices and other failings arising from its storage of skips at a Park Royal goods yard. Simpson Eco Skips Ltd was prosecuted by the HSE on the 17th July after an inspection of the depot on 19th July 2011 identified a number of serious issues. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that on arrival at the Western Road site, HSE inspectors witnessed a worker descending a stack of skips some ten metres high with nothing to prevent or mitigate a fall, having initially climbed up - unseen - to attach a crane hook to a shackle. A second worker then clambered up and down a smaller stack just a few metres away, also seemingly unaware of, or disregarding, the consequences had he slipped. HSE established that the clearly-dangerous practice was indicative of poor management and a lack of competence and training. Simpson Eco Skips also failed to produce a valid certificate for the crane in use at the time to confirm it had been properly examined and was in good working order – as is required by law... Read More


Scaffolding Firm Sentenced Over Worker's Death

July 16th 2013

A scaffolding firm has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 in fines and costs following the death of an employee who plunged 13 metres through the roof of a Skelmersdale warehouse. Married father-of-one Tony Causby, 42, from Leigh, was helping to dismantle scaffolding when he stepped onto a fragile skylight and fell to the floor below. Atherton-based S&S Scaffolding Ltd. was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over serious safety breaches following an investigation into the incident at the warehouse on Pennine Way on 14th December 2010. Liverpool Crown Court heard Mr Causby had helped to erect the scaffolding at the end of October ahead of work to replace damaged cladding and guttering on the roof. He returned to the site on 14th December as part of the dismantling team, although he was employed by S&S Scaffolding as a labourer rather than a scaffolder. Mr Causby had just returned to the roof with another labourer after his lunch break when he stepped on a skylight, which broke and gave way. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead... Read More


Developer Continually Ignored HSE Asbestos Advice

July 15th 2013

A property developer has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £100,000 in fines and costs after repeatedly exposing workers to asbestos. James Roger Carlton, also known as Roger Stephen Parry, was converting a former school on London Road, Retford into a retirement complex. On 1st March last year, an HSE inspector made a proactive visit to the site as part of a construction safety initiative. An inspector identified the building as likely to contain asbestos and advised Carlton to have an asbestos survey carried out. He was also advised to arrange for a licensed company to remove any asbestos. Eight days later the Executive received a complaint from a member of the public advising that the asbestos was not being removed properly. When inspectors re-visited the site on 17 May last year, they found building rubble containing asbestos, which had not been disposed of safely. 

A Prohibition Notice was immediately served to Carlton, who was trading as Heathcliff Developments, to stop all work. An order to ‘leave undisturbed' was also imposed on the piles of contaminated rubble. The HSE made a third visit to the site on 13 October and found workers breaching the Prohibition Notice. An inspector saw two workers putting asbestos insulation board into a lockable skip and ‘dry sweeping' the dust, which resulted in large clouds of contaminated dust billowing across the site... Read More


Firms Fined After Worker Is Left Paralysed By Roof Fall

July 9th 2013

A construction company and a roofing contractor have been fined after a worker was left paralysed from the waist down when he plunged four metres through a hole in a roof at a Swindon building site. Giovanni Mastrodomenico, 56, from Swindon, fell through a waterproof membrane into the unguarded hole while working at the Marlborough Park development in the town on 31st August 2011. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) yesterday (8th July) prosecuted his employer Tego Roofing Ltd, of Oxford, and Surrey-based principal contractor Wates Construction Ltd for safety failings relating to the incident. Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Mastrodomenico was carrying out metalwork prior to the installation of a vent on the roof of the new apartment block. The hole he plunged through was where the vent was to be placed. He fell four metres onto a concrete floor below, causing permanent injuries that have left him unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair. An HSE investigation found that scaffolding under the hole inside the building had been removed because it was obstructing an emergency escape route, and that scaffolding planks had subsequently been placed over the hole instead. However, these planks were in turn removed to allow workmen to lay a waterproof membrane over the hole in preparation for the vent to be installed. So there was nothing to in place to prevent or mitigate Mr Mastrodomenico’s fall... Read More


