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  • 1. It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me “It’ll Never Happen to Me” It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to Me It’ll Never T HE O CCUPATIONAL S AFETY , H EALTH & E NVIRONMENTAL N EWSLETTER O F R AINHAM I NDUSTRIAL S ERVICES L TD Happen to Me It’ll Never Happen to S TRIPE S PONSORS F OR T HE B LOODHOUND S UPERSONIC C AR Week 45 Sunday, October 31, 2010 C.P. Boocock
  • 2. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 COMMENT It’s excellent to begin with good news for once. 152 workers were killed at work, a rate of 0.5 per 100 Beginning this week with a copy of an e-mail to our 000 workers (or one in every 200.thousand workers John Staples from Mick Thompson, the Sub contract killed) Co-ordinator for Alstom Power Services at the Isle of 121,430 other injuries to employees were reported Grain LNG Site commenting on our scaffold gang under RIDDOR, a rate of 473 per 100,000 employees there: 233,000 reportable injuries occurred, according to • Stephan Ulatowski the Labour Force Survey, a rate of 840 per 100,000 • Brian Ulatowski workers • Martin George • Ian Hennessey 28.5 million days were lost overall (1.2 days per worker), 23.4 million due to work-related ill health And as Mr. Thompson recognizes, it far easier to and 5.1 million due to workplace injury criticise than it is to compliment, and comments such as his are not only a compliment for the lads, but also In his autobiography Mark Twain stated encourage further safe behaviours. "Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the Coincidentally I’ve had occasion to review and remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with consolidate some of our Toolbox Talks of the most justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, recent one is “Raising & Lowering Scaffold damned lies, and statistics.'" Materials”. I appreciate all the safety alerts I receive, It’s not fair to ridicule the statistics as they’ve been and so as I work through these toolbox talks I’m compiled by professional statisticians (which was a content to share them. science [or art] I could never master), and they will Whilst we‘d certainly expect scaffolders to know this have been scrutinised and tested – I find the sharing of such information most useful to FIG. 1 Shows the clear legacy of asbestos as it those who employ or work alongside or scaffolders. continues to take its toll, with deaths from Mesothelioma not expected to peak until 2016. Following on from Lord Young’s report and my FIG. 5&6 We can see that the injuries reported commentary last week, I came across this piece of under RIDDOR are about half of those reported by guidance (attached) on the DirectGov website the Labour Force Survey – although the gap between “Clearing Snow & Ice Yourself”. I have to ask myself – the RIDDOR figures and the Labour Force survey are is this the best use of public money – to provide narrowing – albeit slowly. As we read last week one advice such as this – but this is unfortunately a of Lord Young’s recommendations was to increase symptom of the alleged compensation culture and the 3 day LTA to a 7 day LTA. I’ve not worked the fear by householders of personal injury lawyers. through the effect of this as yet. FIG. 7&8 From 2005-6 the number of enforcement Health & Safety Statistics notices has increased and yet the number of prosecutions has remained steady / fallen. I’m not HSE published their statistics for 2009 -10 this week. sure what we can read into this as a reflection on Key annual figures 2009/10 both workplace safety and the work of the HSE. 1.3 million people who worked during the last year FIG. 10 The accompanying text states: were suffering from an illness (long standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made “Industry sectors with ill health rates statistically worse by their current or past work. 555 000 of significantly higher than the rate for all industries these were new cases were health and social work, and public administration.” Page 2 of 12
  • 3. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 “For injuries, agriculture, transport, storage and Now I don’t mean that someone leaves work “half communication and construction had statistically dead” – but THREE PEOPLE ARE KILLED AT WORK significantly higher rates than for all industry.” EVERY TWO DAYS. I guess there’s nothing surprising about these But as I continue to say, it’s not just the fatality – it’s statements, but in the first paragraph, public the Mothers, Fathers, Sons Daughters., Brothers & administration does of course include Her Majesty’s Sisters that are affected. Health & Safety Executive! And one of the saddest figures is the number of FIG. 13 It appears overall that reportable / reported people at work who are disabled, disfigured and injuries are falling, whereas the number of fatalities diseased, and being unable to work lose their dignity, remains stubbornly flat. And with 152 people killed and take their own lives… at work in 2009-10. And yet we read the H&SE will be subject to a 35% And my way of