HSE International

Firms sentenced after airport worker breaks leg

Two firms have been prosecuted after a worker suffered a broken leg when he deliberately steered his ride-on cleaning machine into a balustrade when the brakes failed in order to avoid hitting pedestrians in Stansted airport.

Carl Marshall, 28, of Little Dunmow, Essex, was forced to veer into the central dividing balustrade after brakes on the scrubber-drier machine failed to respond as he rode down a sloping passenger ramp.

As the machine came to a halt, passengers rushed to his aid and helped to free his trapped legs. Mr Marshall suffered a broken right thigh, sprained right knee and two sprained ankles, requiring four days’ treatment in hospital. He has since returned to work.

The incident, on 2 July 2013, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which today (10 Feb) prosecuted Mr Marshall’s employer, ISS Facility Services Ltd, of Surrey, and the maintenance contractor Michael Laryea, trading as Lamick Floor Machines, of Isleworth, Middlesex.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard that once Mr Marshall realised the brakes were not slowing the vehicle during descent, he shouted for passengers to get out of the way and pulled the steering wheel hard to the right to slow the machine against the central walkway balustrade. Passengers then came to help and stopped the machine moving further by leaning against it, and then freed Mr Marshall’s legs which had become trapped.

HSE’s investigation found that the scrubber drier machine had a worn and ineffective brake that had been poorly maintained. A second machine was also found to have similar defects.

ISS Facility Services Limited of Genesis Business Park, Albert Drive, Woking, Surrey, was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £5,490 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Michael Laryea, trading as Lamick Floor Machines, of Elmer Gardens, Isleworth, Middlesex was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,490 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Glyn Davies said:

“Mr Marshall’s painful injuries could have been avoided had the ride-on scrubber drier machines been regularly checked in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and maintained in good repair. ISS and Michael Laryea of Lamick failed to make sure the machine was safe to operate.

“This has been an expensive lesson for both these businesses to learn; but employers should understand that serious breaches of health and safety law that put workers’ safety at risk are likely to result in similarly serious outcomes.”

More details about working safely with work equipment and machinery can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/index.htm

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/firms-sentenced-after-airport-worker-breaks-leg/?

Getting behind the numbers: a different approach to safety reporting

By Andrew Petrie

It’s very unusual nowadays to see an organisation safety department that does not have a large team of people dedicated to gathering numbers and producing reports with pages and pages of data and graphs. As safety has grown in importance over recent years it has rightly made its way up an organisation’s agenda and will often be the first item in the company’s monthly report executive meetings.

Accompanying this rise in prominence the need for safety data has also grown to the point that collection and management of safety data has now taken on a life of its own. I am not saying that this is a bad thing, but where this breaks down is that reporting pages of safety data is meaningless unless you’re also passing over real information to the management team. Most executive managers are extremely busy and only have limited time and mental processing capacity to deal with any topic. They really do want to take safety seriously but they need short concise pieces of information not pages of data and graphs.

Time at executive meetings is also very short, you need to focus the time you have on the issues that need to be resolved. As the safety input you need to lead the discussion on safety, not let the meeting get distracted discussing minor incidents. That’s not the role of an executive meeting.

There is a common rule for passing on information and that is people can only process and remember ten pieces of information at any one time. Why not use that approach to change the way you produce safety reports and lead management meetings?

Instead of presenting the pages of data, change the focus of your report to present up to ten pieces of information. I am not saying ditch the data all together, have it in an appendix or available to be presented if required, but move the focus away from numbers and graphs to relevant information and what needs to be done about it. Here are some examples of issues you could discuss in the monthly report and meeting.

  • What are the trends, are we improving or getting worse?
  • What significant actions are overdue or need executive intervention to get prioritised?
  • Have our initiatives been working, what needs to be done to make them better?
  • What lessons have we learned and what needs to be done to share them?
  • Are there any emerging issues or threats that they need to be aware of?
  • What has analysis of the data shown, are there any systematic failures behind the numbers?

Remember at all times who the audience is and what you want from them. There are two basic questions to ask yourself when considering what to include in your ten items. Firstly, do they really need to know this information and secondly, do I need them to take some action to address an issue. If it passes either of these tests then add it to your report, if not leave it out.

