HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures – second lowest year on record

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has this week released its annual figures for work-related fatalities, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2015.

The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that 137 workers were fatally injured between April 2016 and March 2017 (a rate of 0.43 per 100,000 workers), the second lowest year on record.

There has been a long-term downward trend in the number of fatal injuries to workers – they have halved over the last 20 years – although in recent years the trend shows signs of leveling.

HSE Chair Martin Temple said:

“Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen. While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”

The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

  • 30 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded. While this accounts for the largest share, this is the lowest number on record for the sector. However, over the last five years the number has fluctuated, The annual average for the past five years is 39. The annual average rate over the last five years in construction is around four times as high as the all industry rate.
  • 27 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded. This sector continues to account for a large share of the annual fatality count. It has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate.
  • 14 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded. Despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the annual average fatal injury rate over the last five years is around 15 times as high as the all industry rate.

The fatalities in the waste and recycling sector in 2016/17 include the single incident at Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Ltd in Birmingham on 7 July 2016 which resulted in five deaths.

Martin Temple continued:

“As we approach the one-year anniversary of this incident, our thoughts remain with the families of those who died. We continue to fully support West Midlands Police’s investigation.”

The new figures also highlight the risks to older workers – around a quarter of fatal injuries in 2016/17 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10% of the workforce.

There were also 92 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2016/17. Almost half of these occurred on railways with the remainder occurring across a number of sectors including public services, entertainment and recreation.

Mesothelioma, one of the few work related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos killed 2,542 in Great Britain in 2015 compared to 2,519 in 2014. The current figures relating to asbestos-related cancer reflect widespread exposures before 1980. Annual deaths are therefore expected to start to reduce after this current decade.

A fuller assessment of work related ill-health and injuries, drawing on HSE’s full range of data sources, will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release on 1 November 2017.

The HSE Chair added:

“We deal daily with the causes and consequences of work-related deaths, injuries and ill health. Today’s updated figures continue to inform our understanding of which areas we need to target.”

“We concentrate our interventions where we know we can have the biggest impact. We hold dutyholders accountable for managing the risks they create in the workplace. This benefits workers, business performance, the economy and wider society alike.”

Further information on these statistics can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics. For more information on any of the above topics, visit the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk, or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

 

OVERHEAD POWER LINES – FARMING AND DRILLING CONTRACTORS FINED AFTER MAST STRIKES POWER LINE

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Farming and drilling contractors fined after mast strikes power line

Two Norfolk-based companies have been fined after a worker suffered life-changing injuries following an overhead power line strike.

Norwich Crown Court heard that a contract farming company and water engineering company had organised drilling work for the purposes of crop irrigation at Felmingham, Norfolk.

In April 2014, an employee of the water engineering company was operating the controls of a lorry mounted drilling rig. A colleague moved the lorry and its mast came into contact with an 11kV power line over a field. The employee suffered serious injury including extensive burns to his scalp, arms, legs and feet and loss of two toes.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found that neither company had taken effective precautions to prevent work equipment, including the mast of the drilling rig, which was capable of extending to a height greater than that of the powerlines, from coming into contact with them.

The contract farming company pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £134,000 with £6484,45 costs.

The water engineering company pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £80,400 with £6596,05 costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Jessica Churchyard said:

“This tragic incident has had devastating consequences for [the employee] and his family.

“Similar incidents involving overhead power line strikes remain all too common in Great Britain and are almost always entirely avoidable.

“Duty holders planning, organising and carrying out such work must ensure that site-specific risks are identified and controlled. Where hazardous electrical conductors need to be kept live, workers and equipment must be kept at a safe distance from them.

“Here, no effective precautions were implemented and workers were put at potentially lethal risk with [the employee] suffering injuries which will affect him for the rest of his life.”

Overhead power lines

What you need to know

Accidental contact with live overhead power lines kills people and causes many serious injuries every year. People are also harmed when a person or object gets too close to a line and a flashover occurs. Work involving high vehicles or long equipment is particularly high risk, such as;

In Construction – Lorry mounted cranes (such as Hiabs), Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP’s), scaffold poles, tipper vehicles, cranes, ladders;

In Agriculture – combines, sprayer booms, materials handlers, tipper vehicles, ladders, irrigation pipes, polytunnels; Remember:

  • going close to a live overhead line can result in a flashover that may kill. Touching a power line is not necessary for danger;
  • voltages lower than 230 volts can kill and injure people;
  • do not mistake overhead power lines on wooden poles for telephone wires; and
  • electricity can bypass wood, plastic or rubber, if it is damp or dirty, and cause fatal shocks. Don’t rely on gloves or rubber boots to protect you.