looking at this it to take a year of 365 budget cut. days, and take away 52 weekends, which leaves 261 working days. But back to the good news. If we now take away say 6 five day weeks to allow for Regards (and Déjà Vu!) holidays & Christmas etc. we’re left with 231 working days. And dividing 152 into 231 gives us 1.5 people being killed at work each way. Chris FROM MICHAEL THOMPSON- ALSTOM POWER SERVICES: John All too often nowadays people are keen to write/e-mail with complaints about quality of service, bad attitude, slack Health and safety etc etc. However I thought I would take some time to let you know that I have been observing your team of guys on our project for the past few days on the Pipe bridge on C2 and I have nothing but praise for their professional attitude towards the work and the clients. They all appear keen, knowledgeable about their craft, respectful of the environment i.e. location and clients. They all have and use the appropriate PPE and are obliging and accommodating to the needs of the project. Their health and safety is evident with the appropriate use of harnesses and lanyards and although these are early days I hope that they will continue in this manner. A well done is deserved to the following, in no particular order! Who I understand will be our base crew on site when required. • Stephan Ulatowski • Brian Ulatowski • Martin George • Ian Hennessey If they continue in this manner I will look forward to working with them further on the other sections. Please feel free to pass this on to the guy's credit where credit is due. Regards Mick Thompson Sub contract Co-ordinator, Alstom Power Services Page 3 of 12
  • 4. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 COMPREHENSIVE SPENDING REVIEW – H&SE BUDGET CUT BY 35% However, other stakeholders expressed reservations The TUC’s Brendan Barber said the budget cut is: about how the improvements can be sustained, given “… likely to make the situation worse, with less the recently announced 35-per-cent cut in the HSE’s guidance, fewer inspections and less enforcement budget. across the board. IOSH’s policy and technical director, Richard Jones, This will mean higher illness rates, more days lost said the key to making sure the figures don’t rise next through sickness absence and, most importantly, year is to maintain the resources the regulator more workers killed, injured, or made ill as a currently has to do this. result of their work.” He added: The HSE did not want to comment while the exact “Cuts to the HSE don’t just risk livelihoods, they nature of the cost cuts has yet to be determined, risk the lives of the people we are trying to other than to say that: protect. “The DWP has said that in seeking to achieve And if inspectors are forced off the front line to savings of at least 35 per cent over the SR10 complete the paperwork that a declining admin period, we will share more of the costs with those staff would previously have done, we could businesses who create the risks, while reducing potentially see a hockey-stick effect, where death burdens on low-risk businesses. and injury rates increase once more. The [HSE] Board will be advising further on how “The UK workforce needs a properly resourced this might be achieved.” HSE and effective workplace management for these downward trends to continue.” SHP M AGAZINE FOUR METRE LONG GIRDER PLUMMETS THROUGH ESTATE AGENTS A steel company has been FINED £15,000 after a four-metre-long The steel beam fell about 25 metres metal girder crashed through the roof of a Preston estate agents from a crane and smashed through narrowly missing two office workers. the roof and three floors of Garside Waddingham estate agents in Fleet Street on 16 January 2010. P OCKLINGTON S TEEL S TRUCTURES L TD was prosecuted by the HSE following an investigation into what caused the 80 kilogram girder – the equivalent weight of an average UK man – to fall from the crane. Preston Magistrates’ Court heard that two female employees were working in the ground floor shop when the incident happened. The girder was one of 18 similar THE STEEL BEAM RESTING ON THE GROUND FLOOR OF THE PRESTON ESTATE AGENTS steel beams to be lifted by the crane that morning. Page 4 of 12
  • 5. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 The company had spent the morning lifting girders at a 45-degree “It was only by chance that the angle to fit into the new hotel structure. incident happened on a Saturday But HSE found that nothing was done to stop the girders slipping when fewer staff were at work, through the chains wrapped around them. The investigation and that no members of the concluded the beams should have been lifted when level and not at an public were in the building at the angle. time. For such a high lift, near to people on the ground, it is simply not good enough to wrap chains around girders, in a so- called choke hitch, without securing them. “Two office workers had a lucky escape but several people could easily have been killed. It’s vital construction companies make sure they use cranes safely to prevent similar incidents happening again.” Pocklington