HSE International

Irish firm claims top prize at IOSH Food Manufacturing Safety Awards

A simple idea to improve safety for workers on a pizza production line has landed an Irish food manufacturing company a prestigious prize.

Green Isle Foods scooped the top honour at the National Food and Drink Health and Safety Awards 2014, organised by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Judges were impressed by the company’s efforts to eliminate a significant hazard at Green Isle Foods’ pizza factory in Longford, Co Longford.

Awards head judge Doug Russell said: “They used a simple engineering solution to eliminate an issue which had involved some awkward handling of heavy components at height.

“Positioners which were used to place dough balls correctly on the production line had to be changed between batches to suit the number of rows of dough required. Workers previously had to change the positioners by hand, lifting heavy bits of kit into place.

“They have now come up with an easy system of piling them on top of each other and sliding them into place when needed, eliminating the risk for workers.”

Mary Collins, health and safety lead for 2 Sisters Food Group’s frozen division, of which Green Isle Foods is a part, said: “About three people were needed to lift the equipment from the ground to shoulder height.

“It was heavy, awkward and a high risk of causing manual handling injuries. Then one of the engineers came up with this very simple solution.

“It’s fantastic for the company to see this initiative being recognised at such a national level. It really endorses the interest our engineers have in making improvements to health and safety.”

The awards gave recognition to organisations and projects that have produced a practical solution to, and made a positive impact on, a health and safety problem in the food and drink manufacturing sector.

Fox’s Biscuits in Batley and Littleport Mushroom Farm, in Ely, were named as runners-up.

Mr Russell said: “The top three were quite similar this year. All three were dealing with quite serious workplace hazards and what the judges liked was that they have either managed to eliminate the hazard altogether, or found a much better way of controlling the risk.

“What was striking is that the top three all mentioned the positive impact that the improvements had on staff, and that they had each been suggested by the workers themselves.”

Of the awards, he added: “The overall standard was high and it was difficult to make a decision. The great thing about all the entries was that a host of serious hazards have been either strictly controlled or eliminated as a result of continued efforts to improve safety in the sector.”

The awards took place on 7 October during IOSH’s National Food and Drink Manufacturing Health and Safety Conference 2014, held at the Park Royal Hotel in Warrington.

During the awards ceremony, both Mr Russell and fellow IOSH Food and Drink Group committee member Simon Parry were also presented with the President’s Distinguished Service Certificate for services to health and safety.

Mr Russell said: “I was very privileged and honoured and didn’t expect it.”

Image: Michael Towey and Mary Collins of 2 Sisters Food Group at the National Food and Drink Health and Safety Awards 2014.

Original Source: http://www.iosh.co.uk/News/Irish-firm-claims-top-prize-at-IOSH-food-manufacturing-safety-awards.aspx?

Working at height best practice spotlight

The International Powered Access Federation’s (IPAF) latest findings from its accident database [1], which revealed that mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) were connected with 23 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2014, prompted a concerned response from speakers at the sixth Nationwide Platforms’ ‘Working at Height Best Practice Forum’.

Jeremy Fish, Nationwide Platform’s UK managing director, noted that this statistic was “unacceptably high” and, with new guidance on ground conditions available from the Construction Plant-Hire Association (CPA) [2] shortly, stated that, “ignorance is not an excuse”. He pledged to, “work tirelessly with customers, suppliers and partners to ensure best practice was applied”.

Held at Sedgebrook Hall, Chapel Brampton in Northamptonshire on 2 October, as part of Nationwide Platform’s Health Safety and Sustainability Week, the forum was attended by health and safety professionals from a variety of industries with the aim of creating awareness and discussing ideas on how to overcome health and safety challenges when working at height.

Carlo Forini, Terex AWP [3], talked about the challenges of designing-out risk during the product development process. Tim Watson, from CPA, spoke about the management of ground conditions and set out the main points, which will be emphasised in the forthcoming industry guidance. Mark Keily, Nationwide Platforms’ QHSE director, provided an industry update, highlighting in particular the forthcoming revision of HSE’s CIS58. [4]

Later in the day, a workshop session considered the issues surrounding intelligent MEWP management. In addition, with about a third of the accidents recorded by rental companies involving delivery drivers, a plant demonstration illustrated the measures that can be taken to enhance safe loading and unloading.

