Tests at a school in Wales, which was closed last month because of asbestos fears, have detected airborne-fibre levels up to ten times above the previously accepted background level for schools.
The school, which caters for more than 900 pupils, shut on 12 October after a structural report identified the presence of asbestos. Caerphilly County Borough Council released a further report in mid November, undertaken by Santia in the wake of the initial findings.
The report uncovered evidence of widespread contamination within the ceiling voids at the school, as well as damage to asbestos-insulating boards (AIBs) within some classrooms, caused by scrapes and scuffs from pupils vacating chairs and tables.
Tests also confirmed the presence of asbestos fibre in heater cabinets and unsealed AIB in other heaters. With the heaters in use for a period of four hours in the unoccupied school, the tests detected airborne fibre levels up to 0.007 fibres/cm3 – more than ten times above the accepted level for schools of 0.0005 fibres/cm3, as referred to in a government guidance document issued in 1999.
We have had a massive response from our recent advertisements for our training courses (all of which didn’t cost us a penny) and we now have both our Asbestos Awareness and our Health & Safety Level 2 training courses fully booked. We’ve also had some training courses provisionally booked with a new client.
Our training is becoming increasingly popular and we think this is down to it being very cost effective, our high pass rate and our trainers, who are experts in a number of fields, including Fire Safety, Food Safety and Health & Safety.
If you are interested in attending a future course please keep an eye out on the website for more information or email Jamie@lrbconsulting.co.uk and you will receive an email when the next course dates are announced. If you wish to run a bespoke course for your company please also email Jamie at Jamie@lrbconsulting.co.uk for more information.
The Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme is now in full operation, and has been since 1st October 2012. However it now appears that the HSE won’t be keeping the full amount recovered under the scheme, with the top layer being skimmed off by the treasury.
The Health & Safety Executive will keep £10 million of the first six months’ revenue, rising to 17 of the projected £37 million recovery in 2013/14 (the scheme’s first full year of operation), and £23 million of the projected £39 million in 2014/15.
Part of the HSE’s original justification for FFI, which will enable it to recover the cost of inspectors’ time wherever they find a “material breach” of Health & Safety law justifying a letter or enforcement notice, was that it would support the executive at a time of budget cuts. The government’s 35% cut in the HSE’s funding will leave the regulator around £80 million a year worse off from 2014–15.
Winter is fast approaching and with it comes the early morning frosts, soon to be followed by snow, and ice in the coming weeks. We have a guide on how to protect yourself, and your staff from slips and falls due to snow and ice on pavements.
It is a popular misconception that it is against the law for Snow and Ice Clearance to occur on pavements.
Put simply, there is nothing stopping you from clearing ice and snow from your property, or from public pavements and areas outside your property. Heads of establishments are responsible for ensuring that the means of access to their establishment is safe for both employees and visitors and that adequate arrangements are made to ensure that the risks from snow and ice are minimised. The true position is that a company may be held liable for ‘failing to act reasonably’ in order to prevent accidents caused by snow and ice.
A third company in England has been charged with corporate manslaughter in relation to an incident two years ago in which an employee died after a vehicle he was towing came into contact with overhead power lines.
This follows on from two previous prosecutions in England where Cotswold Geotechnical was the first company to be prosecuted and subsequently fined almost £400,000 after the death of an employee when a trench collapsed. Lion Steel became the second company to be successfully prosecuted and was fined £480,000 after an employee fell through a fragile roof. This case highlights that corporate manslaughter can be brought against any company, big or small.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has charged a Norfolk garden nursery with corporate manslaughter in relation to the death of an employee two years ago.