Steel Structures Ltd admitted breaching S ECTION 3(1) OF THE H EALTH AND S AFETY AT THE BUILDING SITE AND THREE OF THE FLOORS WHICH THE STEEL BEAM DAMAGED W ORK ETC A CT 1974 by putting the Pocklington Steel should also have ensured the girders could not slip lives of workers and the public at out of the chains by attaching shackles in holes drilled through them, risk. as they were being lifted near to the public and other buildings. It was also ordered to PAY £6,706 Anthony Polec, the investigating inspector at HSE, said: TOWARDS THE COST of the prosecution in addition to the fine. “It must have been terrifying for the staff on duty in the estate agents that day when they suddenly heard and then saw a steel H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE girder crashing down next to their desks, right where the public normally stand. WORKER SNAPS WRIST AFTER GLOVE TANGLED IN DRILL A Cardiff manufacturing firm has been fined after a The pillar drill Mr Baker was using did not have an worker broke his wrist when his glove became appropriate guard fitted and when positioning one of entangled in an unguarded drill. the components for drilling his glove became tangled. He fractured his wrist in two places and needed to The HSE prosecuted E LMATIC (C ARDIFF ) L TD following have plates inserted. the incident at its factory in Wentloog Road, Rumney on 11 March 2009. HSE had previously taken formal action against the company, in 2002 and 2009, to ensure that drills Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard that 21-year-old were adequately guarded. employee Lee Baker had been asked to drill holes in metal boxes despite not usually working with the drill Elmatic (Cardiff) Ltd pleaded guilty to a charge under and having no formal training on how to use it. R EGULATION 11 OF THE P ROVISION AND U SE OF W ORK Page 5 of 12
  • 6. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 E QUIPMENT R EGULATIONS 1998. They were FINED In March 2002, Elmatic (Cardiff) Ltd received an £8,000 and ordered to pay £6,691.45 COSTS . immediate prohibition notice relating to the use and guarding of three pillar drills, and this was followed HSE inspector Hugh Emment said: by written advice from an HSE inspector. “HSE has warned this company before about not During the investigation in to the incident on 11 providing suitable guards on drills of this type, March 2009 the company received an immediate and while they did initially heed these warnings, prohibition notice, on 24 April 2009, for failures the safety standards were not maintained. relating to guarding on a pillar drill and deficiencies in “Mr Baker had not been trained to use this drill, operator training. nor had he been told about the dangers of wearing gloves while using drills. H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE This is a well known risk in the manufacturing industry, and it resulted in a serious injury to Mr Baker.” COMPANY FINED AFTER DEATH OF DONCASTER WORKER AT IMMINGHAM A Durham company has been FINED £120,000 at The driver of the vehicle could not see Mr Noddle as Grimsby Crown Court after safety failings led to the he walked across the stockyard because the large death of a man at its coal processing plant in bucket on the loading shovel blocked his view. Immingham. After the hearing HSE Inspector Geoffrey Clark said: H ARGREAVES (UK) S ERVICES L TD a major energy “This is a tragic case where a man died as a result support services company, pleaded guilty to a breach of dangerous practices at the site. of the H EALTH AND S AFETY AT W ORK ETC A CT 1974. The company was also ordered to pay £35,000 IN The loading shovel severely obscured the driver’s COSTS . view, yet despite this it was common practice for employees to be allowed to walk in the area The prosecution followed the death of Alan Noddle, where these machines were being operated. who suffered fatal injuries when he was run over by a loading shovel on 20 July 2007. “Workplace transport is one of HSE’s priorities, as transport injuries are a major cause of death and Mr Noddle worked as maintenance fitter for injury in the workplace. Hargreaves’ sister company, Norec Ltd, and was working at the Hargreaves’ Astra Site at Immingham Although this is an extreme case, I would urge all Docks on the day of the fatal incident. employers to be aware of the dangers of moving vehicles of all sizes and to put appropriate He died when he was struck by a large loading shovel measures in place to segregate people from being used to transfer coal from one area of the plant moving vehicles to prevent another tragedy from to another. happening.” H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE Page 6 of 12
