HSE International

Fruit farm fined for safety failings at farm

A Kent based fruit farm has been fined for safety failings after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), visited the site following a RIDDOR reportable incident.

The farm manager at Paynes Stores Limited (PSL) fell from his ladder whilst carrying out repair work on the roof of the apple store at Bexon Manor Farm, Bredgar. He sustained fractured ribs and a punctured lung as a result of the incident which happened on 4 December 2014.

Following this reported incident an investigation by the HSE found that on 22 December 2014 a self-employed contractor working at PSL, accessed a door for repair by standing in an apple box raised at height by a fork lift truck.

Sevenoaks Magistrates Court heard that PSL had been allowing roof work to be undertaken with no controls or training specific to the tasks.

Paynes Stores Ltd, of Swanton Farm, Bicknor, Sittingbourne Kent, was fined a total of £18,600 and ordered to pay a further £9,173 in costs after pleading guilty to breaches of Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 9(3) of the Working at Height Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Joanne Williams commented: “Death and serious injury following falls from the edge of roofs or through fragile materials are all too common and proper planning is vital to ensure the work is carried out safely and the correct precautions are identified and used.”

“I hope this prosecution makes it clear to employers that they need to properly manage the risks of working at height and that HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way.”

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/fruit-farm-fined-for-safety-failings-at-farm/?

Worker paralysed after fall caused by electric shock

An electrical power company has been fined £300,000 after a worker was paralysed after receiving an electric shock and falling from a ladder.

Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard how Alan Mosley, an employee of Bristol based Western Power Distribution PLC, suffered permanent spinal injuries as a result of falling from height after coming into contact with live electrical equipment.

Mr Mosley, 56, was part of a two-man team tasked with changing an antenna at Brithdir cemetery in April 2013. After climbing a ladder he received an electric shock when he touched the antenna. Pushing himself off the ladder to avoid potential electrocution, he fell four and a half metres. As a result of his injuries he now has to use a wheelchair.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there to be a fault in the wiring causing the external metal to become connected to the 230v power supply.

Western Power Distribution (South Wales)PLC, of Avonbank, Feeder Road, Bristol, was fined a total of £300,000, and ordered to pay £18,178 in costs, after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 4(1) and 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Dean Baker, said: “Mr Mosley suffered life-changing injuries as a result of the company’s failure to carry out adequate tests on electrical equipment and was lucky not to have received a fatal electric shock.”

By Lauren Applebey

Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/worker-paralysed-after-fall-caused-by-electric-shock/

Worker killed by falling from ladder during boiler inspection

A sub-contractor was fined after a worker was killed when he fell from a ladder during an inspection of a boiler.

Winchester Magistrates’ Court heard how third party contractor, David Wood, (62 at the time of the accident), of Hampshire was inspecting a boiler in the loft space of a private residence. The ladder had been incorrectly fitted which resulted in Mr Woods falling and suffering fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 19th March 2013, found that the sub-contractor Poitr Kowalczyk, who could not speak or read English and was not conversant with current British health and safety standards, was tasked with carrying out refurbishment and improvement works at the residence. This included fitting a propriety loft ladder. The ceiling, not being of a standard height was not compatible with either two or three section extendable ladders.

Piotr Kowalczyk chose to fit the longer three section ladder. However, due to the restricted loft space it was not possible to fit the retaining bar on the ladder. The retaining bar is a safety device that locks the ladder at a safe angle.

When Mr Wood was on the ladder, the omission of the retaining bar allowed the ladder to slide forward causing Mr Wood to fall backward to the floor below. This resulted in fatal head injuries

Piotr Kowalczyk, of Howard Road, Southampton, was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs of £12,404 after pleading guilty to offences under Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Frank Flannery said: “Falls from height are a major cause of fatalities and life-changing injuries and duty holders must take steps to prevent falls wherever possible.

This accident was wholly preventable had the task been suitable thought through and the work carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

I believe the sentence passed today indicates how serious the court has considered the offence, and this should send a message to all involved in this type of work, which includes property owners, letting agents and maintenance contractors that it is essential to use tradesmen competent in all tasks asked of them. Failure to do so could result in them being guilty of an offence themselves”.