On some occasions they will ask to see some additional data, and if so then it’s fine to include that in the next month’s report, just note that it was in response to a specific request and remember to take it out the following month. Reports will grow and grow with information over time and if no one can remember who requested it or why, once it has fulfilled its purpose, take it out.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of providing lots of pieces of information to show what a great job you are doing, and in doing so you are effectively wasting important management time. The executive management team will appreciate you giving then short concise pieces of information in the long term and see you as being much more effective than someone who just provides pages of data.

Andrew Petrie is head of safety and assurance at Network Rail Consulting

Original Source: http://ubm.io/1vglXYW

New focus on Safer Logistics

The aim of Safer Logistics is to encourage those in the supply chain sector to take a proactive approach to safety. Throughout the event the new theatre will feature a host of seminars providing visitors with a wealth of education and advice on tackling safety hot spots in warehousing and logistics.

Safer Logistics is officially sponsored by Alcumus, Toyota Material Handling UK and A-Safe; as well as supported by partners such as the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), and the Food Storage and Distribution Federation (FSDF). The event will include a panel discussion around the use of sprinklers in the warehouse, a seminar looking at a two-pronged approach to the management of health and safety in the road haulage sector and an exhibition area with a cross-section of product and service providers.

${– USER_DISPLAY_NAME}Chris Sturman, CEO of the FSDF said: “Having followed the Safer Logistics campaign in the media, we are very excited to see it extended into The Health & Safety Event. This is a growing exhibition, in the heartland of the UK manufacturing industry and the logistics sector and offers companies a great opportunity to become more proactive in relation to their safety practices. The exhibition dovetails well with our own initiatives such as the flagship Health and Safety Leadership Programme and the Health & Safety Awards, both of which we launched last year.”

Peter Harvey, CEO of the FLTA, added: ”Fork lift trucks are the most dangerous type of workplace transport – seriously injuring as many as 800 workers each year. Engaging staff at all levels is key to reducing risk on site, so we are proud to support Safer Logistics, which shares our long-standing commitment to safety and track record for instigating change.”

The Health & Safety Event is joined by three co-located exhibitions – Maintec 2015, Facilities Management 2015, and Cleaning 2015.

The Health & Safety Event director Tim Else said: “Four complementary exhibitions and educational events under one roof at the NEC creates the central UK hub that health and safety professionals really want – in the centre of the country. Safety, facilities, maintenance and cleaning and hygiene suppliers will serve to provide a beneficial visiting experience.”

The full Safer Logistics seminar programme for the three day event can be viewed online at www.healthandsafetyevents.co.uk.

Original Source: http://www.ipesearch.co.uk/page_560147.asp?

Large ‘unsafe’ lorries banned from London’s roads to protect cyclists

Large lorries travelling without safety equipment are set to be banned from London’s roads as part of efforts to protect cyclists.

Vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes will be required to have side guards and extra mirrors from September 1 this year under new laws.

Lorry drivers face fines of £1000 if they ignore the regulations, which apply to all roads in Greater London except motorways.

Five out of the 13 cyclists killed on the capital’s roads last year were hit by HGVs, provisional figures show.

The initiative is being enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, along with Transport for London and the Department for Transport.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said the lives of cyclists and pedestrians would be “much safer” under the new rules.

He said: “We know that a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks and lorries that are not fitted with basic safety equipment.

“Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets.

“The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success.”

Original Source:

“The big agenda” Neal Stone, acting chief executive of the British Safety Council, talks to Health and Safety Week

1. This year, Health and Safety Week is promoting occupational health. What are the main challenges that the industry is facing in occupational health?

For a long time, everyone in health and safety used to use the annual fatal injury statistics as the main metric of health and safety performance in Great Britain. The reality is that you have to look far more widely; fatal injuries are very serious and tragic in their consequences, but they pale into insignificance when you think about the number of people still dying as a result of occupational disease in Great Britain every year.

The legacy of people having to work with materials like asbestos and silica will be with us for a long time. I applaud the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for their recent campaign on asbestos, and we mustn’t lose sight of issues like this. Occupational health is not just about musculoskeletal disorders, stress and fitness, it’s a very big agenda and an issue that we have to tackle properly.