  • 7. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 MERSEYSIDE HEAD FINED AFTER PUPIL SUFFERS PERMANENT INJURIES A Merseyside headteacher has been FINED £20,000 after one of his He was ordered to PAY £22,708 students suffered permanent injuries when he fell through the school TOWARDS THE COST of the roof. prosecution, in addition to the fine, on 29 October 2010. The HSE prosecuted J OHN S UMMERFIELD who is now retired, after he led a group of teenagers onto a roof at Sacred Heart Catholic College Mike Sebastian, HSE Principal on Liverpool Road in Crosby. Inspector in Merseyside, said: He was found guilty of a health and safety offence following a trial at “John Summerfield wanted to Liverpool Crown Court. show his students a part of the The court heard that Mr Summerfield had taken the group of students school they had never seen but it onto the roof on 14 August 2008 on the day of their A Level results. left one of them suffering a permanent injury to his eye.“The One of the 18-year-old students, who has asked not to be named, roof was kept out of bounds for fractured his skull, broke his ribs, perforated an eardrum and suffered a reason. permanent damage to his right eye when he fell 2.5 metres through a roof light. As the headteacher, Mr Summerfield should have thought about the possible consequences before deciding to take them through two locked doors onto the roof. “Students should expect to be in a safe environment when they’re at school and look to their teachers for guidance on what is and what isn’t safe. Sadly, a pupil suffered serious injuries because of the poor judgement of his headteacher, and is unlikely to ever fully recover.” The roof light which replaced the one the 18-year-old fell through H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE Mr Summerfield was found guilty of breaching S ECTION 7( A ) OF THE H EALTH AND S AFETY AT W ORK ETC A CT 1974 by failing to protect the safety of his students when he decided to allow them onto the roof. ROOFING FIRM PROSECUTED AFTER WORKERS' LIVES PUT AT RISK A Merseyside roofing firm has been sentenced after it allowed two HSE Inspector Nicholas Mostyn employees to work dangerously on the roof of a detached house in immediately asked the workers to Wirral. come down from the roof, and issued a prohibition notice stopping F URBER R OOFING L TD was prosecuted after a HSE inspector spotted the the work until measures to prevent workers carrying out roof and chimney repairs to a house on a fall had been put in place. Dovepoint Road in Meols on 28 January 2010. Page 7 of 12
  • 8. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 The men were working nearly five metres above the ground, with no “The company had provided a scaffolding or edge protection around the roof to prevent a fall. tower scaffold for their Wirral Magistrates’ Court heard that Furber Roofing had also been employees but it couldn’t be served with a prohibition notice less than three months earlier, on 19 used to carry out the work November 2009, over a similar incident. because of the garage attached to the house. Furber Roofing was found guilty of two health and safety offences They would have known this if after it failed to carry out a risk assessment, or take suitable and they had properly assessed and sufficient measures to prevent a fall. planned the work in advance. The company, which employs 18 workers and has an annual turnover “Every job is different and of £750,000, was FINED £2,000 and ordered to pay COSTS OF £1,500. companies therefore need to make sure safety measures, specific to each site, are implemented. Each year, 11 roofers are killed as the result a fall. It is only luck that neither of Furber Roofing’s employees were injured on this occasion.” Furber Roofing was charged with breaching R EGULATION 6(3) OF THE W ORK AT H EIGHT R EGULATIONS 2005, and R EGULATION 3(1) OF THE M ANAGEMENT OF H EALTH AND S AFETY AT W ORK R EGULATIONS A WORKER BALANCES ON THE ROOF OF A DETACHED HOUSE IN WIRRAL 1999. HSE Inspector Nicholas Mostyn said: H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE “This prosecution arises out of a lack of planning for the work, and resulted in the lives of two employees at Furber Roofing being put at risk. PRINTING FIRM FINED AFTER EMPLOYEES INJURE HANDS An Essex company has been fined after two Later the same year, on 18 November, Mark Frost employees had their hands crushed by printing was working on another press when a problem was presses within months of each other. experienced with the drive belts of a conveyer. Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard how the workers The moving parts were unguarded and it had become at the printers and binders W YNDEHAM H ERON L TD common practice for employees to use objects, or had been working with machines, when their hands their hands, to deal with conveyer belt problems. became trapped. While attempting to remedy the problem, Mr Frost On 27 March 2009, Press Assistant Paul Howard hand became caught in the belts and was forced fractured his thumb when he tried to clear a paper against a roller crushing his fingers. jam in the stacker unit of a press at the company’s The investigation and prosecution by the HSE found a site. lack of training, supervision and appropriate Page 8 of 12
