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18 07, 2017

Safety Failings brings what they deserve

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Safety Failings|Comments Off on Safety Failings brings what they deserve

Roofing company fined after safety failings
Date:

8 June 2017

A roofing company has today been sentenced for safety failings related to working at height.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how numerous concerns were raised by members of the public about work being carried out by G & S Roofing Limited.  The company twice ignored written advice to address the issue of working at height in an unsafe manner.

In August 2016, (not pictured above)a further concern was raised by a member of the public who contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after seeing more evidence of operatives hired by G & S Roofing working unsafely from height. Inspectors then visited the site.

The HSE investigation found one of the operatives to be working on the flashings of a chimney from a ladder resting on the pitch of the roof at the unguarded gable end of the two storey house. There was nothing at the gable end of the roof to prevent a person falling. There were no suitable measures in place to prevent a person falling from the gable end, a fall which could have caused personal injury. A prohibition was served but the company took no action to rectify the dangerous working conditions.

G & S Roofing Ltd (not pictured above) of Pembroke Lodge, 3 Pembroke Road, Ruslip was found guilty in its absence to breaching Regulations 4(1)(a) and  4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by virtue of Regulation 3(b). The company was today fined a total of £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,574.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “The dangers associated with working at height are well-known and G & S Roofing had a duty to protect all operatives from the risk of falling from height. Despite repeated advice, the company failed to put in adequate precautionary measures.

“It is vital for duty-holders to ensure that all issues related to health and safety are suitably addressed, particularly when the issues are highlighted.”

Dont be a sheep and follow these examples, lead by example and gain Professional Health and Safety advice, visit https://www.ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk

Or email me on ralph@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk

3 07, 2017

Safety Standards allowed to fall despite HSE Intervention

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 July 3rd, 2017|Fatal Fall from Height|Comments Off on Safety Standards allowed to fall despite HSE Intervention

Safety standards allowed to fall despite HSE enforcement action.

A company director and site foreman have been found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the death of a workman in Brighton in October 2014.

Michael Holland, 69, company director of Kings Road, Brighton, and Grant Oakes, 46, a site foreman of Elm Drive, Hove, had both denied a charge each of gross negligence manslaughter in connection with the death of 55-year-old carpenter David Clark. Mr Clark died one month after falling through a gap in the first floor of a building on which he was working.

How can in this day and age be allowed to happen, there are numerous types of equipment and covers in the market place.

Lewes Crown Court heard that Mr Clark was airlifted to St George’s Hospital, Tooting, in a critical condition after falling 4.5m to the ground. A month later he died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton.

The two men and Cherrywood Investments Ltd also admitted or were found guilty of offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The defendants will be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on 21 July 2017.

This type of incident is totally avoidable with pre-planning and carrying out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to be compliments by a very detailed Method Statement.

If you would like to protect your most valuable asset, your employees and then protect your bank balance by avoiding the level of fine as detailded above then please contact me on info@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk for personal and professional safety advice.

27 06, 2017

Fall through Fragile Surfaces

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 June 27th, 2017|Falls through Fragile Surfaces|Comments Off on Fall through Fragile Surfaces

Yet another company fined after worker fell through fragile skylight fortunately this fall was not fatal which has been the result so often in the past.
Date:

7 June 2017

A Stranraer based groundwork company has today been fined after a worker fell more than seven metres through a fragile roof.

Stranraer Sheriff Court today heard the 42-year-old had been sub-contracted by McKeown Groundworks Limited, to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whiteley’s Farm, Stranraer.

On 24 May 2016 the worker arrived at the farm to work on the roof. As he walked along the roof he stepped on a translucent light panel which broke under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof to the ground below.

Mock up, not actual photo

The worker suffered a compression fracture of the lower back as a result of this incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that McKeown Groundworks Limited failed to adequately supervise this work at height and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height.

It was also found that McKeown failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.

McKeown Groundworks Limited whose registered office is at King Street, Castle Douglas has today been fined £12000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015.

