Asbestos failures lead (again) to substantial fines

A building contractor has been fined after failing to carry out the correct procedures after asbestos was found during the refurbishment of a building at Bedford School in Bedford. Asbestos failures included the lack of a demolition/refurbishment survey and failure to manage asbestos after it was disturbed.

Luton Crown Court heard how on 11 August 2015, SDC Builders Ltd failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment to identify the presence of asbestos in all areas of the building where work was to be carried out.

An investigation by the HSE found that SDC Builders Ltd failed to carry out the procedures required under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Continue reading

Prison Sentence for couple convicted for Manslaughter over bouncy castle death

A husband and wife whose business operates funfairs have been convicted of manslaughter by gross negligence after a seven-year-old child [SG] died when the bouncy castle she was playing on blew into the air and struck a tree. The child [SG] was taken to hospital but died from her injuries. Sentencing has been adjourned until a date yet to be set.

William and Shelby Thurston were overseeing several rides at Thurston’s Funfair at Harlow Town Park in Essex on 26 March 2016 when the incident happened. They denied responsibility for the child’s death, but a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court convicted the pair on 9 May following a three-week trial. The court was told that the couple had failed to anchor the inflatable dome to the ground securely and did not monitor weather conditions to ensure that it was safe for the bouncy castle to be in use. [SG] was trapped inside the castle when a gust of wind blew the dome away from its moorings. It travelled about 300 m down a hill and struck a tree before coming to a rest. [SG] sustained multiple injuries to her head, neck and chest.

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Feed back on EFAW Training Course

Just wanted to say a massive thank you for the training you give us yesterday. I really enjoyed it and came away confident in the knowledge that should I be called on the give first aid I will be able to do so to the best of new found ability.

Gillian Buswell, Receptionist / Legal Secretary, EHL Solicitors


Lack of a Safe System of Work leads to fatal crushing

In many cases, the safety of workers using potentially dangerous equipment can be achieved by the use of a suitable Safe System of Work. Conversely, the lack of a safe system of work can lead to serious (and even fatal) consequences.  Unfortunately, in a recent case waste paper management company has been fined £250,000 after an employee was fatally crushed inside a baling machine.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found it was “most likely” that the worker fell down the baling machine’s hopper and into the compactor chamber while clearing material that had blocked the hopper. It is also suggested that “Falling into the chamber initiated the compaction sequence.”

The Company had failed to adopt a safe system of work, and employees routinely climbed the baler to remove blockages. The HSE said workers were exposed to the risk of falling from height, either into the compactor chamber or on to the concrete floor.

The company was found guilty of breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £250,000, with costs of £6,640.

HSE inspector Nicholas Wright said: “This tragic incident, which led to the avoidable death of a father, was easily preventable and the risk should have been identified.”

Safe System of Work

A system of work is a set of procedures according to which work must be carried out. Safe systems of work are required where hazards cannot be eliminated and some risk still exists.  Safe Systems of Work can reduce or eliminate exposure to hazards but they must be strictly followed. In order to be effective, your Safe Systems of Work Regularly review your systems of work to ensure that they still reduce or minimise risk and revise as necessary.

The lack of a Safe System of Work may lead to risks not being managed effectively and workers being placed in danger. The lack of a Safe System of Work may also lead to death, as in the case outlined above.

Fire Safety Training Testimonial

I would just like to say thank you to LRB Consulting, and to Christian especially, for his great work today on our fire safety training.

This has been great for everyone involved. My staff at City Gate including myself were very impressed with Christian’s knowledge and with the training. Everyone took well to the training and came away with more insight to fire safety. Thank you again and could you please give Christian a big thank you from us all at City Gate.

Michael Westwick, Building Supervisor, City Gate, Nottingham