2. It has been said that health is sometimes sidelined to make way for safety. What do you think we, as an industry, can do to make health more prominent?

I don’t share the analysis that health has been neglected in favour of safety. I think a lot of time and effort has been devoted to discussions around occupational health issues.

When I worked at HSE there was a view that an inspector could go into a workplace and identify if the equipment wasn’t properly maintained or operating properly, whereas some health conditions like stress and musculoskeletal disorders can be very difficult to identify. Some occupational health conditions are not immediately apparent even to the expert practitioner.

We have got to have a far more grown up, mature debate about occupational health. Employers and employees should have the confidence to discuss health issues in the workplace and know they will be addressed.

Organisations like the British Safety Council have got a tremendous role to play in raising awareness and giving employers the confidence that tackling occupational health doesn’t need to be expensive, and importantly will produce real benefits and real value.

The British Safety Council’s annual conference in 2014 focused on occupational health. It ranged from issues like stress and mental health, right through to issues like asbestos-related disease.

It’s not a desert out there. Responsible, leading employers of all sizes and all sectors have got some great occupational health provision in place and we need to see that this provision is replicated.

3. How does the British Safety Council promote occupational health to its members?

Our full range of products and services and our policies focus on occupational health. Whether it’s one of our qualifications or training or our award schemes, we recognise that if you focus on safety to the exclusion of health, the consequences are going to be very serious. Statistics show that 80 per cent of days lost at work are through ill health, not injury.

The British Safety Council tries to raise awareness through campaigns like Health & Safety Week and other initiatives, and plays its part in developing the competence of health and safety managers by helping them to understand the measures they need to be thinking about to address occupational health risks.

4. What kind of initiatives would you like to see being run for this year’s Health and Safety Week?

I think the case has been made well for the social benefits of looking after health, but there is a really powerful business case to made for the financial benefits of investing in simple health measures.

One of the things the British Safety Council will be doing later this year [Autumn 2015] is re-publishing our review of the evidence on the business benefits of health and safety, with a new chapter focusing on occupational health.

5. What can the British Safety Council bring to this campaign?

One of the most important things we can do is open the door to our members. We’ve got 6,000 members, most of whom are in the UK and a number of whom have got really great health programmes in place. We’ll be encouraging our members to share their experiences and knowledge.

Organisations like to see what their peers are doing and if we can play a small role in helping to create a repository of knowledge and greater sharing then we’ll do that.

6. Now in its second year, Health and Safety Week is still quite young. What do you think an initiative like this can bring to the industry?

One of the achievements of Health & Safety Week is that it brings together a whole range of organisations that are committed to playing their part to improve workplace health and safety. It is a massive achievement to get all those organisations to work together to help make that vision a reality.

There are still regrettably some big misconceptions about health and safety among the public and there is a powerful argument to be made for working together and delivering key messages of health and safety.

I think it’s very important that the participating organisations actively support health and safety week and come together to work in co-operation to publicise the real benefits of well managed health and safety.

7. Do you have any advice for SME managers who might not know too much about where to begin?

This was one of the main challenges of the Löfstedt review into health and safety framework. It’s a challenge that everyone’s been grappling with for years – how to make health and safety regulation more understandable and accessible to small and micro organisations.

We need to knock on the head the misconception that it requires every small organisation to employ someone who understands every single bit of the law and has a compendium knowledge of health and safety.

Some of the key measures that small organisations have to take are very simple, and the legal duties placed on them are not onerous. The HSE is in the process of reviewing all of its guidance to make it more accessible and understandable. The British Safety Council is playing its part too, for example through our e-learning products, to ensure SMEs have the competence to sensibly and proportionately manage workplace risks.

Original Source: http://www.healthandsafetyweek.com/news/2015/2/6/interview-with-neal-stone

What is UK health and safety week?

Great Britain has one of the best combined health and safety records in the world, due in no small part to the Health and Safety at Work Act introduced in 1974.

In 2014, forty years on from this life-changing piece of legislation, Health and Safety Week was launched to celebrate the achievements of UK practitioners and bring back some pride to the industry.

However, there is still room for improvement. Despite fatal injuries being at their lowest in 20 years[1], occupational health cases are on the rise.

