Making Sense of Health and Safety

Health and Safety News

We scour the Internet for Health and Safety related news items on an almost daily basis.

The news articles and clippings, curated by MD Safety, highlight the requirements for compliance with UK Health and Safety Legislation and best practice across all industry sectors.

The majority of the information and cases will apply to a greater or lesser degree to our broad range of Clients and lessons to be learned will be able to be gained.

Rebar welding alert issued

Rebar welders are supposed to be certified to the new CARES Technical Appendices 11 and 12. These cover welding to the International Standard ISO 17660 and the new British Standard BS 8548:2017 Guidance for arc welding of reinforcing steel. The previous appendices and the associated BS 7123: 1989 Specification for metal arc welding for concrete reinforcement have been withdrawn.  BAR says that the main changes of the new ISO and British Standard are more rigorous testing including more tensile and shear tests, new regular production tests in addition to the weld procedure and welder qualification tests, plus new requirements for designated welding co-ordinators.

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UK drone pilots have until end of November to register with regulator

UK drone pilots have until the end of November to register their details with the Civil Aviation Authority.  The mandatory requirement to register covers owners of drones or model aircraft weighing more than 250g (8.8oz). Owners of unregistered drones could then face the threat of a fine.  At the same time, the CAA is starting a service it hopes will reunite owners with their lost drones. 

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Forklift truck safety shortcomings revealed

Mentor FLT Training has released a new report on ways to improve site safety after its recent survey revealed the troubling realities of forklift operations.  Forklift Safety Insights was released to coincide with the Fork Lift Truck Association’s National Forklift Safety Month, an annual campaign that raises awareness in order to reduce the severity and frequency of lift truck accidents in the UK, which has taken place throughout October.  Survey respondents were taken from a sample of UK businesses operating forklift trucks on site. As well as forklift use, the survey investigated key areas, such as manager and operator training, safe systems of work, segregation, monitoring, and operating environments.

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Building co fined £65k after carpenter falls from height

Significant gaps in generic risk assessments have led to a worker sustaining nerve and tissue damage to his lower back.  Luton Magistrates’ Court was told that on 2 May 2017, a 36-year-old employee was working for MP Building. He climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which started to fall causing the employee to fall with it.  Raised fall protection decking did not cover the whole area and left significant gaps. The carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back, whiplash to his neck and his little finger was ripped open.

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Grenfell Tower fire: London Fire Brigade condemned for ‘serious shortcomings’ in its response

72 people were killed by the fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower block in North Kensington, West London on Wednesday, 14 June 2017.  The 24-storey tower block burned throughout the day, taking firefighters over 24 hours to get it under control, leading to confusion and uncertainty that lasted for days. In the report, which will be officially published tomorrow morning, enquiry Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick states that fewer people would have died, if the LFB had taken certain actions earlier.

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DHL fined £2.6m after worker crushed to death in tyre collapse

Robert Baynham, 50, was crushed to death as he worked at an office inside the storage facility in Coventry on 2 February 2016. The company admitted health and safety failings and was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on Monday.  DHL said “safety remains paramount” to the company. Another man suffered serious injuries and two other people were hurt during the same incident at DHL’s tyre distribution centre in Prologis business park on Central Boulevard.

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Stena Line fined £400k following vehicle incident

On 17 September 2017 George Ball, a pontoon traffic marshall working for Stena Line Limited, was struck by a 3.5 tonne delivery van at the company’s port terminal in Birkenhead, Wirral. The van was being reversed off the Stena Lagan vessel onto the pontoon area by a port service operative. The vehicle reversed over Mr Ball’s head and body after the initial collision had knocked him down. Mr Ball suffered multiple injuries that included numerous fractures to his skull, ribs and other bones, and loss of sight in one eye. He has been left with double vision in the other eye and ongoing mental health problems.

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£1.2m fine follows arm amputation

On 26 April 2015 the employee of Mid-UK Recycling Ltd was working as a line operator in the building known as Unit 4 MRF (Material Recovery Facility). On the morning of the incident, blockages had occurred on this line and waste had become wrapped around the axle stopping a lower conveyor. It was whilst removing waste from this axle that the employee’s glove got dragged into the in-running nip between the belt and the powered roller of the conveyor. This resulted in his left arm being amputated above the elbow.  Investigating, the HSE revealed that the company had failed to prevent access to dangerous parts of the conveyor. The castell key system had essentially been bypassed allowing the system to be operated in automatic mode with persons still inside the enclosure.  

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Construction company fined after carpenter injured in fall from height

A Hitchin-based construction company has been sentenced after a carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back after a fall from height.  Luton Magistrates’ Court heard on 2 May 2017, the employee was working for and under the control of MP Building Limited. He climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which started to fall causing the employee to fall with it. Raised safety decking used as fall mitigation within the building did not cover the whole area and left significant gaps.  The 36-year-old carpenter sustained nerve and tissue damage to his lower back, whiplash to neck and his little finger was ripped open.

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Sole director jailed after employee killed by excavator

Robert Harvey, sole director and employee of Front Row Builders Ltd has been sentenced after an employee, Nicholas Hall was crushed to death by an excavator bucket, which Harvey was operating.  The employee was pinned against the wall of an excavation pit for a vehicle wash bay that was under construction for Peter Lawless Road Planing Limited at Craighead Industrial Estate, Whistleberry Road, Blantyre.

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