  • 9. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 equipment, and that there had been no assessment It is not good enough to rely on ad hoc practices on how to carry out the work safely in either case. to clear paper jams and to deal with other Wyndeham Heron appeared at Chelmsford mechanical failures. Magistrates’ Court and admitted two charges of “Employers must ensure that appropriate breaching S ECTION 2(1) H EALTH AND S AFETY AT W ORK training, supervision and equipment are provided. ETC . A CT 1974. A suitable and sufficient risk assessment must also The company was FINED £15,000 with £2,490 COSTS be carried out. for the charge relating to Mr Frost’s injury and a Advice and guidance is available and easily FURTHER £10,000 with £3,171 COSTS in relation to accessible to help duty holders comply with the Mr Howard’s injury. law and keep people safe. HSE inspector, Paul Grover, said: Where appropriate, HSE will not hesitate to take “Incidents like this are entirely preventable. action against employers failing to comply with Printing presses are a potentially very dangerous the law.” piece of equipment, which require adequate guards and safe working procedures for dealing H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE with every kind of operational occurrence. CONSTRUCTION FIRMS FINED OVER LANCASHIRE WORKER’S DEATH Two Lancashire companies have been sentenced following the death His widow, Christine Walton, said: of a construction worker in Altham near Accrington. “It has been four long, stressful years since the incident that eventually took Peter's life. He meant everything to me and I will love, miss and mourn him for the rest of my life. “I know that the conclusion of this prosecution won't bring him back but it will help to give me some sort of closure, and to bring this type of incident to the forefront. FATAL FALL Sadly Peter's death is just one of many needless deaths that occur The HSE prosecuted H OWORTH S CAFFOLDING S ERVICES L TD and in the construction industry due G LENMILL G ROUP (D EVELOPMENTS ) L TD after Peter Walton fell five to slack adherence to health and metres from scaffolding on Altham Industrial Estate, Sykeside Drive on safety regulations. 10 May 2006. “Hopefully what happened to The 55-year-old had been working on a project to build three new Peter, and is still happening on office blocks when he fell. construction sites, will make Preston Crown Court heard that Mr Walton was critically injured when people realise that health and an unsecured board on the scaffolding gave way. safety laws are there to protect us and are not to be scorned and He died five weeks later in hospital. scoffed at.” Page 9 of 12
  • 10. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 Howorth Scaffolding Services Ltd and Glenmill Group (Developments) And, as the principal contractor Ltd both pleaded guilty to breaching S ECTION 3(1) OF THE H EALTH AND for the site, Glenmill Group S AFETY AT W ORK ETC A CT 1974 by putting workers at risk. should have ensured it was safe Howorth Scaffolding was FINED £25,000 was ordered to PAY £13,793 before allowing construction TOWARD THE COST of the prosecution. Glenmill Group was ordered to workers onto it. pay a nominal FINE OF £1 with COSTS OF £13,793. The judge said the “This is an extremely sad case fines reflect the companies’ current financial situations. which once again shows how important it is to follow health HSE Inspector Ian Connor said: and safety regulations. “Both these companies contributed to Peter Walton’s death by It’s vital that construction failing to follow the proper safety procedures for putting up companies do more to prevent scaffolding. deaths and injuries in the “Howorth Scaffolding should have made sure that it constructed future.” the scaffolding properly. H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE ROOFER SENTENCED AFTER WORKERS' LIVES PUT AT RISK A roofer has appeared in court after four of his employees were HSE took the decision to prosecute spotted balancing dangerously on a barn roof in Cheshire. due to the serious nature of the health and safety breach, and the potential risk to the lives of workers. Mr Jones pleaded guilty to breaching R EGULATION 6(3) OF THE W ORK AT H EIGHT R EGULATIONS 2005. He was FINED £1,000 and ordered to pay COSTS OF £1,000. HSE Inspector John Ellis said: “Any of Mr Jones’ four employees could have suffered a serious injury as a result of falling from the barn roof. BARN ROOF DANGER Each year 11 roofers are killed as J OSEPH J ONES was prosecuted by the HSE after an inspector visited the result a fall. It is only luck Norley Bank Farm in Norley, on 23 February 2009. He found Mr Jones that none of the men were giving instructions to the men, who were working approximately four injured on this occasion. metres above the ground, while they refurbished the roof. “Mr Jones admitted in his Halton magistrates court in Runcorn heard that HSE Inspector John interview with HSE that this Ellis immediately requested that the workers come down from the project was larger than he roof. normally carried out, and that in hindsight it was impossible to He then issued a Prohibition Notice requiring work to stop until carry out the work without scaffolding or edge protection had been put up at the eaves of the scaffolding. roof. Page 10 of 12