A big ‘eye opener’ was a demonstration set up to illustrate the axle and wheel loadings on a MEWP. Load cells were set up under each wheel in order to record the imposed loads when the platform’s basket was positioned in a variety of positions within its ‘loading envelope’. While this was not necessarily intuitive to all those present, the demonstration would form the basis of a good roadshow and/or toolbox talk.

Useful guidance can be found at www.ipaf.org/:

* Exiting the platform at height.

* Guidance on the assessment of ground conditions.

* MEWPs – guidance on secondary guarding devices available to reduce the risk of entrapment injury.

* Guidance on MEWP security.

* Ready reckoner conversion tool.

* ‘Spread the load’ campaign.


  1. www.ipaf.org
  2. www.cpa.uk.net/sfpsg/
  3. www.terex.com
  4. The selection and management of mobile elevating work platforms: www.hse.gov.uk/pubn

Written by: David Thomas


Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/working-height-best-practice-spotlight/?

Cadet paralysed in fatal skydiving accident sues MoD for £300,000

An Army cadet partly paralysed during a skydiving jump which killed a comrade is suing the Ministry of Defence for more than £300,000.

Tim Herlihy, 24, of Stourbridge, was left with incomplete paraplegia after suffering injuries including six burst vertebrae during the accident in 2011 when he collided in mid air with another cadet.

Officer Cadet Harry Whitworth, 22, of Mill Hill, was killed in the parachute accident during adventurous training at the Lake Elsinore Parachute Centre in southern California.

A claim form for damages exceeding £300,000 submitted to the High Court alleges the MoD was negligent for failing to ensure the jump was properly organised and the cadets were well briefed.

Mr Herlihy took part in the jump with 27 other skydivers in the supervised “Cockney Plunge”, on August 26, the Evening Standard reported.

The claim form states parachutists follow the direction of the first jumper, but during the plane’s ascent the wind changed direction 180 degrees, possibly confusing some of the parachutists.

Mr Herlihy followed two skydivers who were landing in front of him but did not know that, unusually, they had landed in the opposite direction to the wind, the claim form states.

Two others then landed downwind in the opposite direction with some of the Cockney Plunge following them.

As Mr Herlihy came into land, he collided from above with Mr Whitworth. Mr Herlihy’s parachute failed and both men plunged to the ground.

The claim blames the MoD for not making sure the cadets were clear of the direction they should land, failing to make sure they were experienced enough, failing to appoint a jump master on the plane, and failing to provide training.

A 2012 inquest into Mr Whitworth’s death returned a verdict of accidental death.

An MoD spokesman said: “We are aware of this claim but given that it is subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further at this stage.”

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

Thousands of workplaces break the law by failing to display new Health & Safety Poster say Slingsby

Large numbers of businesses throughout the UK are breaking the law and risk being fined after new legislation introduced earlier this year now requires all workplaces to display a new and updated Health and Safety Law Poster.

However many workplaces are unaware of the changes, which were introduced on 5th April 2014, and are still displaying the old poster which was first introduced and became a legal requirement in all workplaces in 1999.

Leading workplace equipment supplier Slingsby began supplying the new posters in 2009 and has been inundated with orders for the posters since the start of the year but believes there are thousands of workplaces that still need to make the change.

Lee Wright, Marketing Director at Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 products across all industries, explains: “Workplaces have had a five year transition period to update these posters but despite this, you don’t have to look far to find an old style, text heavy, health and safety poster which still adorn the walls of lots of workplaces.

“The new poster is designed to be much easier to read and sets out in simple terms, using numbered lists of basic points and pictures, what employers and their employees should know about health and safety and what to do in the event of an accident. Each poster also comes with a hologram and serial number to certify that it’s a legitimate product because even health and safety posters can fall victim to criminals who illegally copy and sell them.”

