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.

Brexit: an update on key changes

Following the end of the transition period, the UK has formally left the EU. We look at the rules and procedures that may affect the health and safety sector.  The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 transferred EU-derived laws into UK law, meaning workers continue to have the same workplace protections. Employees settled in the UK for more than five years can apply for ‘settled status’ which will grant them the same rights as British citizens – but they must apply by 30 June 2021. If they continue to work in the UK after this date without having made the application they will be doing so illegally.

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HS2 introduces new health and safety passport system

The new system will share vital health and safety information across contractors and help to ensure consistency of standards and performance.  HS2 Ltd and its contractors have taken a major step in improving health and safety assurance across sites between London and the West Midlands by introducing a new health and safety passport system.

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Tesco fined £500,000 after boy, 10, suffers electric shock

Retail giant Tesco has been ordered to pay more than £536,000 after a 10-year-old child received an electric shock at its Warfield store in Bracknell.  On 9 July 2017, the parents of two children entered the store just before it closed. One parent went with the 10-year-old boy to the freezer section to get ice lollies. As he reached for the product, he started screaming and crying. 

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Network Rail fined £135k following electrocution

Network Rail has been fined for a safety breach after a 13-year-old boy was left with serious injuries following an electric shock.  Following an Office of Rail and Road (ORR) investigation, Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) has prosecuted Network Rail, who were fined £135,000 by Edinburgh Sheriff Court, for failing to maintain and improve the railway fencing near Musselburgh, East Lothian which left a 13-year-old boy with serious injuries.

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Environment watchdog online complaint system goes live

A new system for registering complaints against public bodies suspected of failing to meet environmental law has gone live.  Ahead of the establishment of the new Office for Environmental Protection, an interim service is now in place to receive complaints about alleged failures of public authorities to comply with environmental law.

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Precision tool manufacturer fined after worker severs finger

L.S. Starrett Company Limited, a precision tool manufacturer, has been fined after an employee’s index finger was severed and his thumb deeply lacerated in an incident involving a radial arm drilling machine.  Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard that on 2 October 2018, the hole saw operator was using a radial arm drilling machine when his glove became entangled, resulting in the  injuries.

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Nuclear site pleads guilty over high voltage injury

The operator of the world's largest nuclear site has been fined £320,000 after an electrician’s eyelashes were burned off and his shirt caught fire while working on high voltage equipment.  Sellafield was prosecuted following what an inspector described as an 'entirely avoidable' incident in which a worker suffered 15-20% burns at the site near Seascale in West Cumbria.

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Tesco must pay £300,000 after roll cage crush

Supermarket giant Tesco has been prosecuted for safety failings after a worker was crushed by a roll cage.  Piotr Grzela was unloading a lorry outside a Tesco Metro store in Oxford when a trolley stacked with juice cartons toppled on to him and crushed him against the pavement. He sustained two severe open leg fractures, severed blood vessels and a wrist fracture. He spent six weeks in hospital and is yet to return to work.

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Drivers warned of financial implications of drink drive convictions

Road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has warned motorists of the severe financial penalty they could face as the consequence of a drink drive conviction.  The charity has calculated that the personal financial cost of drink driving could be as high as £70,000 or more when taking into account fines, legal fees, higher car insurance premiums, alternative transport costs and potential loss of earnings following conviction.

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Yoghurt and dessert manufacturer prosecuted after agency worker’s fingers amputated

A food company specialising in dairy products has been prosecuted after an agency worker suffered severe injuries when their fingers were caught in machinery.  Walsall Magistrates’ Court heard that following the incident on 12 July 2016, an agency worker had to have their middle finger amputated below the second knuckle, lost half their index finger and had their third finger amputated to the first knuckle. The agency employee was working as a box maker on a machine known as a tray erector, at the company’s Minsterley site in Shropshire, when the incident occurred.

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