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27 01, 2018

Company fined after employees exposed to asbestos fibres

2018-01-27T10:54:08+00:00 January 27th, 2018|Asbestos exposure|Comments Off on Company fined after employees exposed to asbestos fibres

SSE Hornsea Ltd, operators of a natural gas storage facility near Atwick on the East Yorkshire coast, has been sentenced today after 13 employees and contractors were exposed to asbestos fibres.

Gallery photograph

Beverley Magistrates’ Court heard that a team of three mechanical maintenance personnel were tasked with the removal of a non-return valve from a compressed air distribution system. Some of the sealing gasket material was difficult to remove so they used a wire brush mounted on an electric drill to remove the gasket material which spread fibres from the gasket around the maintenance workshop onto floors, work benches and clothing.

Not the actual area of asbestos

Two days later another employee of SSE Hornsea Ltd became suspicious of the fibrous dust, and having reported his concerns, arranged for a sample of the dust to be tested. It was found to contain chrysotile (white) asbestos fibres. The maintenance workshop was later closed to prevent access by employees and contractors.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court that the company had failed to identify in the risk assessment for this job that there were asbestos gaskets attached to the non-return valve. HSE also told the court that records held on site, which could have helped identify the presence of asbestos, were not adequate and that the maintenance team leader involved in this task had not undertaken asbestos awareness training.
SSE Hornsea Ltd of Inveralmond House, 200 Dunkeld Road, Perth pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc, Act 1974.
The company has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,731.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Paul Miller said: “In this case SSE Hornsea Ltd substantially failed to manage the risks associated with asbestos found within their process plant and have needlessly risked the future health of 13 people. Employers should ensure that they have in place adequate arrangements for both the identification and management of asbestos which may be found in buildings or process plant.”
“Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre which was widely used in both building and engineering materials for its strength, heat and chemical resistance. This can cause serious diseases including mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis which are often fatal. These diseases do not have an immediate effect, they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. HSE’s Go Home Healthy campaign aims to prevent work-related lung disease by ensuring employers and workers have the information they need to work right.

Have your employees been given Asestos Awareness training? It is not an option, if you need more information please press the Contact Us button above.

13 01, 2018

Construction firm in court after worker fractures spine in roof fall

2018-01-13T18:00:50+00:00 January 13th, 2018|Falls from height causes injury|Comments Off on Construction firm in court after worker fractures spine in roof fall

Construction firm Montway has been fined £144,000 after a worker was seriously injured when he fell off a roof during demolition work.

Southwark Crown Court heard that on 25 February 2013 two workers were working on the roof of a two storey detached house at 17 Basing Hill, Golders Green in London.

Similar edge protection could have given protection.

Romanian labourer Mr Ioan Vancea fell from the partly demolished roof and suffered serious injuries. No scaffolding had been provided and the work was not being supervised.

Not actual workers / roof

Mr Vancea fell some five metres from the roof to the ground and sustained a series of injuries including a fractured spine. He was in an induced coma for two weeks and remained in hospital for three months.

The site was inspected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) two weeks after the incident and unsupervised demolition work was still being carried out. A number of serious matters were identified including asbestos which had been removed from the house and was found in a pile by a neighbouring property’s hedge and in broken pieces mixed in with other debris. Enforcement Notices were immediately served to ensure workers and members of the public were protected.

Montway of Batchworth House, Batchworth Place, Church Street, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £144,000 and ordered to pay £43,606.15 in costs.

HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers commented after the hearing: “Mr. Vancea’s injuries were life changing and he could easily have been killed.

“This serious incident would have been avoided if scaffolding had been provided. Montway’s site documents even identified it was needed.

13 01, 2018

Heating engineers in court over asbestos

2018-01-13T17:57:04+00:00 January 13th, 2018|Asbestos exposure|Comments Off on Heating engineers in court over asbestos

A Stockport heating engineering firm was sentenced after two of its engineers were exposed to asbestos while working at a Manchester school.

Healthy Lung

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard Flueclean was contracted to replace boilers in the boiler room of the school.

However, two of Flueclean’s gas engineers were exposed to asbestos when they took the side panels off boilers which had asbestos insulation on the boiler casing.

Stockport based Flueclean Installations Services pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(1) and 11(1) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and was fined £4000 for each breach with £3517 costs.

HSE inspector Kevin Jones said after the hearing: “Asbestos is the greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK with over 4000 deaths arising from past exposure.

