It'll never happen to me 10 45


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It'll never happen to me 10 45

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