You can download a free leaflet called “Safe working near overhead power lines in agriculture” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/withdrawn/indg389.htm)

The guidance note “Avoiding danger from overhead power lines” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/gs6.htm) describes how to work safely near overhead power lines in a range of industries.

The Electricity Networks Association (ENA) publications:

  • Safety Information for Farmers and Agricultural Contractors
  • Watch It! In the Vicinity of Overhead Lines
  • Safety Information for Farmers Utilising Polytunnels
  • Safe tree working in proximity to overhead electric lines ENA Engineering Recommendation G55/1
  • The ENA also provide advice on what to do if machinery comes into contact with an overhead power line.

What you need to do

Plan and manage work near electric overhead power lines so that risks from accidental contact or close proximity to the lines are adequately controlled.

Safety precautions will depend on the nature of the work and will be essential even when work near the line is of short duration.

Safety can be achieved by a combination of measures:

  • Planning and preparation
  • Eliminating the danger
  • Controlling the access
  • Controlling the work

Planning and preparation

The first step is to find out whether there is any overhead power line within or immediately next to the work area, or across any access route.

Information will be available from the local electricity supplier or Distribution Network Operator (DNO). If any overhead lines are found, you should assume that they are live unless proved otherwise by their owners.

If there are any overhead lines over the work area, near the site boundaries, or over access roads to the work area, consult the owners of the lines so that the proposed plan of work can be discussed.

Allow sufficient time for lines to be diverted or made dead, or for other precautions to be taken as described below.

Eliminating the danger

You can eliminate the danger by:

  • Avoidance – find out if the work really has to be carried out under or near overhead lines, and can’t be done somewhere else. Make sure materials (such as bales or spoil) are not placed near overhead lines, and temporary structures (such as polytunnels) are erected outside safe clearance distances;
  • Diversion – arrange for overhead lines to be diverted away from the work area; or Isolation – arrange for lines to be made dead while the work is being done.

In some cases you may need to use a suitable combination of these measures, particularly where overhead lines pass over permanent work areas.

If the danger cannot be eliminated, you should manage the risk by controlling access to, and work beneath, overhead power lines.

Controlling the access

Where there is no scheduled work or requirement for access under the lines, barriers should be erected at the correct clearance distance away from the line to prevent close approach. The safe clearance distance should be ascertained from the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). HSE guidance documents Avoidance of danger from overhead electric power lines and Electricity at Work: Forestry and Arboriculture also provide advice on safe clearance distances and how barriers should be constructed. Where there is a requirement to pass beneath the lines, defined passageways should be made.

The danger area should be made as small as possible by restricting the width of the passageway to the minimum needed for the safe crossing of plant. The passageway should cross the route of the overhead line at right angles if possible.

Controlling the work

If work beneath live overhead power lines cannot be avoided, barriers, goal posts and warning notices should be provided. Where field work is taking place it may be impractical to erect barriers and goal posts around the overhead lines – these are more appropriate for use at gateways, on tracks and at access points to farm yards.

The following precautions may also be needed to manage the risk:

  • Clearance – the safe clearance required beneath the overhead lines should be found by contacting the Distribution Network Operator (DNO);
  • Exclusion – vehicles, plant, machinery, equipment, or materials that could reach beyond the safe clearance distance should not be taken near the line;
  • Modifications – Vehicles such as cranes, excavators and tele-handlers should be modified by the addition of suitable physical restraints so that they cannot reach beyond the safe clearance distances, measures should be put in place to ensure these restraints are effective and cannot be altered or tampered with;
  • Maintenance – operators of high machinery should be instructed not carry out any work on top of the machinery near overhead power lines;
  • Supervision – access for plant and materials and the working of plant should be under the direct supervision of a suitable person appointed to ensure that safety precautions are observed.