The latest statistics show that 2,535 people died of mesothelioma (asbestos-induced cancer) in 2012 due to past exposure to asbestos, while more than 1.2 million people are suffering from a work-related illness[2].

Occupational health issues include:

  • Cancer – from asbestos, silica, shift work, etc;
  • Other asbestos-related illnesses;
  • Respiratory diseases – lung cancer, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis;
  • Noise-induced hearing loss;
  • Musculoskeletal disorders;
  • Work-related skin disease;
  • Stress;
  • Mental health; and
  • Hand arm vibration.

The aim of Health and Safety Week 2015 is to inspire employers and employees to embrace health in the workplace by instigating initiatives and programmes throughout the year.

Download your supporters’ pack to find out how you can get involved with Health and Safety Week 2015.

[1] 2013-2014 rate of fatal injury, HSE statistics – http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatals.htm  30-01-2015

[2] http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/

Original Source: http://www.healthandsafetyweek.com/news/2015/1/30/what-is-health-and-safety-week

 

HSE International Supports Health and Safety Week 2015

The Health and Safety Week 2015 website launches today following the hugely successful inaugural health and safety week last year, which had the backing of all the major UK associations.

This year health and safety week is being used to shine a much-needed spotlight on occupational health. While fatal accidents and injuries are falling year on year, the number of new cases in 2013/14 associated with work-related to ill health and occupational disease rose to 535,000.

Of these new ill-health cases in 2013/14, 80 per cent of these were musculoskeletal disorders, stress, depression or anxiety. In the run up to health & safety week in June, we will aim to highlight the importance of having a healthy workforce and what steps can be taken to better protect people.

In the build up to the week in June, the Health and Safety Week website will be showcasing specialist content, including conversations with all the supporting associations, interviews with survivors and advice for employers on how to approach occupational health issues.

To show your support for Health & Safety Week 2015, visit the website to access your supporters’ pack.

For any queries, email rosamund.sanderson@ubm.com

Content: http://www.shponline.co.uk/shp-supports-health-safety-week-2015/?

 

Luxury Uttlesford hotel owner facing health and safety charges over swimming pool deaths

The owner of a luxury Uttlesford hotel is facing a Crown Court prosecution under health and safety laws over the deaths of two guests who drowned in a swimming pool.

A hospitality company is also accused of health and safety breaches following the incident at Down Hall country House Hotel in Hatfield Heath.

The matter was transferred to Chelmsford Crown Court by Chelmsford magistrates yesterday (Thursday) after they were told the case was too serious for them to deal with as any fines imposed could potentially run into “hundreds of thousands of pounds”.

The bodies of nursing student Josephine Foday, 22, of Barth Road, Plumstead, London, and married father-of-two Komba Kpakiwa, 31, of Arthur Street, Erith, Kent, were found floating in the hotel’s pool at about 7pm on April 27 2013. An inquest in May last year recorded that they both died accidentally.

The couple, who were having an affair, had been staying at the 99-room hotel for Ms Foday’s birthday weekend when the tragedy occurred.

Veladail Hotels Ltd, of Mayfair, London, which owns Down Hall, and hospitality company Thenhotels LLP, of Baker Street, London, are accused of the same two offences.

The first is that they failed in their duty not to expose guests to risks in that they permitted them to use a swimming pool without having sufficient regard to risk assessments carried out by Hygcam Ltd and 4SIGHT Risk Management Ltd.

The second is that they contravened a health and safety regulation in that they failed to make a sufficient and suitable assessment of the health and safety risks.

A preliminary hearing of the case has been scheduled for April 27 at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The prosecution has been brought by Uttlesford District Council. Veladail Hotels and Thenhotels LLP are yet to enter pleas to the charges.

The inquest at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court heard the pool, in use since 1987, was of a ‘hopper’ design – shaped like a grain hopper – with the deepest 2.1m section in the centre. It had four steeply sloped sides, with the edges not marked.

A safety expert said a swimmer would not be able to get any firm footing on the slopes. The expert said that gradients should not exceed 1:15 but the Down Hall pool had slopes of between 1:2 and 1:3.5.

