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6 10, 2017

Frosty Reception for Iceland

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 October 6th, 2017|Falls through Fragile Surfaces|Comments Off on Frosty Reception for Iceland

Retailer Iceland Foods has this week been fined £2.5m following the death of a contractor working at height at a store in Rotherham in October 2013.

The food giant’s fine, the largest to date in 2017, was handed down in a sentencing hearing at Grimsby Crown Court, following a three-week trial held at Sheffield Crown Court in July 2017.

In the trial, Iceland was found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The charges were brought by Rotherham Council following the fatal accident at the Iceland store on Sycamore Road, Rotherham, on 28 October 2013.

Contractor Tony Hopkins was at the store to replace filters within an air conditioning unit, which was located on a “plant platform” above a suspended ceiling in the store’s warehouse.


Hopkins fell almost 3m from the platform and through the suspended ceiling, sustaining fatal injuries.

An investigation by Adrian Monkhouse, principal environmental health officer at the council, revealed that there were no barriers in place to prevent falls from the platform.

In addition, the area of the platform immediately in front of the access ladder was restricted, measuring just 45cm in width, and there were several tripping hazards in this area, including cabling and the fixing points for the ladder itself.

In order to avoid these problems get in touch and book your Safe Work at Height course now.

3 10, 2017

HSE launches second phase of construction inspection campaign

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on HSE launches second phase of construction inspection campaign

Construction projects across Britain are being urged to act now to ensure the health and safety of their workers is protected as the second phase of a targeted inspection initiative gets underway today (2nd October 2017).

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says 43 workers were fatally injured in 2015/16, and an estimated ten times that number died from construction related ill-health, with a further 65,000 self-reported non-fatal injuries.

HSE is now asking every construction contractor, client and designer to ensure they are not adding to this unacceptable toll of harm by failing to manage well-known risks.

In addition to things such as falls from height, the campaign will focus on control of harmful dusts including respirable silica from concrete, brick and stone, asbestos and wood dust, as well as work at height, structural safety, materials handling, good order and welfare provision.

HSE points to the mis-conception that health issues cannot be controlled in construction. It says harmful dust, whether silica or wood, is a serious issue and can be managed effectively with the right design, equipment and training. Health effects may not be immediate, but the ultimate impact on workers and their families can be devastating.

HSE carried out over 2000 inspections during the first phase of the initiative earlier this year with action being taken to address these issues in almost half of visits.

HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction and Director of Construction Division Peter Baker commented: “In phase 1 of this campaign HSE’s inspectors found lots of good examples of small sites working safely and protecting workers health from exposure to harmful dusts, proving it can be done. My message to smaller businesses is don’t wait for an accident or a visit from an HSE inspector – learn from the success of others and act now.

“Nearly half of construction fatal accidents and injuries reported to HSE involved refurbishment work.

“Some small refurbishment sites continue to cut corners and not properly protect their workers resulting in an unacceptable number of deaths and injuries each year.”

25 09, 2017

What does working at heights mean?

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on What does working at heights mean?

What does working at heights mean?

Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. You are working at height if you:

  • work above ground/floor level
  • could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface or
  • could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground

Work at height does not include a slip or a trip on the level, as a fall from height has to involve a fall from one level to a lower level, nor does it include walking up and down a permanent staircase in a building.

What do you need to do to comply with the working at height regulations 2005?

The Regulations apply to all work at height, where there is risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. They place duties on employers, and those who control any work at height activity (such as facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height).

As part of the Regulations, you must ensure:

  • all work at height is properly planned and organised
  • those involved in work at height are competent
  • the risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
  • the risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed
  • the equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained

For more information, see: The Work at Height Regulations 2005

25 09, 2017

Company fined after worker’s hand crushed in machinery

2017-09-25T06:52:00+00:00 September 25th, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Company fined after worker’s hand crushed in machinery

A food seasoning manufacturer has been fined after an agency worker suffered serious hand injuries.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard how the man, working at Symrise Ltd in Corby was cleaning near the screw conveyor machine, when he tripped and his finger came into contact with the moving parts of the machine. The worker suffered a partial amputation to his left hand following this incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 13 September 2016 found the vacuum point, for cleaning this screw conveyor did not have adequate guarding to prevent people coming into contact with this dangerous part of the machine.

