Health and Safety Consultancy Services for SMEs in Birmingham, West Midlands and beyond

Newsletter Issue – April 09

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Every Newsletter provides practical information which will help you comply with rules and regulations and run a profitable, healthy and safe business.

In this issue

Articles from the Blog

A simple guide to CHAS Registration Assessment

The CHAS Registration Assessment Scheme has been around for many years and sets the industry standard in terms of managing Health and Safety there are various categories available for CHAS accreditation namely for; Contractor, Principal Contractor, Designers and CDM Coordinators.

Read more > >

Fire Risk Assessment your Legal Responsibility

The legal responsibility for ensuring compliance with fire safety and related legislation lies with the relevant company as the employing authority, where it is in control of a workplace or is the occupier of premises.

Specific responsibilities may fall solely on the company or jointly with others in shared premises under relevant statutory provisions:

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Asbestos Management and Asbestos Survey your Legal Responsibility

Regulation 4 of CAR (2006) creates an explicit duty to assess and manage the risks from asbestos in non-domestic premises. The risks will vary with circumstances ranging from normal occupation of a building to the repair, refurbishment and demolition of the premises, and they will each need to be assessed.

Read more > >

Health and Safety in the Construction Industry

The distress, grief and sadness experienced by a wife, mother, family and friends on losing a husband or son or daughter through a traffic accident in itself is traumatic and grief stricken. The scene of a tragic ending in serious injury or death is dismal, undignified and soul destroying and casts a dark, demoralising shadow over all present for a long period.

Read more > >

Legislation Update

 

There are no updates to report for this period

Who’s been in Court

Read details of some recent HSE prosecutions and enforcement action in the construction sector.

Work at Height

Work at Height remains the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury.   More workers are injured falling from a ladder than any other access equipment.  In 2007/2008, 16 workers died and over 1,100 suffered major injury following a fall from a ladder.

5 March 2009 – Building contractors are being warned to ensure they carry out regular safety inspections after HSE prosecuted a Horsforth firm over a worker’s fall.

Allerton Dale & Co Limited of Horsforth, Leeds were fined a total of £3,000 after pleading guilty to offences under Regulation 26(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 12(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The prosecution arose from an incident on the 9 October 2007 in which 33-year-old electrician, Simon Hunter, fell three metres through a void on the first floor of a new sports pavilion being built at Bradford Grammar School. Mr Hunter was installing a fire alarm cable when scaffolding guardrails, which were only properly secured at one end, collapsed as he leant over them.

23 March 2009 – HSE is warning roofing businesses to take proper precautions to protect workers after the prosecution of a Yorkshire company.

Richard Moulton Ltd of Embsay near Skipton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) and 10(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £2,000 on each breach, a total of £4,000, and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

The prosecution came because of work undertaken to the roof of one building at Embsay Mills in Embsay in March and April 2008. The system of work used by the company was determined to be so unsafe that the work was stopped by serving a Prohibition Notice. The company, which had failed to put the required scaffolding around the building, put at risk not only the safety of the worker but also members of the public. There was a risk of falling objects or materials at an entrance to their workplace and when they were in the office, as the roofing job was taking place overhead.

24 March 2009 – HSE is urging companies to follow safety procedures when working at height to protect staff from falls.

The call comes after the prosecution of Mr Andrew Howard of High Wycombe, partner in the Beechdean Dairies partnership. Mr Howard pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000, plus a victim surcharge of £15.

The prosecution found that the Beechdean Dairies partnership did not ensure the health and safety of his employees when working at height, which lead to a member of staff being injured at work. On 19 June 2007, an employee was felting a link roof and filling in gaps between the link roof, freezers and walls, when the ladder he was standing on slipped or fell and he fell. He broke both his wrists.

24 March 2009 – HSE prosecutes scaffolders for injury to a pedestrian from a metal pole that fell from scaffolding.

HSE is warning construction companies and property developers to ensure they operate safe systems when erecting scaffolding after a pole fell and gashed the leg of a lady pedestrian. HSE is also reminding them that they should segregate dangerous overhead activities from the public when working on scaffolding.

Sky Scaffolding (Midlands) Ltd of Warwick, was fined a total of £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,761 after pleading guilty to breaching both Regulation 10(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 3[1](b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

25 March 2009 – HSE is reminding companies that falls from height can shatter lives after a South Wales construction company was prosecuted when a worker was seriously injured.

R.J. Heale and Co Ltd, based in Bridgend, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 and was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £6,605.25 costs.

An employee was standing on a mezzanine floor while it was being dismantled. He was removing the floorboards, at a disused factory and passing them down colleagues when he fell 2.85m through a gap he had created onto the concrete floor below and suffered a number of injuries, including a fractured skull and fractured vertebrae. He remained in hospital for three weeks after the incident and has not worked since.

Electricity

25 March 2009 – HSE is warning councils and their contractors to have properly planned maintenance programmes and testing regimes in place, following the prosecution of Camden Council over the electrocution of a scaffolder.

The London Borough of Camden was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,445 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

This follows the electrocution of Ralph Kennedy on 15 September 2006 who was employed by Beacon Scaffolding, a company the council had subcontracted the work to. Mr Kennedy and his colleague were dismantling a scaffold. While standing on the first ‘lift’ of the scaffold, Mr Kennedy came into contact with an external security lamp which was attached to the wall. The metal casing of the light was conducting an electrical current of 240v and the shock killed Mr Kennedy instantly.

HSE warns of dangers of sleeping on construction sites

31 March 2009 – HSE is warning contractors of the dangers of allowing areas of construction sites to be used as sleeping accommodation, especially where there is a substantial fire risk.

Asaad Al-Helu of Hull pleaded guilty to two offences under Section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay costs of £1,149 plus a Victims’ Surcharge of £15.

The prosecution came because of construction work undertaken at Edgecumbe Street in Hull during February 2008. Asaad Al-Helu, as the principal contractor undertaking the work, had allowed five migrant Polish workers to use the site as sleeping accommodation. Asaad Al-Helu had also failed to prepare a construction plan before the start of construction work, which should have brought to light the risks from fire, work at heights and site electrics. The plan would have enabled safe working practices to be used.

Refurbishment

27 April 2009 – HSE has warned construction employers and developers that the risks on refurbishment sites must be controlled to protect the safety of both workers and the public. The warning follows the prosecution of a developer after the collapse of a building which was undergoing refurbishment.

Bukan Singh Hothi, of, Leicester, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £7,500 at Nottingham Crown Court today after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, for failing to ensure the health and safety of persons not in his employment during his role as director of 426 Leicester Ltd, the company involved in the development.

 


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