“Contractors have a duty to ensure they protect their workers from the risk of exposure to asbestos and must properly plan any work which is likely to disturb it.

“In this case, Flueclean Installations Services Limited failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment which if they had would have clearly identified that the work should have been carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor. As a result of this failing, two of their operatives were exposed to asbestos.”

If you need asbestos awareness training, then contact me to arrange a course, training is mandatory not an option. Click on the Contact Us Button above.

25 11, 2017

New Ladder Standards for 2018 are you on top?

2017-11-25T09:49:46+00:00 November 25th, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on New Ladder Standards for 2018 are you on top?

Stay on top of new ladder standards

01 November 2017

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are approximately 622,000 cases of reportable work-related accidences occur in the UK each year. Such accidents often involve ladders.

The European Committee for Standardisation therefore recently published the standards EN 131-1 and 2. The guidelines describe new design and test requirements. As of January 2018, ladders used in commercial operations fulfil all criteria for structural stability and load capacity. As a manufacturer, ZARGES is early on emphasising safety and informing construction and industrial companies about the implications of EN 131. The access technology specialist is already offering ladders that comply with the new standards.

As new regulations and guidelines are released, companies must understand how the changes will affect them. In the context of the standards EN 131-1 and 2, this can be summarised as follows: the new standard will include a “Professional” category that will replace BS 2037 Class 1, the current standard for industrial and heavy-duty ladders, in addition all leaning ladders that are three metres or longer will have to be equipped with a base stabiliser to ensure stability. Along with stricter test requirements in terms of stile strength and slip-resistance, EN 131-2 also sets out additional regulations for mechanical durability tests and torsion tests. Other guidelines concern the use of combination ladders as well as the categorisation of access systems. The new regulation will take effect as of 1 January 2018 in the UK and throughout Europe and will affect companies of all industries and sizes.

What is going happen in 2018?

Ladders are ubiquitous in industry and skilled trades and the new standard is intended to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities in the workplace. However, EN 131 does not expressly prohibit the continued use of ladders that are already in use. Commercial users in the UK and Europe, such as companies, skilled workers or public authorities, are merely asked to adhere to the respective workplace regulations. “Companies are currently in somewhat of a grey area. On the one hand, even though EN 131-1 and 2 have already been adopted, ladders made according to the old standard are still allowed to be sold in the UK until October 2020 at the latest, according to BSI Assurance” explains Rainer Üblacker, Head of R&D at ZARGES. “Companies that now invest in new ladders would effectively have to retrofit their existing ladders or buy new ones in the near future. On the other hand, the guidelines are not clearly defined. This creates uncertainty.” In order to avoid this and offer customers security in the future, ZARGES is already able to offer ladders and stepladder that conform to the new standards.

Recognising demand – avoiding dangers – capitalising on opportunities
A binding regulation that does not make implementation compulsory is confusing for many companies. ZARGES therefore is putting more emphasis on transparency. This is because not all ladders need to be replaced within the scope of the new EU standard. Ladders that are state-of-the-art can continue to be used in the future. In order to identify these models and consequently create financial security, companies should ask their safety officer to perform a risk assessment as soon as possible. The officer must decide whether existing ladders may continue to be used. “Whoever wants to be on the safe side in the long term should try to consistently take account of the guidelines laid down by the lawmakers. It does not cost as much time and money as one might fear,” explains Üblacker. He recommends that all systems be tested for weak points as part of the mandatory annual ladder inspection and regularly modified as necessary.

Top tips on the right approach to ladders according to EN 131-1 and 2

  • Regularly inspect ladders: it is recommended that ladders that are subject to frequent use should be inspected at least once every three months
  • Take note of the inspector’s qualification: An inspection is considered legally compliant only when it is performed by a certified in-house safety officer or a trained employee of a specialist company
  • Perform retrofitting: Access systems can be retrofitted to comply with regulations. For example, a base stabiliser can be added to a leaning ladder in accordance with EN 131-1

Safety first: In addition to annual inspections, companies should always keep an eye on the safety of their ladders and access systems. Specialist companies and manufacturers, such as ZARGES, offer relevant instructions and information.

Find out more information on Ladder / Step Ladder Training by contacting via the button above.

18 11, 2017

Prison Sentence for Roofing Contractor

2017-11-18T12:37:59+00:00 November 18th, 2017|Fatal Fall from Height|Comments Off on Prison Sentence for Roofing Contractor

Council H&S officers reported dangerous roof work to HSE

A roofing contractor has been sentenced for safety breaches after workers were left at risk of falling from unprotected roof edges in February 2016.