Under the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER), employers are required to display the approved poster in a prominent position in all workplaces. In addition, employers should provide staff who work remotely or off-site with a copy of the HSE’s health and safety law leaflet or pocket card, which can be downloaded from the organisation’s website.


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

Soho Theatre facing large fine for incident that paralysed stage manager

The Soho Theatre is facing a substantial fine after pleading guilty to two charges under health and safety legislation for an accident that left a stage manager paralysed for life.

The incident occurred on June 9, 2012, when Rachael Presdee fell more than three metres through an open and unmarked ‘Juliet’ door (a second-storey opening on a set) while adjusting stage lights for a performance by the Headlong Theatre Company that evening.

Westminster City Council launched prosecution proceedings and on Wednesday, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that Presdee had suffered serious spinal injuries requiring a six-month stay in hospital and had been left a paraplegic unable to walk or return to work

An investigation by Westminster City Council after the incident “identified serious safety failings” at the central London venue.

Referring the case to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing at a later date, district judge John Zani ruled the door had been left unsecured and dangerous for “not an inconsiderable period of time”.

“Anybody could have accessed that door and fallen through and have been injured either to a lesser or a greater degree,” he said.

Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for public protection, councillor Nickie Aiken, said the accident “could have so easily been avoided with a simple warning sign and decent door lock”.

“Westminster City Council expects everyone with safety responsibilities to reflect on this, the potential result of not taking those responsibilities seriously,” she said.

In a statement, Soho Theatre said: “The Board, company and staff of Soho Theatre deeply regret the accident in June 2012 when a member of a visiting production company suffered a serious injury backstage at the theatre. Our first concerns have been for her and her well-being.”

It added: “We are committed to ensuring the safety of all those working at and visiting the theatre, and undertook our own investigation as well as co-operating fully with the council’s investigation. As there are ongoing legal proceedings it is inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this stage.”

Presdee, who has since returned home to Australia, is believed to be preparing a separate civil case for damages against the theatre.

Original Source: http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2014/10/soho-theatre-facing-large-fine-incident-paralysed-stagehand/

HSE revives asbestos awareness programme

The Health & Safety Executive has produced a new ‘how to’ website and app for asbestos safety as part of an awareness campaign.

The free Beware Asbestos web app, for phones, tablets and laptops (www.beware-asbestos.info) leads tradespeople through a list of simple multiple-choice questions about the type of building they are working in, the job that they are doing, and the type of asbestos containing material they are working on.

Depending on their answers, they will be:

  • told to stop work and get a licensed asbestos contractor if the asbestos risk is too high;
  • taken to a simple how-to guide giving them easy to follow step-by-step information for lower risk asbestos work;
  • told there is no asbestos risk and so they are safe to continue work.

As part of the £1.1m initiative, the HSE is also giving away 200,000 asbestos safety kits through TradePoint stores across Great Britain. The kits include information to help identify and address asbestos hazards.  They also include a free pair of Type 5 disposable overalls to support safer working with asbestos.

A survey commissioned by the HSE found that only 30% of tradespeople could identify all the correct measures for safe asbestos working, while only 55% of construction workers said they knew how to protect themselves from the risk

HSE chief inspector for construction Philip White said: “Asbestos is still a very real danger and the survey findings suggest that the people who come into contact with it regularly often don’t know where it could be and worryingly don’t know how to deal with it correctly, which could put them in harm’s way. Our new campaign aims to help tradespeople understand some of the simple steps they can take to stay safe. Our new web app is designed for use on a job so workers can easily identify if they are likely to face danger and can then get straight forward advice to help them do the job safely.”

Construction Ucatt welcomed the HSE initiative but regretted that there had been a four-year gap between this initiative and the axing of the previous ‘Hidden Killer’ publicity campaign.

Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said; “Construction workers are at the greatest risk of being exposed to asbestos. Any campaign that warns workers of the dangers of asbestos is welcome. The campaign needs to be as wide ranging as possible and should not be confined to one company distributing information.”