What to do if you come into contact with an OHPL

  • If part of a vehicle or load is in contact with an OHPL, you should remain in the cab and inform the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) immediately (stick the number in a visible place in the cab and keep it on your mobile phone).
  • Warn others to stay away.
  • Try to drive clear. If this is not possible, and you need to leave the vehicle to escape fire, JUMP CLEAR – do not dismount by climbing down the steps.
  • Never try to disentangle equipment until the owner of the line has confirmed that it has been de-energised and made safe.

WARNING: Contact with an overhead power line may cause the power to ‘trip out’ temporarily and it may be re-energised automatically, without warning.

Your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) can generally supply stickers describing emergency procedures and containing contact numbers that can be stuck in the cabs of vehicles likely to be used near overhead power lines.

The leaflet called Safe working near overhead power lines in agriculture and the Electricity Networks Association (ENA) publications Safety Information for Farmers and Agricultural Contractors and Watch It! In the Vicinity of Overhead Lines provide advice on what to do if machinery or equipment comes into contact with an overhead power line.

Find out more

This 4 page information sheet gives lots of practical guidance on how to avoid danger when working near overhead power lines. It is aimed at those working in agriculture, but many of the principles described are applicable to other work activities. Topics covered include safe working distances from overhead lines, assessing and reducing the risks from overhead lines, use of barriers and goalposts, operating vehicles near overhead lines, ladders, and the safe stacking of materials.

General electrical information

There is also a priced interactive CD produced by HSE that provides a lot of general advice regarding electrical matters: http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/information.htm#cd

The Simple Precautions (http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/precautions.htm) and Frequently asked Questions (http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq.htm) web pages will help you to select the best guidance on working with electricity.

Many other organisations provide information about electrical matters: http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/links.htm

Information on accident statistics is also available from a number of sources: http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/links.htm

For more information, visit the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/information/overhead.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 23RD JUNE 2016

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Electrical safety at work – worker suffers serious injury from contact with overhead power line

A stonemasonry company in Perth has been fined £16,000 after an apprentice stonemason was seriously injured from contact with an overhead power line.

Perth Sheriff Court heard how the 20 year old apprentice was working for the stonemasonry company, carrying out repairs at a cottage in Perth.

During this work, he erected a tower scaffold to carry out some re-pointing work.

While on the scaffold he came into contact with overhead 240volt electricity power lines that were supplying the cottage. The wind caused the power line to brush against his back causing him to turn around instinctively and grab the live wire. The flow of the current meant he was unable to let go for a few seconds until he jumped down from the board on the tower scaffold. His weight broke the wire and interrupted the flow of current.

He received an electric shock and suffered burns to both hands requiring graft surgery and a possible future amputation of a little finger.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 2 August 2012 found that the stone masonry company should have developed a safe system of work.

Overhead power lines

What you need to know

Accidental contact with live overhead power lines kills people and causes many serious injuries every year. People are also harmed when a person or object gets too close to a line and a flashover occurs. Work involving high vehicles or long equipment is particularly high risk, such as;

In Construction – Lorry mounted cranes (such as Hiabs), Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP’s), scaffold poles, tipper vehicles, cranes, ladders;

In Agriculture – combines, sprayer booms, materials handlers, tipper vehicles, ladders, irrigation pipes, polytunnels; Remember:

  • going close to a live overhead line can result in a flashover that may kill. Touching a power line is not necessary for danger;
  • voltages lower than 230 volts can kill and injure people;
  • do not mistake overhead power lines on wooden poles for telephone wires; and
  • electricity can bypass wood, plastic or rubber, if it is damp or dirty, and cause fatal shocks. Don’t rely on gloves or rubber boots to protect you.

You can download a free leaflet called “Safe working near overhead power lines in agriculture”: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/withdrawn/indg389.htm

The guidance note “Avoiding danger from overhead power lines” describes how to work safely near overhead power lines in a range of industries: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/gs6.htm

The Electricity Networks Association (ENA) publications:

  • Safety Information for Farmers and Agricultural Contractors
  • Watch It! In the Vicinity of Overhead Lines
  • Safety Information for Farmers Utilising Polytunnels
  • Safe tree working in proximity to overhead electric lines ENA Engineering Recommendation G55/1
  • The ENA also provide advice on what to do if machinery comes into contact with an overhead power line.

What you need to do

Plan and manage work near electric overhead power lines so that risks from accidental contact or close proximity to the lines are adequately controlled.