Three Firms Sentenced After Man Killed by Rocketing Gas Cylinder

July 8th 2013

Three South East firms have been ordered to pay a total of £685,787.31 in fines and costs for serious safety breaches after a plumber died and six other workers were seriously injured by a barrage of flying gas cylinders. Adam Johnston, 38, from Sutton, Surrey, was struck by one of 66 heavy cylinders as they rocketed at speeds of up to 170 mph after one toppled over, discharged high-pressure gas, collided with others and set off a frightening chain reaction. Several other workers, including electricians working in the argonite store room, suffered injuries and long term effects resulting from the trauma of that day. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident, on 5th November 2008, found that Mr Johnston died as a result of a series of unsafe practices relating to the installation of fire suppression equipment at the new-build storage facility. Mr Johnston, who was working on a construction project in Mundells in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, was walking with a colleague when he was struck by one of the argonite gas cylinders as they were propelled alarmingly around the building. He suffered multiple injuries and died at the scene. Crown House Technologies Ltd of Dartford, Kent, was principal contractor for the project and engaged Kidde Fire Protection Services Ltd, of Slough, Berkshire, to supply and install fire suppression equipment at the new facility under construction. This work was carried out by Kidde Products Ltd, also from Slough... Read More


Leeds Engineering Firm Sentenced After Death of Worker

July 5th 2013

A specialist engineering company in Leeds has been ordered to pay £375,000 in fines and costs after protracted safety failings led to the death of a worker from fatal head injuries caused by a powered valve. Graham Britten, 46, was carrying out maintenance in a vacuum casting furnace at AETC Ltd in Yeadon when the main isolation valve closed suddenly, trapping his head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The incident, on 4th November 2009, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted the company for a serious breach of safety legislation. Leeds Crown Court was told today (5th July) that HSE uncovered repeated failings by AETC Ltd that had put many employees at risk of death or injury for several years. Mr Britten, of Kippax, was a maintenance fitter for AETC Ltd, which manufactures products for the aerospace and power generation industries and is part of American company PCC Airfoils. He had gone to a furnace with a colleague to fix a fault after the main isolation valve had become jammed part-way while closing. The furnace comprises two chambers separated by the large sliding isolation valve. Mr Britten was standing on the rising table within the lower furnace chamber inspecting the valve when it suddenly closed, causing fatal head injuries... Read More


Worker Plunged 11 Metres From Cherrypicker

June 27th 2013

Bradford Council has admitted failing to adequately plan work at height following an incident where a worker fell from the cradle of a cherrypicker. Two council workers were pruning dead branches in Bierley Hall Woods when the incident took place on 27th July last year. They parked the cherrypicker correctly on a compacted path in the woods and placed ground mats underneath the vehicle's stabiliser feet. One of the workers then stood in the cradle as it was extended to 35 feet above the ground, so he could begin pruning the branches. As he rotated the boom arm and cradle anti-clockwise to move from tree to tree, the weight distribution of the machine changed and the cherrypicker overturned, causing him to fall 11 metres to the ground. The 23-year-old suffered fractures to his spine, collarbone, pelvis and right leg, and also sustained internal injuries that required surgery. He was unable to return to work for more than five months and is no longer able to carry out tree work at height... Read More


Company Fined After Worker's Hand Crushed

June 21st 2013

A Wellingborough firm has been fined for safety breaches after a worker’s hand was crushed in an unguarded laminating machine. Michael Taylor, 29, of Wellingborough, suffered serious injuries when his right hand and forearm were drawn into gluing rollers of the machine. Mr Taylor has had four operations and extensive physiotherapy but it is unlikely he will ever regain full movement in his hand. The incident, on 20 January 2012, at The Paper Pallet Company Ltd was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which today prosecuted the company at Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court. The court heard that The Paper Pallet Company Ltd, which uses recycled paper to make pallets, failed to ensure a honeycomb laminating machine was guarded and that staff were adequately trained and supervised in order to use it safely. HSE found several failings. Mr Taylor was inadequately supervised and the machinery was unguarded at several points, not just where the incident occurred. The guarding over the gears and chains allowed access to dangerous moving parts, and some of the emergency stops did not work properly... Read More