This accident, consequences and costs to the company could have been totally avoided, if you require any assistance or guidance on how to plan and execute job specific RAMS (Risk Assessments Method Statements), then make contact via the Contact Us button or email direct info@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk

20 06, 2017

Falling wheel injures employee

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Manual Handling|Comments Off on Falling wheel injures employee

Significant risk in handling excavator wheel had not been avoided or assessed, this is simply going back to basics of protection of employees and those working around them.
Holt JCB Limited has been fined £67,000 after the wheel of an excavator being handled manually fell and injured an employee at a site in Port Talbot on 8 April 2016.

The company is a privately run family business with over 30 years experience of selling JCB equipment and after sales services.

Swansea Magistrates Court heard how the apprentice was tasked with changing air filled wheels with foam wheels on a machine intended to be used on a recycling site.

The wheel weighed more than 400kg. The incident left the man with broken bones in both feet.

HSE investigators found the company did not have any handling equipment for wheels The manual handling operation was not assessed workers were not trained in how to handle the wheels.

Handling could have been avoided for £700
Holt JCB Limited of Third Way, Bristol pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Manual Handling Regulations 1992. The company has today been fined £67,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2929.70.

If you feel that you should visit your Manual Handling Training and Assessments then you should contact info@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk

13 06, 2017

Bodge-it and Scarper caught again-2

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 June 13th, 2017|Cowboys at Work|Comments Off on Bodge-it and Scarper caught again-2

WHISTLE BLOWER-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).

 

Procedure:

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)

Email: cat@hse.gsi.gov.uk

They will also give feed back on the actions taken.

START BLOWING THAT WHISTLE AND GIVE YOURELF AND OTHER BONA-FIDE CONTRACTORS A FIGHTING CHANCE ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.

 

 

8 06, 2017

The Need to Assess all Work at height

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 June 8th, 2017|Fatal Fall from Height|Comments Off on The Need to Assess all Work at height

The need to Assess Work at height

We are aware that the majority of the readership is already complying with the requirements for assessing all work at height.

But for those who may need a gentle reminder as to what is required and why, please read on;

What you need to do

The Law requires that employers and self-employed contractors assess the risk from work at height and go on to organise and plan the work so it is carried out safely.

 

Try avoiding work at height, if you can. You must otherwise prevent or arrest a fall and injury if work at height is necessary.

Instruct and train your workforce in the precautions needed. Method statements are widely used in the construction industry to help manage the work and communicate what is required to all those involved.

Key issues for all work at height are:

  • Risk assessment
  • Precautions required
  • Method statements

Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on smaller projects.

Over 60% of deaths during work at height involve falls:

  • from ladders, scaffolds, working platforms and roof edges; and through fragile roofs or rooflights.

 

If you require any assistance in assessing the work at height you are planning on doing, or need assistance in writing RAMS (Risk Assessments Method Statements, the dont del in contacting me ralph@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk

13 05, 2017

Solar Panel installer falls from Height

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 May 13th, 2017|Falls through Fragile Surfaces|Comments Off on Solar Panel installer falls from Height

I travel several thousands of miles year in year out, I have lost count as to how many times I have reported to the HSE, on their complaints line (03000031647) the kind of work place activity that could quite easily end up like the story below.

It is only fair however, that I must also say that there are many Solar Panel installation companies who do do an excellent and safe job.

Solar panel firm failed to control risk and supervise works

A Bristol based solar panel installation company has been fined after a 49-year-old worker fell more than 3.5 metres through a void in a roof at a Bristol school.

The fall inflicted serious injuries on the man, including bleeding on the brain, a fractured spleen and fractured ribs.

Bristol Magistrates Court heard how the worker was one of several contracted by Solarjen Limited (known as Paul O’Brien Solar Installations (SW) Limited at the time) to undertake roof works

HSE found the company failed to ensure physical guarding was in place to prevent the worker and his colleagues from falling through voids in the roof. The inquiry also found the company failed to appropriately supervise the work.

