HSE International

Demolition Contractor sentenced over multiple safety failings

A Hertfordshire based contractor has been found guilty for a series of safety failings across two separate sites.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received a complaint in March 2014 from a member of the public living close to the former Chesham Community Hospital site in Buckinghamshire, concerning activities taking place on the premises.

When HSE inspectors arrived they found a catalogue of failings including the presence of asbestos containing materials among building debris, demolition arrangements not recorded in writing, and witness accounts of dangerous practises including unsafe work at height and use of construction machinery, poor site security and a lack of welfare facilities. In HSE’s opinion there was also a serious risk of injury from collapse of partially demolished buildings.

Enforcement action was taken immediately by way of Prohibition and Improvement Notices being served on both the contractor and client to ensure on-going risks were controlled. The client Chesham Care Ltd) was prosecuted for failings under the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) and fined a total amount of £30,000 in October 2015.

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard attempts were made by HSE to contact the contractor without avail. However, in June 2015 an HSE inspector was alerted to unsafe working practices at a site in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

Upon attending, the HSE inspector found the same contractor in control of workers unsafely dismantling parts of the building to recover recyclables, such as metal. No risk assessment had been done regarding respiratory exposure to asbestos containing materials. The client told HSE the contractor was working without their knowledge on the site and had alerted the police.

As well as immediate enforcement action being taken on site to control risks, a private investigator was subsequently used to track down the contractor who had failed to respond to HSE..

Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court heard Scot Ian Richardson t/a Aztec Demolition was acting as the contractor in control for both projects. After a trial Scot Ian Richardson was found guilty of two breaches of the CDM Regulations 2007, one breach of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and one breach of The Health and Safety at Work Act etc,1974 and was sentenced to four months suspended custodial sentence and 200 hours community service order. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Rauf Ahmed said: “Sole traders who control workers to demolish and dismantle structures must understand their legal obligations. This is a high risk industry in which poor planning has no place. Family members expect their loved ones to come home in one piece.

“Clients have a key role in safely directing construction projects. Effective arrangements at the start can have an amplified positive impact down the various stages to completion, including making informed and competent appointments”

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/demolition-contractor-sentenced-over-multiple-safety-failings/?

Man sentenced after worker is fatally crushed in a trench

A self-employed contractor has been fined after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed on him.

Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard how William Ryan Evans was contracted to construct a drainage field comprising of infiltration pipes laid at the bottom of deep trenches. He employed two workers and a subcontractor excavator to undertake the work at Longstone Farm, in Pembrokeshire.

Hywel Glyndwr Richards, aged 54, entered the trench to remove a clump of soil that had fallen into the trench when it collapsed, burying him. He died at the scene.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 26 June 2012 found that the work was not planned appropriately and the risk assessment was not suitable or sufficient. The workers were not appropriately trained and suitable equipment to a prevent collapse were not provided.

At Swansea Crown Court on Monday 11 April, William Ryan Evans, of Blaenwaun Twr, Trelech, Carmarthenshire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was given a six month custodial sentence.

HSE Inspector Phil Nicolle said: “This tragic incident could have been prevented by undertaking a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks, providing the correct equipment or safe working methods to the workers and managing and monitoring the work to ensure it was done safely.

“Work in excavations needs to be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure no one enters an excavation deeper than 1.2m without adequate controls in place to prevent a collapse.”

Hywel Richards’ family said: “Dad was an integral part of our family, the glue that kept us all together. Our family was devastated by his sudden death. We have wondered so many times why this has happened to us, we were meant to grow up with Dad as our guide; the man we looked up to and loved so much.

“Family gatherings and celebrations, once joyous occasions, are now ruined because dad is not there. Today, and for the rest of our lives, we are mourning the loss of dad, our best friend, our confidant and protector. Quite simply, he has left a space that will never be filled. We hope that lessons will be learned from dad’s death.”

For further information on safety in excavations visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/excavations.htm

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/man-sentenced-after-worker-is-fatally-crushed-in-a-trench/?


7 April, London – “To err is human”, to quote the poet Alexander Pope. Yet when organisations look at human performance, this often means blaming the individual for past mistakes, then trying to figure out corrective actions which are aimed at the individual or groups of individuals. A better approach may be to focus on the underlying, systemic factors that may have been the true cause of the problem in the first place.

Understanding and leveraging principles of human performance is one part of becoming a high reliability organisation. In one of three plenary sessions taking place at the SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility (HSSE-SR) later this month, scientific and academic experts will explore this approach with HSE experts from the oil and gas industry.

How can systems be set up to minimise the potential for human error? What are the elements that certain companies consistently focus on that makes them high reliability organisations? How can this best practice be applied in the oil and gas industry? These and other questions will be discussed in an enlightening session.

Session moderator Tanya Lughermo, HES Senior Advisor for Human Performance at Chevron said, “Human performance is a philosophical shift in thinking. It helps us minimize the likelihood and consequences of human error.”

HSSE-SR, to be held at the Stavanger Forum in Norway from 11 to 13 April 2016, is expected to draw a wide range of delegates to share new ideas, process improvements, technological advances and innovative applications to enhance HSE performance. As well as plenary and panel sessions, there will be a multi-stream technical programme, which will include oral and Knowledge Sharing ePosters.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit more than 20 exhibitors, who will be demonstrating the latest solutions to HSE challenges facing stakeholders in oil and gas exploration and production, as well as attend a variety of networking events, which will be an opportunity to share experiences with peers and build fruitful relationships with stakeholders.

HSSE-SR will be hosted by Statoil, Platinum Sponsors are Baker Hughes, ExxonMobil and Shell, and ERM is the Gold Sponsor. The event is endorsed by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP).

For more information, and to register, please go to: http://www.spe.org/events/hse/2016/

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