HSE International

British Museum: 1,000,000 hours and no incidents

Founded in 1753, covering 75,000 metres squared and coping with six million visitors each year, the British Museum is a unique building to protect and manage.

This exclusive infographic explains how health and safety, fire, security and facilities management come together in one of London’s major landmarks.


Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/british-museum-1000000-hours-no-incidents/?

Palletline health & safety excellence recognised with RoSPA Gold award

Leading UK palletised distribution network, Palletline has been awarded the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Gold Occupational Health and Safety Award for the third year running.

Recognised for outstanding excellence in health and safety, Palletline once again impressed the judges to come out on top. The award will be presented to the Palletline team at a ceremony at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on July 14, 2015.

Palletline managing director Graham Leitch said: “Palletline has created a culture where health and safety considerations are central to every task undertaken by every member of staff. Thanks to our policy of continually reviewing, honing and improving our health and safety procedures, our accident rates are a massive 79 per cent lower than the pallet industry average.

“We believe that a strong safety focus feeds into all areas of the business and ties in with our focus on innovation and service excellence to improve everything we do for members and their customers. We are delighted that the exemplary work of our health and safety team, led by Ken Bell, continues to be recognised by RoSPA and we look forward to accepting the award.”

David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “The RoSPA Awards encourage improvement in occupational health and safety management. Organisations that gain recognition for their health and safety management systems, such as Palletline Plc, contribute to raising standards overall and we congratulate them.”

Palletline is a nationwide, member-owned cooperative network with more than 6,000 vehicles, 12,000 staff and access to over five million square feet of warehousing space.

The network provides high quality, time sensitive collection and delivery services to a diverse range of customers, including retailers, home delivery firms, manufacturers and construction companies.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1Fqc8yI

Business man jailed after Lithuanian worker killed after fall from roof at Blackburn mill

A business man in charge of converting an old mill has been jailed, and his father, the owner of the building, given a suspended jail sentence following an incident in which a Lithuanian worker died in a fall.

The worker, Ivars Bahmanis, a 55 year old Lithuanian national living and working in Blackburn, was involved in building work at the former canal works building at Manner Sutton Street when he fell nearly eight metres and died as a result. During the investigation HSE discovered that another employee Juris Lesinkis, a Latvian national living and working in Blackburn had fallen from a height and broken his leg at the same site, an accident which was not reported to HSE.

At the sentencing hearing on the 19th May, Preston Crown Court heard that Mr Bahmanis was carrying out refurbishment work involving installing metal brackets for new roof joists when the incident happened on the 29th January 2012. While he was working alone he fell from the wall, due to a complete lack of safety measures being in place.

Three members of the same family who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the charges received the following sentences.

Tameem Shafi, 31 (19/5/84), of Clarence Street, Blackburn, who was in charge of the project, was sent to prison for 45 weeks for two breaches of regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height regulations 2005.

Mohammed Shafi Karbhari, 59 (28/9/55), of Clarence Street, Blackburn, the owner of the mill, was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment suspended for 2 years and ordered to pay £20,000 towards prosecution costs for breach of regulation 9 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007

Umar Shafi, 20 (11/6/94), of Clarence Street, Blackburn, who was in charge of the work on the day, was sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £3,900 towards prosecution costs for two breaches of regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The prosecution followed an investigation by HSE which found that the defendants had failed to plan the work at height, employ competent contractors, that they had deliberately chosen to save money and were well aware that work was being carried out in an unsafe manner using unskilled workers.

Following the case HSE Inspector Allen Shute said:

“The dangers of working at height are well known – and can be easily and safely managed. It needs to be properly planned and carried out by competent contractors.

“The defendants tried to save money by asking unskilled workers to carry out hazardous work activities around the building. As a result Mr Bahmanis died needlessly in a horrifying incident which could and should have been prevented. There had also been a previous incident on site where another worker fell from height and broke his leg, which was never reported to HSE and only came out during the investigation. This should have served as a warning to them.”

More information about working at height can be found here –http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1LfOmXq

California oil spill sparks state of emergency

A state of emergency has been declared in southern California in the US after two oil slicks, stretching nine miles, formed off the coast.

The spill near Santa Barbara was caused by a ruptured onshore pipeline.

Officials said the pipeline was running at full-capacity when it broke on Tuesday and about 105,000 gallons (400,000 litres) may have spilled.