West Yorkshire Firm in Court Over Highly Flammable Spillage

20th June 2013

A solvent recycling firm in West Yorkshire has been prosecuted for safety failings that led to a major spillage of nearly 4,000 litres of highly flammable liquid from a road tanker. Employees at the Tradebe Solvent Recycling Ltd site in Knottingley were exposed to serious risk that the liquid might ignite. Three workers waded into the pool of harmful liquid when it was discovered. One used his finger to block a drain hole to prevent it from flowing into the site drain and from there to the river. Two others went to find sand for the drain hole and brushes to sweep the liquid elsewhere. Wakefield Magistrates heard (19th June) that no steps were taken to immediately halt traffic movements on the site, producing a risk of ignition. The incident, on 16th December 2011, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which brought a prosecution for safety failings against Tradebe Solvent Recycling Ltd. The court was told that after a shift change at the Weeland Road site, one operative started to fill a tanker with paint thinners unaware it had been filled with industrial denatured alcohol, or methylated spirits, by the previous shift. The vehicle was left for about 15 minutes with the pump running while the worker went to get some paperwork... Read More


Chocolate Company Fined After Worker's Finger Amputated

June 19th 2013

A Northamptonshire chocolate maker has been fined after an employee's finger was severed in an inadequately guarded machine. Kettering magistrates heard that Joao Countinho, was cleaning a depositor - a machine which pipes liquid chocolate into moulds - at Ashbury Chocolates Ltd on 29th February 2012. He had removed the rotors and reached up to check the stirrer cavity was clean but the stirrers were still rotating. His left index finger became trapped and was partially severed. It had to be fully amputated later in hospital. Mr Countinho, 41, of Peterborough, was off work for around three months although he has since returned to the factory doing the same job. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the machine was only partially guarded as there was an interlocking guard at the top of the stirrer cavity but there was no protective device in place at the bottom, meaning Mr Countinho was able to reach in despite the fact the machine was running... Read More

Norfolk Illegal Gas Fitter In Court

June 14th 2013

A Norfolk plumber has appeared in court for illegally carrying out gas work for a landlord in Norwich. Gary Dunne-Bathurst, age 54 from North Elmham, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after he installed a gas boiler without being registered with Gas Safe - a legal requirement for anyone undertaking gas work. Norwich Magistrates' Court heard that Mr Bathurst carried out the work at a property on Dover Street in Norwich in 2011 despite not being a qualified gas engineer. Gary Dunne-Bathurst, of Street Farm, Loke in North Elmham, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 on 12th June 2013. After the hearing, HSE Inspector Ivan Brooke said: "Although nobody was injured in this incident, there were potentially grave consequences for the residents"... Read More


Rochdale Bedding Firm Fined £50k Over Multiple Safety Failings

June 13th 2013

A Rochdale bedding manufacturer has been fined £50,000 after a health and safety inspection found the majority of its machines were unsafe to use. The company, which owns the Maison Le Vie and Night Comfort brands and employs 80 people at its plant on Queensway, was prosecuted following the inspection on 27th and 28th October 2011.Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had to return to Sartex Quilts and Textiles Ltd for a second day after finding dozens of missing or inadequate guards on machines. Manchester Crown Court was told that one machine, used to compact bales of quilt, had been wrapped with pieces of cardboard as the only way of protecting workers from the dangerous moving parts inside. A lose board had been placed over a large electric motor and pulley system on another machine, and guards were generally found to be in a poor condition or missing altogether. Inspectors issued three Prohibition Notices stopping some work immediately, and 12 Improvement Notices requiring changes to be made. Sartex Quilts and Textiles Ltd, which manufactures duvets, pillows and mattress protectors, admitted a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £14,614 in prosecution costs on 12th June 2013... Read More


Relevant Legislation

UK Companies Health & Safety

UK Health & Safety Offences Act 2008

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Reg 13

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

International Global Companies Health & Safety

US Lockout Tagout "The Control of hazardous energy OSHA 1910.147"

EU Standards - UTE C18-510




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