Safety precautions will depend on the nature of the work and will be essential even when work near the line is of short duration.

Safety can be achieved by a combination of measures:

  • Planning and preparation
  • Eliminating the danger
  • Controlling the access
  • Controlling the work

Planning and preparation

The first step is to find out whether there is any overhead power line within or immediately next to the work area, or across any access route.

Information will be available from the local electricity supplier or Distribution Network Operator (DNO). If any overhead lines are found, you should assume that they are live unless proved otherwise by their owners.

If there are any overhead lines over the work area, near the site boundaries, or over access roads to the work area, consult the owners of the lines so that the proposed plan of work can be discussed.

Allow sufficient time for lines to be diverted or made dead, or for other precautions to be taken as described below.

Eliminating the danger

You can eliminate the danger by:

  • Avoidance – find out if the work really has to be carried out under or near overhead lines, and can’t be done somewhere else. Make sure materials (such as bales or spoil) are not placed near overhead lines, and temporary structures (such as polytunnels) are erected outside safe clearance distances;
  • Diversion – arrange for overhead lines to be diverted away from the work area; or Isolation – arrange for lines to be made dead while the work is being done.

In some cases you may need to use a suitable combination of these measures, particularly where overhead lines pass over permanent work areas.

If the danger cannot be eliminated, you should manage the risk by controlling access to, and work beneath, overhead power lines.

Controlling the access

Where there is no scheduled work or requirement for access under the lines, barriers should be erected at the correct clearance distance away from the line to prevent close approach. The safe clearance distance should be ascertained from the Distribution Network Operator (DNO). HSE guidance documents Avoidance of danger from overhead electric power lines and Electricity at Work: Forestry and Arboriculture also provide advice on safe clearance distances and how barriers should be constructed. Where there is a requirement to pass beneath the lines, defined passageways should be made.

The danger area should be made as small as possible by restricting the width of the passageway to the minimum needed for the safe crossing of plant. The passageway should cross the route of the overhead line at right angles if possible.

Controlling the work

If work beneath live overhead power lines cannot be avoided, barriers, goal posts and warning notices should be provided. Where field work is taking place it may be impractical to erect barriers and goal posts around the overhead lines – these are more appropriate for use at gateways, on tracks and at access points to farm yards.

The following precautions may also be needed to manage the risk:

  • Clearance – the safe clearance required beneath the overhead lines should be found by contacting the Distribution Network Operator (DNO);
  • Exclusion – vehicles, plant, machinery, equipment, or materials that could reach beyond the safe clearance distance should not be taken near the line;
  • Modifications – Vehicles such as cranes, excavators and tele-handlers should be modified by the addition of suitable physical restraints so that they cannot reach beyond the safe clearance distances, measures should be put in place to ensure these restraints are effective and cannot be altered or tampered with;
  • Maintenance – operators of high machinery should be instructed not carry out any work on top of the machinery near overhead power lines;
  • Supervision – access for plant and materials and the working of plant should be under the direct supervision of a suitable person appointed to ensure that safety precautions are observed.

What to do if you come into contact with an OHPL

  • If part of a vehicle or load is in contact with an OHPL, you should remain in the cab and inform the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) immediately (stick the number in a visible place in the cab and keep it on your mobile phone).
  • Warn others to stay away.
  • Try to drive clear. If this is not possible, and you need to leave the vehicle to escape fire, JUMP CLEAR – do not dismount by climbing down the steps.
  • Never try to disentangle equipment until the owner of the line has confirmed that it has been de-energised and made safe.

WARNING: Contact with an overhead power line may cause the power to ‘trip out’ temporarily and it may be re-energised automatically, without warning.

Your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) can generally supply stickers describing emergency procedures and containing contact numbers that can be stuck in the cabs of vehicles likely to be used near overhead power lines.

The leaflet called Safe working near overhead power lines in agriculture and the Electricity Networks Association (ENA) publications Safety Information for Farmers and Agricultural Contractors and Watch It! In the Vicinity of Overhead Lines provide advice on what to do if machinery or equipment comes into contact with an overhead power line.