While it has now been switched off, it is unclear how long the clean up will take.

Earlier estimates said a single slick had formed, stretching only four miles.

Emergency workers have been fanning out across Refugio State Beach to remove oil that is stuck to sand and rocks.

It is estimated about 21,000 gallons of oil have reached the ocean.

California Governor Jerry Brown declared the state of emergency on Wednesday to help the state “quickly mobilise all available resources”.

“We will do everything necessary to protect California’s coastline,” he added.
Some are concerned that oil spill could harm wildlife including birds and whales


Oil slick seen on the water


Darren Palmer, an official with Plains All American Pipeline LP, who owns the pipe, said it was running at a rate of about 84,000 gallons an hour when it broke.

The pipe was built in 1991 and had been tested a few weeks ago, he said.

Mr Palmer said the company takes responsibility for the spill and will pay for the cleanup.

Environmentalists are concerned that the oil may harm wildlife including birds and whales.

“It smells like what they use to pave the roads,” Fan Yang told the Associated Press news agency. “I’m sad for the birds, if they lose their habitat.”

The spill happened on the same stretch of beach as a 1969 spill – one that is credited with starting the American environmental movement. In that incident, several hundred thousand gallons spewed from a blowout on an oil platform, ultimately resulting in the death of thousands of seabirds and many marine mammals.


A lobster covered in oil


Workers on a beach with an oil platform in the background


The alarm was first raised on Tuesday when authorities received reports of a foul smell near Refugio State Beach around midday (04:00 GMT).

Emergency responders found a half-mile slick in the ocean, Santa Barbara County Fire Captain Dave Zaniboni said.

They traced the oil to a ruptured onshore pipeline that was spewing oil into a rain water drain which ran to the ocean. The pipeline was shut off about three hours later.

The area has been closed to recreational and fishing activities. It is not clear if the area will be open for the coming Memorial Day weekend – a major holiday in the United States.

Original Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-32821384

Colombia says lax safety may have contributed to fatal Drummond coal accident

Colombia’s second-biggest coal miner, U.S.-headquartered Drummond, failed to implement adequate health and safety practices prior to an accident in which two workers were killed when a cargo of coal was tipped on them, the Labor Ministry said.

The ministry said it will press administrative charges after finding lax procedures may have contributed to the March deaths of two workers when coal was poured into a loading pit that they were welding at Drummond’s port.

“Drummond did not meet its obligation to establish and permanently carry out a program of occupational health and a workplace health and safety system which are presumably responsible for the risks in its working environment,” the ministry said in a statement issued late on Wednesday.

A Drummond spokesman said the company had not yet been notified of the charges and so would not offer comment.

A labor ministry official who declined to be identified told Reuters that as it was an administrative rather than a criminal investigation, the company would most likely face a fine if it is confirmed that some safety norms were not heeded.

The case will be judged by two labor inspectors in a process that typically takes three to four months, the official said.

Drummond has been fined by the Colombian government on two other occasions in the last two years, once when a cargo of coal spilled from a barge into the sea in late 2012 and again in early 2014 for failing to comply with a new environmental law.

Colombia is the world’s fourth biggest coal exporter.

Reporting by Peter Murphy

Original Source: http://reut.rs/1ELx9QV

Animal feed company fined £80,000 after death of worker

An animal feed company was fined £80,000 after one of its employees died when he was buried under tonnes of wheat being unloaded from a lorry.

Andrew Scott Harrold, 33, was working at Transpan (Scotland) Limited’s Tore Mill site, off Harbour Road, Inverness, when the incident happened in February 2011.

Emergency services used a digger, while a colleague assisted with a shovel, to scoop out eight to 10 tonnes of wheat before finding Mr Harrold. He was unconscious and attempts were made to resuscitate him, but he died at the scene.

Investigations by HSE inspectors discovered a bungee-style cord was positioned over the controls that were meant to be operated only by hand – a system which ensured the operator was away from the tail section as the hydraulics lifted it up.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that the tipper was already in the process of rising before Mr Harrold had finished opening the catches on the back door, which then burst open.