The failures of C Smith Roofing (Mr Chris Smith T/A) were discovered by local council health and safety staff who could see unsafe scaffolding from their office window.

Leeds Crown Court heard that in November 2015 Mr Smith was contracted to carry out some roof repairs to a Guest House roof in Northallerton.

Scaffolding was erected along the full length of the roof at the front of the property. There was a conservatory structure at the rear of the property and the company erected only a partial scaffold at the rear.

The scaffolding erected at the rear failed to take the conservatory into account which left approximately two thirds of the rear roof edge unprotected.

Risk of falling 7m

Health and safety risk managers at North Yorkshire County Council saw the project from their office window and were concerned for the safety of two workers on a roof.

The workmen were under the control of Mr Smith and at risk of falling approximately 7m from the unprotected edge of the roof at the rear of the property.

Chris Smith of Malpas Road Northallerton North Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at height Regulations 2005.

The Court sentenced Mr Smith to an eight-month prison sentence (suspended for two) years and ordered that he complete 200 hours of community service and pay £5800 in prosecution costs.

Protection from falling when working at height is imperative, for guidance contact me via my Contact button above.

8 11, 2017

Utility company fined after exposing employees to asbestos

2017-11-08T08:25:48+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Utility company fined after exposing employees to asbestos

A Paisley based utility services company has today been fined for exposing four of its employees to asbestos during work at Anderson Tower in Motherwell in 2014.

Hamilton Sheriff Court today heard that four electricians employed by IQA Operations Group Ltd had been drilling through door transom panels to fit electric cables into each property within the tower block as part of the installation of a new low voltage distribution system.

The company had identified that an asbestos survey was carried out ahead of the works starting but did not include a survey of the transom panels above each flat entrance door.

The four electricians started work on the site on 23 June 2014 and drilled holes in the door transom panels in all 44 flats. The electricians were not aware that the panels contained asbestos so no measures were in place to control exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

On 2 July 2017, a resident raised a concern that the panels were asbestos, work was stopped and the panels tested. The samples tested positive for asbestos. Immediate action was taken to decontaminate the flats which involved the local council making arrangements for the residents to leave their properties while the work was being done.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that IQA Operations Group Ltd had failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work to identify the presence of asbestos in the transom panels and failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk to their employees from asbestos when carrying out cable routing work.

IQA Operations Group Ltd of 101 Abercorn Street, Paisley, has today been fined £6000 after pleading guilty to a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, Gerry Muir HM Inspector of Health and Safety said “This incident could have easily been avoided if the company had in place a system of work to ensure that the asbestos survey it requested to be carried out covered all of the intended work areas. Failing to do this resulted in 44 asbestos panels being drilled into with no measures in place to control the risk of exposure to the resultant asbestos fibres.”

If you would like any help and advice re Asbestos training please contact me on M: 07508 028 841
T: 01482 881 203 or email me at

4 11, 2017

Working Platform falls from Telehandler

2017-11-04T16:21:53+00:00 November 4th, 2017|Provision and Use of Work Equipment|Comments Off on Working Platform falls from Telehandler

Manufacturer instructions for safe platform attachment not followed PM 28 FOURTH EDITION

A builder was sentenced after three workers, including a father and son, fell some 5m when a work platform became disconnected from a telehandler in December 2015.

Hull Magistrates heard that Mr Jeremy Waudby was hired to construct a new chicken shed at Argham Fields Farm, Burton Fleming Driffield. He engaged a cladding company (A L Cladding) and provided his own telehandler and work platform for the sub-contractor to complete the work.

The court heard that three of the cladding company workers were elevated in the platform when it became detached from the telehandler and fell to the ground.


Not possible to comply with safe instructions

HSE investigators found that the work platform was not (and could not be) connected to the telehandler in accordance with manufacturer instructions which required three separate mechanical attachments.

The necessary securing attachments were not present, and only one of the three was effectively in place.

The platform fell onto the one worker trapping his shoulder and head. He also suffered a shattered right knee cap and crushed tibia and fibula. His father suffered three fractured vertebrae and a head wound needing 12 stitches.

  • Jeremy Waudby t/a JG and GW Waudby – of Lottings Farm Barmby Moor Nr. York pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1200 with £558 costs.