Find out more

Working safely near overhead power lines (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ais8.htm)

This 4 page information sheet gives lots of practical guidance on how to avoid danger when working near overhead power lines. It is aimed at those working in agriculture, but many of the principles described are applicable to other work activities. Topics covered include safe working distances from overhead lines, assessing and reducing the risks from overhead lines, use of barriers and goalposts, operating vehicles near overhead lines, ladders, and the safe stacking of materials.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/gs6.htm

General electrical information

The Simple Precautions (http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/precautions.htm) and Frequently asked Questions (http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq.htm) web pages will help you to select the best guidance on working with electricity

Many other organisations provide information about electrical matters: http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/links.htm

Information on accident statistics is also available from a number of sources: http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/links.htm

For more information visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/information/overhead.htm, or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 2ND JUNE 2016

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Tyre removal, replacement and inflation – firm fined £1million after young worker killed by exploding tyre

A Kent tyre company has been sentenced for safety failings after a 21-year-old employee was killed when a tyre exploded.

Canterbury Crown Court heard how he was repairing a puncture to the tyre of a ‘dresser loading shovel’ when it exploded.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that he was working on his own with inadequate work equipment which was not properly maintained. He was not trained or competent to undertake the work he was told to complete.

After the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Mike Walters said: “Employees need to be provided with properly maintained equipment and the correct equipment to undertake tasks whilst out on site. Employees also need to be trained and competent in the tasks they were asked to undertake.”

The type company pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 were this week fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £99,485.

Tyre removal, replacement and inflation

Tyre removal, replacement and inflation should only be tackled by competent staff. The main hazards which can arise include:

  • manual handling injuries, which account for nearly a half of all tyre-related incidents reported;
  • tool-related injuries (which make up a quarter of incidents), particularly from handtools such as tyre levers; and
  • compressed-air accidents eg from a ruptured or burst tyre or violent separation of the component parts of the wheel. These accidents tend to result in serious injuries, including fatalities.

Safety during tyre inflation

Inflated tyres contain a large amount of stored energy, which varies according to the inflation pressure and the surface area of the tyre (eg the sidewall of a typical commercial vehicle tyre has to withstand over 34 tonnes of force from compressed air before additional carriage weight is taken into account).

If the tyre fails, an explosive force can be released at an angle of up to 45 degrees from the rupture (which is often, but not always, the face of the sidewall). This has resulted in numerous fatalities over the years. It is crucial that the airline hose between the clip-on chuck and the pressure gauge/control is long enough to allow the operator to stand outside the likely trajectory of any explosion during inflation. This will vary depending on the size of the tyre and its positioning.

Car tyres generally contain less energy than truck tyres and their size and profile make them less likely to fail catastrophically. Sensible precautions are still required, but a restraining device such as a safety cage is not normally necessary.

Light commercial tyres are now commonly found with pressures around 70psi, which may be sufficient to cause serious injury. If so, use enhanced safety measures such as those required for conventional truck/bus tyres. When inflating above 15psi this will include using a restraint such as:

  • A strong, firmly secured cage. Consider lining this with mesh to retain debris. For fixed installations it is helpful to mark the safety exclusion zone on the workshop floor as a reminder to staff
  • A secured horizontal stool and associated clamping mechanism
  • A portable restraint. These are available in the form of a lightweight cover that encloses the tyre and wheel rim and may be particularly advantageous for off-site repairs

Airlines should have quick-release couplings at both ends to allow the tyre to be deflated from outside the likely explosion trajectory if a fault (eg a potential ‘zipper’ failure of the sidewall) is detected. The valve connector should not require the operator to hold it place.

The pressure gauge/control valve should never be jammed in the open position, nor should ‘unrestricted’ airlines (ie without a gauge or pressure control device) be used to inflate any tyre. For bead-seating of large commercial tyres, removing the valve core allows faster inflation without usSplit rim wheels are now uncommon but they may be found on older vehicles and in some specialist applications. Unfamiliarity can increase the risk of a catastrophic failure so additional training will probably be required. Use only metal restraints of adequate strength.ing excessive pressure.

Special cases

Very large tyres such as those found in agriculture, quarries etc may be too big to fit into a restraint. Safe systems of work will need to be devised to ensure:

  • the wheel is restrained;
  • the effects of any explosion are contained safely; and
  • everyone stays outside the likely explosion trajectory

For more information visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/mvr/mechanical-repair/tyreremoval.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

 

 

HEALTH & SAFETY NEWS UPDATE – 27TH AUGUST 2015

IN THIS UPDATE

Introduction

Self-employed – do I have duties?