For more information about ladder safety visit:http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg455.pdf PDF

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/worker-killed-by-falling-from-ladder-during-boiler-inspection/?

Revealed: Health and Safety investigation into another near-miss incident at prestigious Spinningfields building site

Arist’s impression of the XYZ building

Construction company bosses insist a building site for a premier Manchester city centre development is safe after materials plunged to the ground while being moved by a crane.

The incident was at the McLaren XYZ building site next to the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.

This week the M.E.N. reported how one man had a lucky escape in a separate incident when a metal beam plunged from the same site and narrowly missed him.

Now it has emerged there had been an earlier incident when a crane’s load was caught by wind and blown into a column.

The landmark new XYZ building, close to the Leftbank area of Spinningfields, will include a mixture of public amenity space including cafes, restaurants, meeting spaces, a bike park, and leisure facilities.

Alan Blanchett, director of safety for McLaren Construction, said: “On October 7th 2015, a lifting operation was being undertaken, with a formwork table being lifted after a previous concrete pour, when a gust of wind caused the jib of the crane to slew to the right causing the load to follow.

“The load swung in a pendulum motion and hit a column causing a formwork beam and two sections of plywood to be dislodged and fall to the ground, within the pre-determined exclusion zone that had been set up and manned.

“Following this a full investigation was instigated. Representations were also made to the HSE, who requested information in regards to the incident. The HSE concluded that the case was closed and that they would be taking no further action at this time.”

During the incident previously reported in the ME.N ., Lewis Jolliffe, 24, was heading through Spinningfields with three friends at lunchtime on Monday when a two-metre long metal beam fell from the site.

He says he and his workmates were ‘seconds’ from being hit by the falling aluminium beam, and even felt the air brush his neck as it dropped onto the floor just where he had been stood.

Left to right, Sam Roberts, Lewis Jolliffe, Sam Vickers, Kassra Kiarass-Shirazi, who were passing the building when an aluminium beam fell to the floor

After that incident McLaren says it launched an investigation and suspended all work on the site.

It found that the falling beam was caused by a member of staff who has now been disciplined. The firm says it has also brought in additional safety measures to ensure it can’t happen again.

Mr Blanchett said at the time it was first time that such an occurrence has happened on one of their sites in 20 years of carrying out such operations.

He added: “McLaren is committed to the highest standards of health and safety and enforces the most stringent working practices across all of its construction sites.”

Original Source: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/xyz-spinningfields-building-health-safety-10524754

Man dies after falling through gap in scaffold

A man died after falling through a gap in the scaffold he was working on, an investigation has found.

Walter Booth, trading as WB Roofing, was carrying out repairs to the roof of Micklegate Methodist Church, Pontefract, in January.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the scaffolding edge protection provided by Wayne Morgan, trading as Barnsdale Scaffolding, “failed to follow the profile of the roof edge leaving a gap”.
Mr Booth, 63, fell through the gap and died.

Sarah Lee, a HSE inspector, said on Tuesday, November 24: “This was an entirely preventable death. In this case the scaffolding edge protection was not sufficient to prevent a person falling from the roof.

“The scaffold installation should have been erected correctly, follow the profile of the roof and have no large gaps.

“The standards for scaffold are well known and have been in place for many years.

“It is vital that scaffolders ensure that scaffold is erected as per the standards and it is checked after it is erected, to ensure that everything is in place.”

Morgan, of Barnsdale Estate, Cutsyke, Castleford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

He was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £15,000 in costs by Wakefield Magistrates Court.

Original Source: http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/local-news/man-dies-after-falling-through-gap-in-scaffold-1-7590575



Sub-contractor fined: worker falls from unsafe ladder

A Nottingham sub-contractor has been sentenced to community service after a worker suffered major injuries when he fell from an unsafe ladder.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that Charanjit Singh had been employed by Hardev Gutheran Singh to carry out refurbishment work at a site in Ark Road, North Somercotes, Louth.