Supervision found lacking

Solarjen Limited of Bedminster, Bristol, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £250,000 ordered to pay costs of £12,073.14.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Mehtaab Hamid said:

“The company failed to properly organise the work and make sure the workers knew what safety measures were needed, as well providing appropriate supervision to ensure work was not undertaken without the measures being put in place.

As a result, serious harm was caused to one worker and others were put at serious risk.”

If you would like to get further information on how to install solar panels without risk, or would like assistance in planning and qwriting RAMS for any type of work at height, the contact me info@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk

27 04, 2017

Mates in Mind in the Construction Industry

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Positive Mental Health in Construction|Comments Off on Mates in Mind in the Construction Industry

MATES IN MIND

As immediate past Chairman of the National Federation of Roofing Contractors National Health, Safety & Environment Committee, I am please to be promoting a new initiative within the Construction Industry sponsored by leading Charities, Health in Construction Leadership Group (HCLG) and the British Safety Council.

Find out more

(https://www.matesinmind.org/), which is a partnership approach including leading charities, it is a concept made real by the Health in Construction Leadership Group and the British Safety Council. The project aims to provide a consistent approach for construction to improve and promote positive mental health across the sector. The programme will be launched in June/July and those signed up can utilise a 45-minute briefing for workers, a 3.5-hour session for Managers and then Health & Safety champions from companies can attend the Mental Health First Aid Course run by Mates in Mind.

Opening statement from MIM

We know the pressures in construction and we know that people are people, whoever and wherever they are. Life changes, and families, friends and workers in construction all need a helping hand from time to time.

Mates in Mind is a charitable programme to improve and promote positive mental health in construction. We provide programmes with our partners promoting awareness and understanding of Mental Health tailored to the needs of construction.

The site’s here to provide information about Mates in Mind, and to help point you in the right direction if you need help with your own, or a mate’s Mental Health.

 

21 04, 2017

Hand injury from unguarded machinery

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 April 21st, 2017|Provision and Use of Work Equipment|Comments Off on Hand injury from unguarded machinery

Worker injures hand on drill
A company in Essex, has been fined after a worker suffered injury to his hand on a drilling machine.

(An example of guarding)

 

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how an employee had been drilling a hole in a casting when his glove got caught on the moving bit and his hand was dragged into the drill.

It is my opinion that the use of gloves should be totally prohibited when using rotating machinery in which gloves could become entangled, in a case which I investigated 15 years ago, a supervisor lost the flesh from one of his fingers when the tip of his glove became entagled in the drill bit while attempting to remove swarf, he was lucky to escape losing his finger and prosecution from the HSE.

The above Essex employee suffered injuries to his hand which required a skin graft and was off work for two months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 16 December 2014 found that the machine was badly guarded and poorly maintained. The operator was not properly trained or supervised.

The employer from Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £250,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,632.92.

If you require further advice on safe sytems of work and risk assessments contact me info@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk

20 04, 2017

Face Fit Testing

2017-10-12T09:22:28+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Health Surveillance|Comments Off on Face Fit Testing

Face Fit Testing

http://www.detectamet.co.uk/lib/img/personal-protective-equipment/fit-test-hood-l.jpg

What is face fit testing and why do I need it?
Where respiratory protective equipment or (“RPE”) is used as a control measure under Health and Safety Legislation, it is vital that the selected RPE is adequate and suitable.

To ensure that the selected RPE has the potential to provide adequate protection for individual wearers, tight-fitting RPE must be face fit tested. Qualitative face fit testing can be used on what are defined as tight fitting respirators, with the exception of full face masks.

This includes half facemasks and disposable facemasks. The performance of these types of face pieces relies heavily on the quality of fit of the face piece to the wearer’s face.

An inadequate fit will significantly reduce the protection provided to the wearer. The presence of facial hair in the region of the face seal will significantly reduce the protection provided.

As people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one particular type, or size of RPE face piece, will fit everyone. Fit testing will help ensure that the equipment selected is suitable for the wearer.

It is not difficult to comply with the Law; it is certainly less expensive than being found out to be flouting it.

For further advice and information, please contact info@ralphnbennett-hs.co.uk