The HSE doccument to cover this activity is PM28 Fourth Edition, it isnt rocket science to understand, but if you are struggling please contact me via


4 11, 2017

Failure to cover a fragile surface

2017-11-04T16:11:13+00:00 November 4th, 2017|Falls through Fragile Surfaces|Comments Off on Failure to cover a fragile surface

Principal Contractor failed to ensure covers or effective scaffolding installed

A construction company has been fined after a worker suffered serious injuries after falling from height through a fragile rooflight in October 2015.

Cheltenham Magistrates heard how a sub-contractor, working for King Builders (Gloucester) Ltd, suffered fractured vertebrae, chest and head injuries after falling through the fragile rooflight.

The HSE investigation found that the company, who was the appointed CDM 2015 Principal Contractor, failed to ensure the safety of those working on the roof.

The investigation also found that there were a number of places on the site at Pitt Street, Gloucester where someone could have fallen.


Not the exact photograph, this is a stock item to demonstrate a fall.

PC held accountable for safety of sub-contractor

King Builders (Gloucester) Ltd were convicted of breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and have been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,281.70.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Simon Chilcott said:

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure safe methods of working are used and to maintain control of those working for them.

If simple precautions, such as a robust cover or scaffolding, had been in place prior to the incident, the serious injuries sustained by the sub-contractor could have been prevented.”

There are numerous means available to cover / protect against falls through Fragile Surfaces, why is this sttill happening??

If you need assistance in finding the solutions, please feel free to contact me via

23 10, 2017

Recycling company fined £100,000 after worker struck by moving machine

2017-10-23T08:17:18+00:00 October 23rd, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Recycling company fined £100,000 after worker struck by moving machine

A recycling company has today been fined after a worker was left with life changing injuries after he was struck by a moving machine.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard how, on 5 December 2014, the employer was working as a litter picker at Lodgewood Farm, Telford, when he was struck by a shovel loader as he was standing next to a brick wall on the site.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the loading shovel driver initially thought he had just hit the wall and had not realised he had struck someone. The driver climbed down from the cab to check for damage and found the employee badly injured on the floor.

The worker was air lifted to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. He was released from hospital on Christmas Eve, having lost both legs just below the knees.

James Moody Recycling Limited of Hollybush Farm, Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The company has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,641.62.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector David Kivlin said: “This is a heart-breaking story where a worker suffered horrendous injuries.

“It is vital that organisations have proper risk management in place when pedestrians and large industrial machinery are working closely together.

“The waste and recycling sector, which is made up of around 120,000 workers, has a statistically higher rate of workplace injury and work-related ill health than other sectors.

“In trying to address this issue, HSE is currently in the middle of targeting the sector with an inspection initiative that will look at certain activities to ensure effective management and control of risk.

“We are calling on anyone working in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website. Every worker has the right to return from work safe in the knowledge that their employer takes their health and safety seriously.”

If you would like help and support with your Health & Safety requirements please contact me on 01482 881 203 or email Ralph at

6 10, 2017

CDM Project Manager who didn’t Manage pays dearly.

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 October 6th, 2017|CDM Construction Design & Management|Comments Off on CDM Project Manager who didn’t Manage pays dearly.

Principal Contractor prosecuted alongside responsible manager

CDM has been in place for years, wouldn’t you think we could get it right by now?

In House Design and Build Limited, a London-based construction company, and a project manager have been fined for “repeatedly failing to manage and control multiple risks”.

Reading Magistrates heard how concerns were raised by workers and members of the public which resulted in HSE inspectors carrying out a number of visits during 2015 to two projects where the company was the appointed CDM 2015 Principal Contractor. HSE identified a number of serious health and safety failings.

HSE investigators found that over a four-month period at the first site (despite several enforcement notices being served) the company failed to address the risks.

The enforcement notices served were for breaches including unsafe work at height, working in unstable deep excavations and inadequate arrangements for planning, managing and monitoring construction work.

Further similar concerns were found later in the in 2015 at the second site where very poor welfare arrangements were also discovered.

Planning, managing and monitoring are crucial


The company and a project manager were both prosecuted and pleaded guilty.

  • In House Design and Build Limited – of Royalty House, Dean Street, London, pleaded guilty to two breaches under Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015. The company was fined £100,000.

Neil Crow – of Woodgrange Avenue, London, who had been in charge of operations at both sites, pleaded guilty to two breaches under Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015, by virtue of Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Mr Crow was fined £15,000.

If you need help with Health & Safety Issues use the contact us button the website