Mr Murphy added: “It is vital that construction workers receive proper training on asbestos, Pressure must be placed on employers to ensure that training takes place and workers are not victimised, threatened or blacklisted when raising concerns about asbestos, which is often the case. Employers who allow workers to be exposed to asbestos must be prosecuted.”

Original Source: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/hse-revives-asbestos-awareness-programme

Huddersfield Half Marathon cancelled 48 hours ahead of race due to safety fears

A big charity half marathon was cancelled at the last minute after health and safety fears were sparked.

Huddersfield Hilly Half Marathon’s organiser, Prohms, said that they had no option but to scrap this year’s tough event on October 3, just two days before it was due to go ahead, after planned utilities works on St Thomas’ Road failed to be completed in time.

The race was to be based at Cathedral House on that road.

The half marathon, which has raised over £20,000 of crucial funds to the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in the past, was due to be the fourth event of its kind for the occupational health provider.

But Northern Gas Networks, who were behind the ‘essential’ repairs, maintained that the cancellation of the event was ‘unrelated to our work.’

Over 50 people had already paid £17 to join the 13.1 mile event, who were expected to be joined by hundreds more on the day.

Organised a year in advance, the company was told by Kirklees Council that the gas mains work works would take place from early September but that they should be completed by October 3.

Managing director of Prohms, Sandra Babbings, said: “It became apparent that the work may not be finished in time, so we took the difficult decision to cancel the race as we were concerned about the runners having to navigate the partially closed road.

“It’s disappointing for everyone involved. Our team has spent many hours organising the event-people were looking forward to taking part and, of course, the half marathon has raised lots of money for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in the past.

“It’s a shame we won’t be able to do it again this year and we have offered all those who entered the option of a refund or donating their money to the charity.”

Prohms previous half marathons have seen competitors take on the formidable hills of Huddersfield on a circular urban and rural course, which takes in Crosland Moor, Meltham, South Crosland and Armitage Bridge and planning for next year’s event has already got underway.

A spokesman for Northern Gas Networks said the work was undertaken to replace ageing metal gas mains in the area and that their completion date is now due to be October 17.

The site’s manager, Andrew Lambert, said: “We’ve planned our work closely with Kirklees Highways to minimise disruption to both residents and motorists.

“We’ve also put plans into operation to man traffic lights on St Thomas Road and to ensure the public’s safety during the half event.

“But due to circumstances unrelated to our work, the event was subsequently cancelled.

“We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this essential work has caused and thank everyone for their patience.”

Original Source: http://bit.ly/1sa3Q8P

British start-up creates safety clothing that can be seen 1.5 miles away in total darkness

They have been a constant on motorways and building sites for more than two decades – and now the hi-vis jacket is heading for a fashion upgrade.

A modern take on the safety wear that makes garments visible from 1.5miles away in complete darkness has been unveiled.

The technologically-enhanced makeover of the building site staple uses a concealed battery to light up bright strips on the clothing that can be seen from long distances.

Bosses at Network Rail, London Underground and infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty have already snapped up the items of clothing for use on their work sites.

Fhoss, the company behind the high tech clothing, claims its products could revolutionise workplace safety and save the lives of those working in dangerous situations.

Traditional hi-vis clothing uses reflective material that first requires light to be shone on it before it works.

Bosses at Network Rail, London Underground and infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty have already snapped up the items of clothing for use on their work sites.

Fhoss, the company behind the high tech clothing, claims its products could revolutionise workplace safety and save the lives of those working in dangerous situations.

Traditional hi-vis clothing uses reflective material that first requires light to be shone on it before it works.

But by incorporating battery-powered strips on top of normal reflective material, the manufacturers claim that their jackets will be significantly harder to miss.

Wet weather also reduces the visibility of traditional clothing by up to 70 per cent, while the powered jackets do not lose any effectiveness in adverse conditions, it is claimed.