Symrise Ltd of Fieldhouse Lane, Marlow was found guilty of breaching Section 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and has been fined £55,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1293.

Speaking after the hearing Inspector Mark Austin said: “An agency worker has suffered life changing injuries due to the company’s health and safety failures.  An individual’s health and safety should not be made worse by the work they do.

“Duty holders have the responsibility to ensure all dangerous machinery has the appropriate level of guarding to enable safe operation and maintenance, including cleaning operations.”

19 09, 2017

Not enough being done to tackle work-related ill-health, say GB’s business leaders

2017-09-19T07:42:06+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Not enough being done to tackle work-related ill-health, say GB’s business leaders

Almost half of Britain’s industry leaders do not feel enough is being done across industry to tackle cases of work-related ill-health, according to new research from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The research also found more than two-fifths of businesses are reporting a rise in cases of long-term ill-health with the majority (80%) stating tackling this growing problem is a priority within their organisation.

This news comes as HSE figures show that work-related ill-health is costing the economy more than £9bn with 26 million working days being lost, making it a priority for HSE, as the Government’s chief occupational health adviser.

The views of 300 major business leaders were sought and 40% of respondents said their industry was not doing enough to raise awareness and tackle the causes of long-term work-related ill-health.

The findings were revealed as HSE announced its new national campaign – ‘Go Home Healthy’. The campaign aims to reduce cases of work-related ill-health by shining a light on the causes and encouraging employers to do the right thing to protect their workers’ health.

Speaking after the campaign launch, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Penny Mordaunt said:

“Everyone should want to have a healthy and safe environment at work. Work-related ill-health is a costly issue for individuals, businesses, and the whole economy. This campaign will encourage employers to operate healthier workplaces and ensure workers get the support that they need.”

Commenting on the findings, HSE’s chair Martin Temple, said:

“The survey findings confirmed what we already suspected – more needs to be done to tackle work-related ill-health.

“Over the years, figures show that as workplace safety has improved, health has stagnated. The ‘Go Home Healthy’ campaign is about driving behavioural change in workplaces so we all can go home healthy. There is a moral, legal, and business case for employers to do the right thing by their workers. The importance of more joined-up thinking across industries when it comes to tackling work-related ill-health cannot be overstated.”

Join in the conversation using #WorkRight and follow @Go_Home_Healthy for campaign updates. More information on the campaign can be found here:

17 09, 2017

Company fined after worker fatally crushed by fork lift truck

2017-09-17T19:10:53+00:00 September 17th, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Company fined after worker fatally crushed by fork lift truck

Lincolnshire based firm Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres Limited has been fined after a worker died when the fork lift truck he was driving overturned at the company base in Grantham.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the worker was transporting tyres on 30 July 2014 when the fork lift ran over a loose tyre in the road. He was crushed between the fork lift truck and the ground and later died from his injuries. He was not wearing a seat belt.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no company policy in place instructing workers to wear seatbelts when operating fork lift trucks. The investigation also found if the tyres had been stored securely this would have prevented them rolling onto the roadway and would have reduced the risk of the fork lift truck overturning.

Vacu-Lug Traction Tyres Limited of Hill Foot, Grantham, Lincolnshire pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Principal inspector David Butter said: “This tragic incident could have easily been prevented if the company had enforced and monitored the wearing of seat belts for fork lift truck drivers”.

4 09, 2017

Engineering firm fined after health and safety failings

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Health and Safety|Comments Off on Engineering firm fined after health and safety failings

An engineering company has been fined after a 29-year-old worker was diagnosed with hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) – a condition causing tingling, pins and needles, numbness and pain in the affected person’s hands.

Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how the employee, who was working in the trimming department at Taylor Engineering and Plastics Limited, was exposed to vibration from tools used to sand components. Health surveillance implemented at the company in 2014 showed that the employee had developed HAVS through exposure to vibration while working at the company.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company risk assessments relating to vibration were not suitable or sufficient. It also found that health surveillance was not introduced by the company until 2014, despite regulations making this a legal requirement being introduced in 2005. Training for employees on the risks from vibration was also found to be inadequate and many were unaware of the consequences of exposure to high levels of vibration. The company did not have the right systems in place to manage the health of its workers and it failed to implement control measures such as using tools that had lower levels of vibration.