Transpan (Scotland) Limited pleaded guilty to a charge brought under Section 2 and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

HSE Principal Inspector Niall Miller said:

“This risk here was entirely foreseeable. The bungees or elasticated cords on this tipping control had been on there for some time and there were other devices – such as pieces of wood and plastic pipe – that were used to defeat the safety function on other lorries. Transpan could easily have supervised drivers on site. If Mr Harrold had been prevented from using the elasticated cord on the tipping control, he could not have gone behind his lorry when it was tipping upwards.”

HSE’s website has extensive guidance on the safe operation of vehicles at work, including this page on tipping:http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/information/tipping.htm

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/animal-feed-company-fined-80000-after-death-of-worker/?

Demolition manager accused of safety breach after worker’s death appeared competent, jury told

A boss charged with a health and safety breach following the death of an employee appeared to be “competent and helpful” in his job, a court heard.

Witnesses told Bristol Crown Court Paul Priestley carried out a “satisfactory” role as site manager for demolition work at the former Cadbury’s factory in Keynsham.

Worker James Stacey died when the bucket on his mini-digger snagged on scrap he was pushing from the fourth floor of the building, dragging man and machine to the ground.

Priestley, 54, of Halifax, denies failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others at work, contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

 It is claimed that, between August 1 and November 10, 2011, he failed to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others by:

* failing to conduct adequate inductions and “toolbox talks”

* failing to act on operatives’ requests for better safety measures or safety equipment

* covering up potential health and safety breaches

* failing to enforce the existing Method Statement to relation to ejection zones from the building

* instructing or permitting operatives to remove barriers to eject large items from the building

Demolition firm Euro Dismantling Services Ltd (EDS) has admitted the charge.

Kevin Thatcher told the court he had a long career with Cadbury’s and stayed on when new owner’s Kraft bought the site and closed it down, with most productivity being switched to Poland.

He said he was responsible for overseeing the closure of the site and EDS was given the contract to decommission it from August, 2011.

He told the jury: “When Paul arrived I showed him ’round the site and showed him the emergency exits.

“I met EDS on a weekly basis. We had a report through from Mr Priestley and his contract manager.

“Andrew Cooper worked for Exmoor Safety Solutions and we retained him as another pair of eyes. He joined us fortnightly.”

Mr Thatcher said he got on very well with Priestley.

He said: “Any issues we raised I felt he was following those up in the best way he could.

“His response, I felt was satisfactory.”

Andrew Cooper said he monitored health and safety at the site in liaison with Priestley.

He told the jury: “Paul Priestley was manager at the site and he managed.

“He was moving around the area, doing his job as a site manager.

“I asked him for a number of things and Paul was always very helpful.

“He passed on information I required. He showed evidence of inductions and toolbox talks.”

Mr Cooper said that some areas of the site were not lit and he included the issue on safety audits in order for EDS to improve.

He said he had no experience of “drop zones”, which are areas from which workers eject scrap from the building .

But he told the court he saw mini-diggers ejecting small items from the building in their buckets.

He said: “I didn’t see any larger items being ejected.”

The case continues.

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1d3e2w0

Pemex E&P Head Hernandez Temporarily Reassigned After Fatal Oil Platform Accidents

Petroleos Mexicanos’ exploration and production director will be temporarily reassigned a week after a fatal oil platform collapse in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gustavo Hernandez, who was appointed E&P director last year, requested the 40-day reassignment and will move to a role focused on assisting Pemex to form partnerships with private companies that are seeking to enter Mexico’s recently opened oil industry, the official said. His former role will be temporarily overseen by his former chief of staff, Javier Hinojosa, as Pemex begins structural changes that were announced last year.

The reassignment comes after two fatal accidents in the past six weeks that killed nine oil workers and resulted in a loss of at least 238,000 barrels of crude. State-run Pemex, whose crude production has tumbled for 10 consecutive years since 2004, is hoping the entrance of foreign producers into Mexico’s oil industry will help offset declines.

 Mexico City-based Pemex plans to partner with private producers in several fields this year to maximize oil output. Pemex’s first three partnerships will be announced Sept. 30, Deputy Energy Minister Lourdes Melgar has said.

Hernandez didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Original Source: http://bloom.bg/1EHAUXr

Corfu inquest lawyer says Thomas Cook should ‘hang its head in shame’

The lawyer representing the family of two young children who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while on a Thomas Cook holiday in Corfu has said the operator should “hang its head in shame”.