Business case studies

Safety Alert – ‘Norfolk Range’ large wheeled dry powder fire extinguishers manufactured before 2009 by UK Fire International Ltd

Links to guidance on CDM 2015

Introduction

With the late summer bank holiday in striking distance, there’s no getting away from the fact that Autumn is on the horizon. And our typical British wet weather is not the only thing to have dampened our spirits over the summer months. Tragic incidents such as the Bosley Wood Flour Mill explosion and Shoreham Airshow crash have brought health and safety very much into the public eye. With investigations ongoing, the causes remain to be seen, but could possibly result in a criminal inquiry at the flour mill if evidence of negligence is found. According to an HSE press release (http://press.hse.gov.uk/2015/further-hse-enforcement-notices-issued-at-bosley-wood-flour-mill/), a Prohibition Notice has been served on the mill owners, “preventing work activities until the issues identified involving the processing and bagging of large amounts of paper dust in one of the sheds on site, have been resolved”. In their guidance document “Safe handling of combustible dusts – Precautions against explosions”(http://www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/hsg103.pdf), the HSE advises that dusts produced by many materials we use everyday are flammable, and, in the form of a cloud, can explode.

Are you self-employed? From 1 October 2015, if your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you. If you don’t know whether or not your work activity falls into this category, more information is provided below.

Do you want to know how other businesses manage health and safety? The latest suite of HSE business case studies below provides links to a variety of video and narrative case studies of businesses doing just that, effectively and proportionately, with the help of online HSE guidance.

Do your work activities involve manufacturing, warehousing or engineering? Then you may be familiar with large dry powder fire extinguishers, which are the subject of HSE’s latest safety alert.

Finally, and following on from our previous news updates on CDM 2015, we close this week with links to the following guidance:

  • L153 – Managing health and safety in construction – CDM 2015: Guidance on Regulations
  • INDG411 – Need building work done? A short guide for clients on CDM 2015 (rev)
  • Construction Phase Plan for small projects (CDM 2015) – CIS80
  • Industry guidance for dutyholders
  • CITB CDM wizard app for construction phase plan

We hope you find our news updates useful. If you know of anyone who may benefit from reading them, please encourage them to register at the bottom-left of our news page (http://www.eljay.co.uk/news/) and we’ll email them a link each time an update is published. If in the unlikely event any difficulties are experienced whilst registering we’ll be more than happy to help and can be contacted on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk

Self-employed – do I have duties?

In 2011, the Löfstedt Review link to external website recommended that those self-employed whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others should be exempt from health and safety law. This recommendation was accepted by Government.

So, from 1 October 2015, if you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you.

HSE estimates that health and safety law will no longer apply to 1.7 million self-employed people like novelists, journalists, graphic designers, accountants, confectioners, financial advisors and online traders.

What the law says

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111136980), says:

  • if your work activity is specifically mentioned in the regulations above
  • or if your work activity poses a risk to the health and safety of others, then the law applies to you

What is meant by ‘self-employed’?

For health and safety law purposes, ‘self-employed’ means that you do not work under a contract of employment (http://www.hse.gov.uk/enforce/enforcementguide/investigation/status-contract.htm) and work only for yourself.

If you’re self-employed and employ others the law will apply to you. You may be self-employed for tax purposes, but this may not be so for health and safety. This is a complex area and HMRC have produced employment status guidance (https://www.gov.uk/working-for-yourself/what-counts-as-self-employed).

What is a ‘risk to the health and safety of others’?

This is the likelihood of someone else being harmed or injured (eg members of the public, clients, contractors etc) as a consequence of your work activity.

Most self-employed people will know if their work poses a risk to the health and safety of others. You must consider the work you are doing and judge for yourself if it creates a risk or not.

For example if you operate a fairground ride for the public to use then your work could affect the health and safety of other people and you must take appropriate steps to protect them as the law will apply to you.

Find out more about ‘risk’

HSE guidance on risk management (http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm) explains more about the risks your work activity may create and how best to manage these.