Andrew Kimitri, the man behind the company that started in November last year, has patented the technology and has his eyes on claiming a large stake of the multi-billion personal protective equipment market.

The Weston-super-Mare business is already producing 5,000 pieces of clothing a month and has designed trousers and shoes that also use the technology.

The clothing uses electroluminescent technology connected to a battery that provides 15 hours of light before recharging.

Mr Kimitri, 40, initially thought of the idea while working in the hotel industry and nightclub industry.

He said: ‘I’ve spent 20 years running hotels, bars and nightclubs. Doormen don’t tend to stand out; they look like anyone. I wanted to help distinguish the security personnel in case of an emergency.’

Mr Kimitri spent three years developing the idea, eventually realising that the concept easily leant itself to the safety clothing industry.

He said: ‘High–vis clothing hasn’t changed for 20 years. The main achievement was to get a battery on a man.

‘When I started the business, a rival asked, “Are you the fool that wants to put lighting onto a high–vis vest?”‘

After securing £750,000 in funding, the company is already enjoying success and is importing products to America, Australia and Europe.

The businessman also said that he envisages runners and cyclists using the technology in the future, with the company hoping to make a turnover of £3million this year.

Original Source: http://dailym.ai/1rgIj9i

Laing O’Rourke worker killed at Heathrow Airport

A Laing O’Rourke worker has been killed at a Heathrow Airport construction site.

The fatality occurred this morning at O’Rourke’s T2 multi-storey car park site where the worker was hit by a dumper truck.

The Enquirer understands that the victim was part of the night shift.

It is believed a mobile hoist broke down on the site and a colleague was using a dumper truck to try and shift it when the truck came into collision with the victim.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “Police were called by London Ambulance Service at 04:46hrs on Thursday, 2 October to Cayley Road, close to the Ground Floor Car Park at Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport, following reports of a road traffic collision.

“Officers attended and found a man in his thirties suffering serious injuries following a collision with a truck.

“The man died at the scene a short while later at 05:45hrs.

“Next of kin have been informed but we await formal identification.

“A post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

“The driver of the truck stopped at the scene. It is not believed that any other vehicles were involved.

“The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and enquiries are under way into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“No arrests have been made. Enquiries are ongoing.”

It is understood the £77m car park job is just weeks away from completion and hand over.

Original Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2014/10/02/laing-orourke-worker-killed-at-heathrow/

180,000 drivers caught not wearing seat belts as number of given fixed penalties rises 17% in five years

180,000 drivers caught not wearing seat belts as number given fixed penalties rises 17% in five years

The number of drivers being pulled over for not wearing seatbelts has soared.

Nearly 180,000 fixed penalty notices were issued for seatbelt offences last year – a 17 per cent increase on the figure for 2009.

More than 80,000 drivers have been penalised so far this year for not wearing a belt and have been charged £8.2 million in fines, according to LV car insurance from 28 of the 45 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland.

In a survey also from LV, 47 per cent of motorists were unaware they could be fined for not wearing a seat belt.

Of 1,578 drivers polled, 6 per cent of drivers admitted they did not wear a seat belt and one in ten said they don’t wear one when they are a front-seat passenger.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed said they do not always wear a seat belt when sitting in the back, and 42 per cent said they don’t wear one when travelling by taxi.

Among those not wearing belts, older drivers said they were too restricting while younger motorists said they sometimes did not comply on short journeys.

A third of drivers aged 65 or more who did not wear seat belts said they were afraid of getting stuck in the car if they had an accident.

LV said government figures showed that 19 per cent of people killed in car accidents last year were not wearing seatbelts. It added that of these, safety experts estimated that half would have survived if they had been restrained.

LV managing director John O’Roarke said: ‘Wearing a seat belt can drastically improve your chances of survival in an accident, even if it’s just for a short journey.

‘The research shows that too many people are still taking unnecessary risks when driving or travelling as a passenger. There is only so much you can do to prevent being in a car accident but wearing a seat belt costs nothing and it may save your life one day.’

Original Source: http://dailym.ai/1E4izqJ