On 11 May 2013, Charanjit Singh, 57, was painting metal roof struts more than three metres high when the ladder he was working on gave way. He hit the concrete floor below, dislocating his shoulder and shattering his knee.

He spent ten days in hospital and had to have a knee replacement. He has been unable to work since as he still suffers discomfort and has mobility problems.

An HSE investigation found the aluminium ladder had been poorly maintained. A non-slip foot was missing and another was damaged, as was one of the rungs.

On 6 November 2015, Hardev Gutheran Singh, 32, of Park Street, Lenton, Nottingham, was ordered to complete 180 hours community service after being found guilty of breaching regulation 7(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Waring said: “Falls from height are the biggest cause of death and serious injury in the construction industry. It is essential that equipment with the proper fall protection measures are provided to prevent incidents of this kind.

“The condition of the ladder was such that it should never have been used. Other more suitable equipment which was readily available on the site, such as a tower scaffold, this was not considered for this task by Hardev Singh and as a result, a man suffered major injuries that have had a significant impact on the rest of his life.”

Original Source: http://www.shponline.co.uk/sub-contractor-fined-worker-falls-from-unsafe-ladder/?

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

Fines after language barrier “results in fatal consequences”

An Aberdeenshire business has been fined for serious safety failings after a man died when he fell more than five metres through a fragile roof. A subsequent investigation highlighted a lack of communication, instruction, training and supervision leading to the fall.

It was heard in court how 57-year-old Latvian national Nikolajs Naumovs had arrived in Scotland only two weeks before his fatal fall. He was brought to the site by his nephew, Nikolajs Cernovs and son Vjaceslavs who were employed by local butchery company Bruce of the Broch 1886 Ltd, which was converting premises in College Bounds, Fraserburgh into residential property.

The two men were under the impression that they could bring additional workers to help undertake the works if required, who would be paid by the company for any work they did. Consequently they asked Mr Naumovs and his other son Juris.

The evening prior to the incident the company’s managing director had visited the property to plan the next day’s work with Mr Cernovs and Vjaceslavs. Neither of the men had a thorough grasp of the English language. They formed the impression that they were to start removing the roof the following morning in his absence.

Peterhead Sheriff Court was told on 18 February that on 21 August 2009 Mr Naumovs was working with his nephew to remove the asbestos cement sheets from the roof. They had reached the roof using a telehandler, and, while the basket was on the ground being unloaded, the two were sitting near the apex of the roof. Suddenly and without warning, the roof collapsed beneath them.

His nephew managed to grab something and was left hanging from a wall but Mr Naumovs fell five and a half metres to the concrete floor below and died at the scene from head injuries.

The following investigation concluded that the circumstances leading up to the fatal incident showed poor communication, a lack of instruction and supervision, the use of equipment which was not suitable for the task, and the work being carried out in a manifestly unsafe manner.

Although the men should never have been on the roof itself at all, as the telehandler being used was not suitable for this work activity, the company would have been able to intervene to stop the roofing work had there been more effective and regular supervision.

Bruce of the Broch 1886 Ltd, of Broad Street, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, was fined £80,000, reduced to £60,000 after pleading guilty to breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Following the case, HSE principal inspector Niall Miller said: “This tragic incident could have been avoided had the work been planned properly and carried out with the correct equipment.

“This type of work should ideally be undertaken without the need to directly access the roof, for example by using a Mobile Elevated Working Platform, or, if that is not possible, with safety measures to minimise the risk of falling such as crawling boards, fall arrest harnesses or netting.

“In addition, an employer needs to arrange suitable training and instruction to ensure that persons working there clearly understand not only what they are expected to do but also how they are expected to do it in order to ensure a safe system of work will be followed.

“In this case the difficulties arising from the language barrier resulted in fatal consequences.”

The risks associated with work at height, and fragile roofs in particular, are very well known, and HSE has produced substantial amounts of free advice to assist duty holders to comply with the relevant legislative and regulatory requirements.

