#WearTheScarf – The HSE’s Latest Asbestos Campaign
Whilst safe work with asbestos has come a long way in the past twenty years, there is still a lot of work to be done in the area. This month, the HSE launched a social media campaign (#WearTheScarf) to raise further awareness and provide assistance and information on the topic. The campaign aims to highlight the fact that this is still a very real problem today, and to provide sensible measures that need to be taken in this area.
Estimates suggest that there are still a potential 1.3 million workers at risk of asbestos exposure, and as a result an average of 20 tradespeople die each week from asbestos related diseases. Asbestos can be present in any house or building built before 2000 and as a result, it is still present in millions of homes and buildings. Continue reading
Work equipment is a broad term covering a wide range of things. It includes ladders, scaffolds, cars, tools, machinery, etc. Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations states:
“Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”
Work Equipment is the employer’s responsibility. This is an absolute duty (placed on the employer). Note: it does include the word “so far as is reasonably practicable”. In line with many aspects of health and safety, prosecution can be made on the state of affairs and does not have to be related to actual injury. This is made clear in the following case.
“LRB Consulting came highly recommended to us. Since we have started to work alongside Mike and his team, matters in our workplace have improved. We now have a clear plan of what we need to achieve for a high level of Health & Safety, with the reassurance of helpful and pragmatic advice when we need it”
Marie Padian, Administration Manager, Skill Stone
Follow this link to see a copy of the February newsletter on health and safety matters. In this month’s issue, there is a reminder that the new CDM Regulations will be with us soon. There is an article on some recent work-related manslaughter prosecutions and also a short case study of how we helped someone facing Enforcement Action as well as information on Face Fit Testing, and on Occupational Road Risk. Please follow the links for more information.
Please share any ideas you have for future articles or subjects that you would like to see covered .
The February 2015 issue of our Health and Safety Newsletter contains information on:
- CDM 2015, the new Regulations
- LRB Consulting: Big enough to cope, small enough to care
- Work related manslaughter – in the news again
- Getting CHAS, Safecontractor or other accreditations – do you need help?
- Case study: Help with Enforcement Action
Face Fitting of masks
- Q&A on Occupational Road Risk
- Testimonials –
Our culture and ethos is to be: Helpful, Friendly and Professional
Helpful – if you have an issue, we are here to help you. Part of our approach is to build trust and good will with our clients through talking to them. We will avoid the use of jargon and we will explain things to you in plain English.
Friendly – if you need help, you may need a friendly voice to assist you. We will listen and we will advise you. As a retained client you will already have established a rapport with your health and safety consultant.
Professional – as well as being helpful and friendly, our Health and safety Consultants are Professional. We talk to you. and, once we understand your issues, we will help you to find the right solutions for you. We will produce a specification with full costing and agreed timescales. Then we deliver it; on time and on budget.
As your professional health and safety consultants, we aim to help you with a suitable, cost effective service that offers professional , friendly and competent advice in a timely manner.
Corporate Manslaughter prosecution following a fall through a fragile roof. Following the fatal fall through a fragile roof in 2011, a building firm was sentenced by Preston Crown Court in February after it pleaded guilty to corporate manslaughter. Following their investigation, the HSE said that the company did nothing to make sure that the worker (Jason Pennington) was safe while he worked on the roof. Mr Pennington had been working on the roof and had fallen through a skylight from a height of approximately 7.6 meters onto a concrete floor. He was taken to hospital where he died a short time later.
Corporate Manslaughter case – Northern Ireland sawmill has been fined £75,000 after pleading guilty to corporate manslaughter.
PL, an experienced fitter and maintenance engineer, was crushed to death by a large automated saw at A Diamond and Son (Timber)’s Coleraine site in September 2012. The company has about 50 employees and has been operating for 75 years.
A resulting joint investigation by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland found that PL was trying to fix the saw when the incident occurred. It was established that the power to the saw had not been isolated, allowing it to move and to crush him. The investigation found the work could have easily been completed while the power was switched off. The investigation also found that the machine’s guards had been modified and that they were regularly bypassed. It also established that the operators did not know how to use the machine in maintenance mode.
Gross Negligence Manslaughter sentence for builder – two years imprisonment after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of an inexperienced labourer who was crushed while dismantling a chimney at a house in Yorkshire.
Mr Nigel Parker had employed 23 year old Danny Hough because he was short of workers on the project to extend the home on Thorncliffe Estate, Batley, Kirklees. Mr Parker instructed Mr Hough to use a hammer drill to demolish the chimney from inside one of the property’s bedrooms. Mr Hough was inexperienced and had no building qualifications. Mr Parker then left site to attend a meeting on another site.
A short time later, the residents, who were in the house while the work was being carried out, and bricklayers working outside heard a loud bang. The chimney had fallen down and had buried Mr Hough under two tonnes of masonry. It was established that he died instantly.
Gross Negligence Manslaughter is a personal offence and can be punished by imprisonment and/or by fine. This is different from Corporate Killing (Corporate Manslaughter), which is a Corporate Offence and is punishable by a fine.
In this recent case, the director of a London metalworks firm has been convicted of gross negligence manslaughter after a five tonne metal-cutting guillotine fell from the forklift truck that he was driving and crushed a worker. Mr Mohammed Babamiri, managing director of RK Metalworks, did not have a licence to drive the forklift. Suspended sentence for manslaughter: Mr Babamiri was sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for two years, after a month long trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He was also found guilty of breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, for which he was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years. He was given a 12 month supervision order, requiring him to meet a probation officer regularly.