High risk activities

The law says that there are certain work activities where the law applies because they are high risk. If your work involves any of these activities, then the law will apply to you:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Gas
  • Railways
  • Asbestos
  • GMOs

For more information visit the self-employed workers guidance topic page on the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/self-employed/index.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Business case studies

This is the latest suite of HSE business case studies, where businesses tell their stories of how they manage health and safety effectively and proportionately and how online HSE guidance helps them to do this.

Two of the case studies focus primarily on leadership, while the others describe examples of health and safety management in SMEs.

The video case studies were produced in collaboration with 3rd year Film Production and Media students from Edge Hill University in West Lancashire.

Video case studies

Bootle Containers Ltd

Bootle Containers is a medium sized manufacturing company with 55 employees, specialising in design and production of containers.  This film describes the company’s health and safety management systems and why they think good health and safety is good for business.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/bootle-containers.htm

Lamont Cleaning and Support Services

Lamont is a small company of 15 employees, specialising in commercial and industrial window cleaning. This film shows how they work with their employees to manage health and safety.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/lamont-cleaning.htm

Laser Quest Stourbridge

Laser Quest Stourbridge is a hi tech gaming centre with 11 employees. This film describes how the owner manages the company’s health and safety.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/laser-quest.htm

Merseytravel

Merseytravel is the strategic transport authority for the Liverpool City Region, with 850 employees. This film tells how effective leadership and employee engagement improved health and safety performance.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/merseytravel.htm

Mount Anvil Ltd

Mount Anvil is a medium sized construction and development company based in London. In this film, senior leaders from the company describe how they manage health and safety and why it is so important to their business.

Link to video: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/mount-anvil.htm

Narrative case studies

Applied Industrial Systems Ltd.

Applied Industrial Systems Ltd (AIS) specialises in the creation and provision of software and control systems to a diverse client base across the transport, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/ais.htm

Connors Building & Restoration Services Ltd.

Connors Building & Restoration Services is an asset management company with 33 employees, specialising in building services, ground maintenance and inspection.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/connors-building.htm

Loop Technology Ltd.

Loop Technology is a small, family run business with 21 employees, specialising in industrial automation.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/loop.htm

Technicraft (Anglia) Ltd

Technicraft is a metal fabrication company with 25 employees. It provides services including laser cutting, punching, presswork and welding.

Link to case study: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/casestudy/technicraft.htm

More narrative case studies for SMEs and larger businesses can be found by visiting the Business case studies page on the HSE website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/business/case-studies.htm?ebul=hsegen&cr=2/27-jul-15 or contact us for advice and guidance on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Safety Alert – ‘Norfolk Range’ large wheeled dry powder fire extinguishers manufactured before 2009 by UK Fire International Ltd

Issue Date

12 August 2015

Target Audience

All premises where large dry powder fire extinguishers are likely to be used for example: chemical industry, offshore industry, merchant shipping, nuclear industry, manufacturing, mining, warehousing, engineering, metals and minerals processing and production.

Key Issues

‘Norfolk Range’ large dry powder fire extinguishers, manufactured before 2009, may be affected by moisture ingress at a threaded joint at the base of the unit, rendering the unit inoperable. The problem may not be identified during routine service inspections.

  • Users should identify if their extinguishers are likely to be affected. If yes and the extinguisher has been left exposed to adverse conditions since its last extended service, the condition of the elbow joint at the base of the unit should be examined by a competent service engineer.
  • If you are unsure if your extinguishers are affected by this safety alert, consult Britannia Fire Ltd.
  • Service engineers should closely examine, and if necessary, remove the elbow to confirm if there is evidence of water ingress to the discharge tube. If there is any doubt about moisture affecting the powder in the discharge tube, consider subjecting the extinguisher to an extended service including full replacement of the dry powder.

For more information click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/norfolk-large-wheeled-dry-powder-fire-extinguishers.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Links to guidance on CDM 2015

L153 – Managing health and safety in construction – CDM 2015: Guidance on Regulations

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=2

INDG411 – Need building work done? A short guide for clients on CDM 2015 (rev)

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg411.htm?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=3

Construction Phase Plan for small projects (CDM 2015) – CIS80

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis80.pdf?ebul=gd-cons/jul15&cr=4

Industry guidance for dutyholders

http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-guidance-documents/

CITB CDM wizard app for construction phase plan

http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-wizard-app/

Please note that the HSE are starting to remove the current CDM 2007 web pages and plan to remove them all by October 2015.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence

Also contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.