Taylor Engineering and Plastics Limited of Molesworth Street, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,171.00.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jennifer French said: “There is a well-known health risk associated with exposure to hand arm vibration and guidance has been in place since the early 1990’s. The company failed to protect workers using vibrating tools which led to an employee suffering significant health effects.”

For all your Health and Safety needs contact me

24 08, 2017

Silica dust Guidance

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 August 24th, 2017|Ill Health and disease|Comments Off on Silica dust Guidance

New guidance available on key HSE Construction Sector priority

The inhalation of Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) dust is a widespread hazard and significant cause of ill-health in the construction sector. The effective elimination or control of RCS dust is one of three top priorities for HSE now, and in the coming years.

RCS is very fine dust which when inhaled deep into the lungs can cause serious lung diseases including: lung cancer; silicosis; and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These diseases cause permanent disability and early death.

The greater the level of dust in air, the higher the risk. High dust levels are caused by one or more of the following:

  • Task – high energy tools, such as cut-off saws, grinders, wall chasers and grit blasters can produce a lot of dust in a very short time. Dry sweeping can make a lot of dust when compared to vacuuming or wet brushing;
  • Location – the more enclosed a space, the more the dust will build up. However, do not assume that levels will be low when working outside with high energy tools;
  • Time – the longer the time dust is created the more dust there will be; and
  • Frequency – regularly doing the same work day-after-day increases the risks.

The construction sector guides on silica were issued in late 2016 and include the following:

  • CN0: Advice for managers
  • CN1: Concrete scabbling
  • CN2: Chasing with handheld power tools
  • CN3: Drilling and coring with hand-held rotary power tools
  • CN4: Crushing and screening demolition material
  • CN5: Clearing and removing rubble
  • CN6: Cutting paving and kerbstones with rotary cutters
  • CN7: Abrasive blasting
  • CN8: Diamond coring/hole cutting
  • CN9: Breaking in enclosed spaces

This information is designed to help duty holders comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), as amended, to prevent or control exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and protect the health of the workforce.

You are required to protect your most valuable assets (your employees), if they are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as, Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) against hazardous substances, then your employees must be face fit tested for every type of mask (RPE) which is given to them.

For more information on Face Fit Testing contact Ralph N Bennett via the contact button above, or just email him on

21 07, 2017

Bodge it & Scarper caught again-2

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 July 21st, 2017|Cowboys at Work|Comments Off on Bodge it & Scarper caught again-2


Dear reader are you absolutely fed up of losing work to the infamous Roofer ‘Bodge-it & Scarper’ because they cut corners on health and safety and thereby quote their prices greatly reduced.

The photograph below is genuine and this company cut their costs by approximately £900.00 by not providing edge protection.

These gentlemen were taken to task by me, this photograph including their vehicle outside their clients house, but unfortunately it doesnt have their Company name on it.

It is so easy to do, there is one central reporting number and or one email address to send you complaint to the Health and Safety Executive (they are waiting for your help).


Take your photo, try to get the contractors name into the photo (VAN), make a note of the address they are working at, the time and date.

Simply make a call or send by email your evidence, you can remain anonymous if you wish (if you remain anonymous, you will not receive feedback from HSE).

Telephone 0300 003 1647 (free on most mobiles)


They will also give feed back on the actions taken.


18 07, 2017

Lack of Guarding costs Warburtons £1.9Million

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Unguarded Machinery|Comments Off on Lack of Guarding costs Warburtons £1.9Million

A guarded conveyor belt, not the involved Warburtons belt.

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It is the second time that the food giant has been handed a multi-million pound fine in the last six months.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how, on 4 August 2015, the agency worker was injured as he cleaned parts of the bread production line.

His arm became trapped, leaving him with friction burns that required skin grafts.

An investigation by the HSE found CCTV footage of the incident. It showed the worker cleaning parts of the line, then reaching into it and becoming trapped between two conveyors. Part of the machine had to be dismantled to release him

HSE inspectors found the machine could have been fitted with localised guarding to prevent access between the conveyors.

Warburtons, of Mushroom Farm Eastwood, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

As well as the fine of £1.9m, the company was ordered to pay costs of £21,459.

For the year to September 2016, the company had a turnover of £526m, and a profit before tax of £34.6m.

Dangerous machinery is guarded for a reason, for professional advice email me