Falls from height continue to be the most common cause of fatality to workers. In the year 2013/2014 they accounted for 29 per cent of deaths reported to HSE, meaning that 19 workers lost their lives after a fall that year.

For more information about working at height visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls



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See more at: http://www.shponline.co.uk/fines-language-barrier-results-fatal-consequences/?

Company fined after worker killed in offshore incident

An offshore services company has been fined for serious safety failings following an incident in which a worker died after plunging 23 metres from a platform into the sea.

Lee Bertram, then 37, from Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, was working for Bilfinger Salamis UK Limited on a platform in the North Sea when the incident happened on 16 June 2011.

Mr Bertram was using ropes to access below the deck and carry out a sweep for dropped objects that could fall into the water, potentially injuring divers working in the sea below.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard today (2 Feb) that Mr Bertram had successfully abseiled around an area about eight square feet taking photographs and removing debris. He then started back up the ropes and was a metre from the top when he noticed a beam clamp that needed to be removed, which he did with a hammer.

As Mr Bertram started his ascent to the deck he had to stop, suspended, just below the hatch in order to open the rope protector so he could move his ‘jammer’ up the working rope and past the edge allowing him to move through the hatch.

However, as he pushed down on his foot loop to come up through the hatch both the main and the safety rope sheared against the sharp edge and he fell to the sea – a distance of 23 metres – striking steelwork as he fell.

When he landed in the water, his lifejacket inflated and a rescue vessel was deployed.  Despite showing some signs of consciousness during the rescue he died from his injuries before reaching the onsite hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the job Mr Bertram was undertaking had not been properly planned and was contrary both to industry (IRATA) guidelines and the company’s own procedures.

Inspectors concluded that had the work been properly planned the edge of the hatch would have been identified as being sharp and the risk of rigged ropes coming into contact with it could have been prevented. Instead the ropes were rigged against the edge leading them to be severed.

Bilfinger Salamis UK Limited of Pinbush Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, was fined £100,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Following the case, HSE Inspector Katie McCabe, said:

“This was a tragic incident and Mr Bertram’s death could have been prevented had Billfinger Salamis planned the job correctly and put suitable safety measures in place.

“Assessing the risks of that job properly would have identified that the potentially sharp edge presented a very clear danger to anyone suspended and working on ropes rigged against it.

“However, the company failed to do this so failed to take safety precautions and instead, Mr Bertram fell to his death.”

For more information about working safely at height log onto the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm

Original Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/company-fined-after-worker-killed-in-offshore-incident/

IOSH forklift safety management qualification launched

Mentor Training have launched the first-ever IOSH accredited safety management course tailored to the needs of those responsible for overseeing forklift operations.

‘IOSH Managing Safely: Forklift Operations’ recognises the important role in safety played by managers and supervisors. The four-day course was developed in close partnership with IOSH and is exclusive to Mentor.

Mentor director Stuart Taylor explains: “In recent years, we have seen HSE highlight management’s responsibilities and we’ve seen a rise in the numbers of managers, supervisors and directors prosecuted for neglect.”

According to HSE figures, the number of directors prosecuted under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act in the five years leading up to 2010/11 has risen by 330 per cent, while during the same time period, successful convictions have increased from 50 per cent of cases to 81 per cent.

The new nine-module course builds on the highly regarded IOSH Managing Safely course, which provides delegates from any industry with a practical understanding of what must be done to ensure safety in their teams’ work, with added reference throughout to lift trucks and the environments in which they operate, as well as a full additional module specific to the challenges faced in materials handling.

The IOSH-approved course is delivered on site by highly skilled instructors qualified to NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) standards and with vast specialist experience in working with forklift trucks.

The course meets the legal requirements set out in HSE guidance document L117 (Rider-operated lift trucks. Operator training and safe use. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance), the latest edition of which placed added emphasis on the importance of supervision.

Stuart Taylor added: “This course has been developed to equip delegates with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to proactively manage forklift operations – not just safely and legally but more effectively, too.”

For further information visit www.mentortraining.co.uk.

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

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