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

Newsletter Issue – Oct 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

Why do you need a Competent Person

Its the Law, as an employer, you must “appoint one or more competent person to assist” with your Health and Safety.

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Tips for Writing Method Statements

Method Statements or System of Work is a requirement of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 and is intended to provide both the client and the individuals that are carrying out the work, the necessary information to undertake the job safely.

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Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) the reasons behind it.

Are you aware that you could be fined or imprisoned? – Any appliance In the workplace connected to electricity via a lead and plug MUST be included in a Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) scheme.

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Health and Safety is not Monkey Business.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that innovative new ideas are the lifeblood of any business. In today’s rapidly changing competitive business world, if you’re not steadily moving ahead, you are, in fact, falling behind.

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Risk Assessments are not a bureacratic burden.

Although under various pieces of UK legislation it is a legal requirement for organisations to record and document the significant findings of Risk Assessments if they employ five or more people, it makes good commercial sense to record them so that a check can be made that all of the organisation’s activities have been assessed. So what should be recorded?

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CDM duties and Responsibilites under the CDM Regulations.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations has just been changed to make it a whole lot easier to secure convictions against clients and their professional advisors. In today’s climate, Health, Safety and Welfare could be a name of a firm of caring solicitors… presumably previously trading as Sewem, Grabbit & Runn.

Read more > >

Legislation Update

 

The Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER)

As from 6 April 2009, HSE is publishing new versions of its approved health and safety law poster and leaflet.

The new versions are modern, eye-catching and easy to read. They set out in simple terms, using numbered lists of basic points, what employers and workers must do, and tell you what to do if there is a problem.

Employers can, if they wish, continue to use their existing versions of poster and leaflet until 5 April 2014, as long as they are readable and the addresses of the enforcing authority and the Employment Medical Advisory Service up to date.

Who’s been in Court

Read about some recent HSE prosecutions and enforcement action.

Scaffolds

8 September 2009 – Scaffolding companies need to double check their structures are safe and secure, the HSE has warned following the collapse of scaffolding at an industrial unit in Caerphilly.

The incident on the Western Industrial Estate resulted in a fine for the Cardiff-based scaffolding company responsible for the unsecured structure which collapsed in June 2006. Fortunately, no-one was injured in the incident, which occurred just 20 minutes before a change of shift at the factory.

Linmar Scaffolding Ltd, of Cardiff, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 8 (b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,800 and ordered to pay costs of £5,400.

Work at height

Work at Height remains the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury.

21 September 2009 – HSE is warning employers to ensure their workers are well trained and supervised when working at height, after a man was killed when installing a temporary office unit in West Bromwich. David Boulton was unloading a temporary accommodation unit from a lorry. He was standing on top of the unit in order to attach a sling from a crane when he fell on to the road, suffering fatal head injuries.

The supplier of the office unit, Stockton-on-Tees-based Mobile Mini UK Ltd, was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000. It had pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

10 September 2009 – A Glasgow-based construction company has been convicted of failing to ensure proper health and safety standards after an apprentice joiner was severely injured.

The 20-year-old worker fell nearly four metres through an opening in the floor after the loose sheet of plywood which had been placed over the opening gave way.  The incident happened because the floor opening had not been suitably protected by either robust edge protection or properly supported and fixed boarding. As a result of the fall the worker sustained serious neck and other injuries.

City Building (Glasgow) LLP, was fined £20,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

31 August 2009 – HSE warned of the dangers of working on or maintaining fragile roofs, following the conviction of a Scottish company, TQR Ltd of Dalkeith and a sub-contractor, David O’Neil of Cleland, near Motherwell, for breaching health and safety regulations.

The warning follows a serious incident in which a 19 year old worker fell almost 10 metres into an occupied factory whilst carrying out refurbishment work on the roof of a building at Buttlerfield Industrial Estate, Bonnyrigg, in April 2008.
TQR Ltd was fined £6,000 after pleading guilty to charges under sections 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

David O’Neil, a sub contractor, was fined £3,000after pleading guilty to charges under section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

20 July 2009 – HSE is reminding construction companies of their duties to employees after a worker was paralysed in a fall.

Harold Roach fell ten feet through roof joists at a refurbishment site in Birkenhead while he was working for Property People (NW) Ltd.

Property People (NW) Ltd admitted contravening Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees. It also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 by failing to report the injury to HSE. The company was fined £92,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,404.

23 July 2009 – Small companies warned to take health and safety responsibilities seriously after roofer’s death

HSE has warned small companies to take their responsibilities seriously, after a man fell through the roof of a DIY superstore in Wigan and later died.

David Battisson from CRN Contracts Ltd in Birkenhead (formerly Concrete Repairs NW Ltd) was working on the roof of the store when he fell ten metres to the floor through a PVC light.

HSE prosecuted CRN Contracts Ltd for failing to follow proper safety procedures. The company pleaded guilty to two charges under health and safety legislation, and was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,086.

24 July 2009 – Greater Manchester roofing companies urged to put safety first after worker falls through roof

HSE prosecuted Tower Roofing Ltd following an incident at Magnesium Elektron Ltd’s premises in Swinton. Lee Bridge was cleaning guttering at the factory on 6 March 2008 when the fragile roof gave way. He landed on a stack of pallets more than two metres below him, before bouncing off them and falling a further two metres to the concrete floor.

Tower Roofing pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for failing to take suitable precautions to prevent the incident from occurring. It was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay full costs of £5,976.

Basement Excavation

19 August 2009 – HSE is warning building contractors involved in constructing basements to make sure that they plan the work properly and install sufficient temporary supports when excavating the foundations of houses.

The warning follows the prosecution of JAS. Truscott & Son Ltd of Tunbridge Wells for breaching a prohibition notice, and failing to protect against falls into, and the potential collapse of, excavations at a project to develop a mews house in Belgravia, London on 2 and 3 June 2008.

The court heard that despite clear advice being given to the company, and a prohibition notice being issued to stop their work immediately, they continued to work in excavations approximately three metres deep in a sandy ballast ground, without proper supports to prevent the ground from collapsing or to stop people from falling into the pits.

JAS. Truscott & Son Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Regulation 31(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The court imposed fines of £6,500, £1,000 and £1,000 respectively for the breaches. The court also ordered the company to pay costs of £9,526.29.

Cranes

3 August 2009 – HSE warns construction companies after the deaths of two workmen.

HSE is reminding construction companies of the financial penalties of not carrying out full risk assessments or ensuring their staff are properly trained – after the sentencing of a crane company for health and safety breaches. WD Bennett’s Plant & Services Ltd was fined £125,000 and ordered to pay costs of £264,299. The company had been found guilty of two health and safety breaches that led to the death of two workers and injured a third.

The company had been charged alongside Eurolift (Tower Cranes) Limited which pleaded guilty to two health and safety breaches at the beginning of the trial. Eurolift (Tower Cranes) Limited pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 8(3) of the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996.

The prosecution followed an incident on a construction site in Worthing, on 11 February 2005. The two men who died, Steve Boatman and Gary Miles, had been working on the jib of a crane. A third man, who was severely injured in the incident, was working on the mast of the crane. He was instructed to begin de-torquing the crane’s mast bolts and should have done so one-by-one, and then re-tightened each bolt in turn. However, he was not trained in this job and he failed to re-tighten the bolts leaving them part undone. This caused the crane to collapse as it was turned. Mr Boatman and Mr Miles died from injuries sustained when they were flung from the crane.

 


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