  • 11. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 “We publish free clear advice on the measures need when carrying H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE out roof work. Mr Jones should have been aware of the expected standards.” NORTH YORKSHIRE FARMER PROSECUTED AFTER WORKER LOSES LIMB A hired farm worker’s leg had to be amputated after He pleaded guilty to the charge and was FINED he attempted to clear a blockage on a harvesting £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,698 IN COSTS . machine while the blades were still rotating. After the hearing HSE inspector Charlie Callis said: The man who does not wish to be named, was “Incidents of this kind are all too common in the employed to help cut forage maize at Skipsters Hagg farming industry, and the outcomes are inevitably Farm at Appleton-le-Moors, near Pickering, on 9 equally horrific. November 2009. “Farmers are under pressure to bring in the crop The HSE prosecuted P ETER T URNBULL , a partner in and time spent shutting down and making safe a family-run farming firm GR T URNBULL & S ONS , after machine may, incorrectly, be considered time investigating the incident. wasted. Scarborough Magistrates Court heard the worker was Taking unnecessary risks like this is never a driving a silage trailer while Peter Turnbull was sensible option, and Mr Turnbull could and should driving the forage harvester in the same field. have done more to mitigate those risks. When a blockage occurred in the cutting disc of the “HSE is working hard to reduce deaths, injuries harvester, Peter Turnbull attempted to clear the and ill health in agriculture, but we need farmers, blockage by reversing the drive mechanism. farm owners and workers to do their bit by When that failed, he left his seat to clear it by hand, following basic safety guidelines and leaving the machine running. implementing safe working procedures at all The hired worker came to assist but while in the times.” process of clearing the blockage the man’s leg was Farming is now officially the UK’s most dangerous caught in the harvester’s rotating cutting discs. industry on a ratio of deaths and injury per size of The resulting injury was so serious that, paramedics workforce. including an Air Ambulance crew, made a decision to HSE initiatives to improve safety include the award- amputate the limb at the scene. winning M AKE THE P ROMISE campaign, which Peter Turnbull was prosecuted by the HSE for a encourages farmers to make a pledge to ‘C OME breach of the P ROVISION AND U SE OF W ORK H OME S AFE ’ by keeping safety in their thoughts at all R EGULATIONS 1998 for allowing someone under his times. control to enter a danger zone while dangerous parts H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE were still operating. BURNLEY FIRM FINED £16K AFTER WORKERS' HEARING PUT AT RISK A Burnley manufacturing company has been FINED £16,000 after it Staff at the factory which makes ignored a formal warning about noise levels at its factory. flooring surfaces for horse riding centres, were required to work for The HSE prosecuted E QUESTRIAN S URFACES L TD for putting its several hours a day near a employees’ hearing at risk, despite being given two extensions to an granulator machine as loud as a Improvement Notice requiring a reduction in their daily noise chainsaw. exposure levels. Page 11 of 12
  • 12. Rainham Industrial Services | SHEQ Group | It'll Never Happen To Me 10 45 The machine uses metal blades to shred material into tiny pieces and “Noise-induced hearing loss is a can reach volumes up to at 98 decibels. degenerative condition and the ear cannot repair itself. It’s therefore important that employers take these dangers seriously as there is no going back once hearing is damaged. “The Control of Noise at Work Regulations require employers to put measures in place to ensure that their employees can work safely, without putting their hearing at risk. “Equestrian Surfaces could have taken a number of simple practical steps to reduce noise exposure but chose instead to THE MACHINE AT THE BURNLEY FACTORY WHICH CAUSED WORKERS TO BE EXPOSED rely on just using basic ear TO HIGH NOISE LEVELS protectors, which in effect is the last line of defence.” Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard that the company failed to put any practical measures in place to reduce workers’ exposure to noise, even Equestrian Surfaces Ltd pleaded after receiving an Improvement Notice and being given advice from a guilty to breaching S ECTION 33(1) specialist HSE inspector. ( G ) OF THE H EALTH AND S AFETY AT A further HSE visit with an independent scientist showed that, W ORK ETC A CT 1974 for failing to although some changes had been made, the employees’ daily noise comply with an Improvement exposure remained high and the changes fell short of what could and Notice. should have been achieved. The manufacturer was also ordered HSE Inspector Matthew Lea said: to pay £11,000 towards the cost of the prosecution. “This prosecution highlights the responsibilities that employers have to looking after their employees. H EALTH & S AFETY E XECUTIVE Page 12 of 12