The comments were made outside Wakefield Coroners’ Court today after a jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing over the deaths, following a two-week hearing.The mother of Bobby and Christianne Shepherd, aged six and seven, added that she would “always hold Thomas Cook responsible for the deaths”.

The children, from Horbury, died at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel when they were overcome by fumes from a faulty boiler in October 2006.

They were on a half-term break with their father, Neil, and his partner, now wife, Ruth, when the tragedy happened.

In 2010 a criminal trial held in Corfu found three employees from the Louis Corcyra Beach hotel guilty of manslaughter. The inquest jury found that the hotel had misled or lied to Thomas Cook about the presence of gas in the hotel.

Speaking after the hearing, Leslie Thomas QC, said: “Thomas Cook you are a multi-million pound operation. You take money from families like this one who expect to go on holiday and have the time of their lives.

“They do not expect to return from their holiday with their children in coffins because Thomas Cook staff failed to properly inspect standards of the hotel they stayed in.

“These children, the jury has found, were killed unlawfully. Thomas Cook should hang its head in shame as a result of these deaths. The family of Bobby and Christi have waited nearly nine years for an apology, and they are still waiting.

“They invited Cook to apologise last week and the chief executive said “we have nothing to apologise for”.

“Well Mr Fankhauser, today this jury found that your staff did not carry out proper health and safety audits, they were not trained and the checks were not carried out vigilantly. We ask, will you say sorry now?”

The children’s mother, Sharon Wood, said: “For everyone whose lives Christi and Bobby touched, I am hugely relieved that our fight for justice is over.

“We asked for lessons to be learned from our children’s deaths; it will now fall to the coroner’s recommendations to force Thomas Cook to act more responsibly in future.

“Thomas Cook said they offered our family practical and financial support. This is simply not true. Whilst we appreciate there were criminal convictions in Corfu, it is clear that Thomas Cook could and should have identified that lethal boiler.

“Thomas Cook put Christi and Bobby in that bungalow and I will always hold Thomas Cook responsible for their deaths.”

The children’s father, Neil Shepherd, added: “The bottom line is had Thomas Cook followed their own policy, Christi and Bobby would still be alive.”

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said: “Everyone at Thomas Cook was shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Robert and Christianne Shepherd in 2006.

“Thomas Cook recognises that the pain caused by this terrible accident will never go away and must be still very hard for friends and family to bear.

“The Greek authorities launched a thorough criminal investigation in 2010 which found three of the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel employees guilty of manslaughter; that investigation cleared Thomas Cook’s employees of any wrong doing.

“The coroner had directed the jury that the only conclusion to reach was unlawful killing as legally it had to be consistent with the Greek verdicts.

“The systems which were in place in 2006, which were intended to prevent such a tragedy, have since been thoroughly revised and address the criticisms made by the jury.

“Thomas Cook works with dedicated specialist external health and safety experts to audit holiday properties.

“The health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance and we continuously review and strive to improve all our procedures.”

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1cVuPBd

Mental health to be key stream for Safety & Health Expo 2016

With Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 taking place this week, it has been announced that mental health will be a key focus of Safety & Health Expo 2016.

One in four people experience a mental health problem each year, and in 2013, mental health conditions emerged as the single most widespread cause of long-term absence from the workplace in a survey conduct by Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Heather Beach, director of OSH global at UBM, said: “Given that 1 in 4 people suffer at some point in their lives from a mental health related issue, the CBI latest statistics showing that it costs the UK economy over £14bn a year are no real surprise.

“Inside of the commitment we have to address the ‘health’ in health and safety, there will be a content stream on emotional wellbeing at work at Safety and Health Expo in 2016.  We expect it to be relevant to our core health and safety professional audience, HR professionals and business leaders in general. We’ve already started engaging with some interesting speakers and writers who are new SHE and to SHP, around this topic.”

Mental ill health can be seen as a taboo, with people often afraid to disclose that they have problem for fear of being treated differently. However, work can actually help people to thrive, by providing a steady routine, salary and identity.

By creating a stream focused on mental health in the workplace at Safety & Health Expo 2016, there will be an opportunity to engage all those people who are able to affect change in the workplace, including health and safety professionals, HR professionals as well as managers and directors.

Attend Safety & Health Expo 2015 to engage with like-minded professionals.

Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/mental-health-to-be-key-stream-for-safety-health-expo-2016/?