The inquest also heard that the pool was not constantly supervised by a lifeguard and the cctv system – which was not working at the time – was for reference only and not for live monitoring.

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

Workers given baby wipes to wash off asbestos

A Suffolk contractor has been fined after removing asbestos insulation board without a licence and failing to protect its workers from falls of up to four metres at a site in Waltham, Essex.

Workers were potentially exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres and only provided with baby wipes or a hose for decontamination at the farm building job.

An HSE investigation found LJW Cladding Ltd did not have a licence permitting it to remove asbestos, despite telling the farm owner it held the necessary approvals.

None of the workers were trained to work with licensed asbestos and were also placed in danger of falling from height while removing the fragile asbestos boards.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard asbestos insulating boards were broken from their fixings with wholly inadequate attempts to prevent the uncontrolled release of fibres.

There was no use of an enclosure and the respiratory protective equipment provided to workers offered insufficient protection.

Instead of a full three-stage decontamination unit required for such work all the workers had access to were baby wipes and the farm’s cold water hose.

Contaminated overalls over normal clothing continued to be worn while the workers took their lunch break on site and also meant they could have taken asbestos contamination home with them each night.

The investigation also identified the workers were at risk of falls of up to four metres owing to absent or inadequately installed safety netting and a harness and inertia reel being used inappropriately.

LJW Cladding Ltd of Ipswich, Suffolk, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3365.50 plus a £120 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to separate safety breaches.

After the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Dominic Elliss said: “LJW Cladding’s incompetent actions led to its employees being potentially exposed to asbestos fibres at a much higher level than would have been possible had a competent licensed contractor been used.

“In addition there was a serious risk one of them could fall from or through the fragile roof because of the firm failed to provide effective safeguards. Too many workers continue to be seriously injured from falls in exactly this type of refurbishment project.”

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

Huge gulf in business sentiment and action on mental health, poll finds

Fewer than one in 10 employers have discussed mental health with their staff over the last year according to a major new poll, despite the fact that the vast majority of businesses say they should make provisions to promote emotional wellbeing.

Three quarters of business do not have a mental health policy in place, according to the Institute of Directors (IoD) survey, timed to coincide with Time to Talk day, which aims to break the taboo around mental health by encouraging people to talk about the topic.

The survey of 1,150 employees and 586 senior decision makers, carried out by YouGov, found that 74% of employees say they would prefer to discuss mental health concerns with someone outside of work.

“While we’ve witnessed public attitudes around mental health start to change, these findings show how much more needs to be done in the workplace,” said Sue Baker, director of Time to Change, the campign run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness that promotes Time to Talk day.

“However, it is encouraging to see that the majority of companies recognise they should do more and we have hundreds of examples of employers, from all sectors, who have already seen the benefits of implementing changes including mental health awareness for all staff, training for line managers, and improvements in the support offered to staff. There isn’t a lack of help and support available to employers, but we need to work together to bridge this gap.”

The findings reveal that the number of companies who put in place mental health programmes or have a company-wide policy on mental health is strikingly low, at just 23%. This is despite overwhelming support from both employers and staff for businesses to take a leading role in addressing mental health at work.

More than eight in 10 companies surveyed felt they should adapt their workplace and working practices to promote mental wellbeing, and 68% of employees agreed it was a business’s responsibility to make provisions for staff mental health issues and mental wellbeing.

Approximately one third of employees said stress and anxiety make it difficult to get their work done. The overwhelming majority – 93% – of businesses recognise that personal worries and stress can adversely affect staff performance.

Simon Walker, director general of the IoD, said business have an important role to play in bringing about an end to mental health stigma.

“There may come a time when people are as comfortable talking about their mental health as they are talking about the going to the dentist, but we’re not there yet,” he said.

“Huge progress has been made, but society still has a long way to go in increasing awareness and understanding of mental health issues. Businesses have an enormous role to play in creating an environment where such issues can be discussed openly, effectively and safely.

“After all, we spend a huge amount of lives at work and among colleagues, so we have to take steps to ensure that the work environment, particularly in smaller businesses, is one where mental health issues are well understood.”

See more at: https://sm.britsafe.org/huge-gulf-business-sentiment-and-action-mental-health-poll-finds#sthash.j3khFksN.dpuf