HSE food manufacturing inspections target the causes of workplace ill-health

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Companies and people working in food manufacturing are being told they must pay closer attention to how they manage workplace health risks or face serious penalties.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) programme of proactive inspections will review health and safety standards in food manufacturing businesses across the country, and the sector is being warned that a programme of unannounced inspections will begin today (2nd January).

The inspections will focus on two of the main causes of ill-health in the sector which are currently occupational asthma from exposure to flour dust in bakeries, cake and biscuit manufacturers and grain mills and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – predominantly lower back pain and upper limb disorders from manual handling activities and repetitive tasks across the sector.

The inspection visits come as HSE recently released its Manufacturing sector plan which prioritises the reduction of cases of occupational lung disease and MSDs.

Exposure to flour dust is the UK’s second most common cited cause of occupational asthma. MSDs are the most common type of work-related illness in food manufacturing with handling injuries, accounting for around 20% of reported employee injuries (RIDDOR). HSE insists that such ill-health can be prevented when organisations have proper risk control systems in place.

The inspections will ensure measures are being taken by those responsible to protect workers against health risks and HSE will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements.

HSE’s head of Manufacturing Sector John Rowe, said: “The food manufacturing sector is made up of over 300,000 workers and its health and safety record needs to improve. This inspection initiative will look to ensure effective management and control of targeted health risks.

HSE is calling on anyone working in the industry to take the time to refresh their knowledge of our advice and guidance, available for free on our website.

Food manufacturing companies should do the right thing by protecting workers’ health; everyone has the right to go home healthy from work.”

COSHH and bakers – key messages

Substances hazardous to health in baking include:

  • flour dust;
  • improver dusts containing enzymes etc;
  • dusts from protein-containing ingredients such as egg, soya;
  • spices, citrus oils and flavour concentrates;
  • cleaning and disinfectant products.

Dermatitis may result from some bakery tasks, and if hands are wet many times a day or for a lot of the time.

Control measures include:

  • careful working to avoid raising clouds of dust;
  • dust extraction;
  • vacuum or wet cleaning;
  • respirator for very dusty tasks;
  • skin checks.

Example: Flour dust

Flour dust can cause asthma when breathed in.

You must reduce exposure to flour dust as far below the WEL of 10 mg/m3 as is reasonably practicable. You normally need to use health surveillance (Check employees health for any adverse effects related to work. May involve checking skin for dermatitis or asking questions about breathing and may need to done by a doctor or nurse.)

Help in finding the right controls is on the Bakers and asthma website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/asthma/bakers.htm). Control information for flour dust appears in the following information sheets available from the COSHH essentials webpage: http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/essentials/direct-advice/baking.htm

Employees

Your employer provides equipment to protect your health, such as:

  • dust extraction;
  • personal protective equipment (eg respirator).

You have a duty to use these properly and co-operate with any monitoring and health surveillance.

For advice on preventing and managing musculoskeletal disorders, visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/. Alternatively, contact us about any of the above-mentioned issues, 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 – 29TH SEPTEMBER 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

Safer Sites target inspections – coming to a street near you

HSE construction inspectors will be carrying out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway.

This year the Initiative is being undertaken as a series of two week inspections across the country, beginning 3 October 2016 ending 4 November 2016.

During this period inspectors will ensure high-risk activities, particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

These include:

  • risks to health from exposure to dust such as silica are being controlled
  • workers are aware of where they may find asbestos, and what to do if they find it
  • other health risks, such as exposure to noise and vibration, manual handling and hazardous substances are being properly managed
  • jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions, such as proper support of structures, are in place
  • equipment is correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly
  • sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls, walkways and stairs are free from obstructions and welfare facilities are adequate

Where serious breaches of legislation are found then immediate enforcement action will be taken, but inspectors will also be taking steps to secure a positive change in behaviour to ensure on-going compliance.

Health and safety breaches with clients and designers will also be followed up to reinforce their duties under CDM 2015 and to ensure that all dutyholders with on site health and safety responsibilities understand and fulfil these.

Follow the SaferSites Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SaferSites)  to see what inspectors find on site and keep updated throughout the initiative.

How to manage your site safely (click on the links for more info):    

For more information, visit the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/index.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or 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 – 17TH FEBRUARY 2016

REGISTER BELOW-LEFT TO RECEIVE OUR UPDATES BY EMAIL

IN THIS UPDATE

Introduction

Health and safety in the film, theatre and broadcasting industries – HSE to prosecute film company after Star Wars incident

DSEAR Regulations – manufacturing company and director fined for safety failings

Asbestos health and safety – company fined for safety failings when dealing with asbestos at a school

Introduction

The Health and Safety Executive made headline news last week after informing the film company responsible for producing ‘Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens’ that it will be prosecuted over an incident in which actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured during filming. We open this week’s update with HSE guidance for those involved in the film, theatre and broadcasting industries.

On a less glamorous note, we also highlight the risks associated with metal containers once containing highly flammable liquid or vapour, and of cutting them with angle grinders, after a manufacturing company and its director were fined when an empty 45 gallon steel drum once containing flammable liquid caught fire and exploded whilst being cut in half.

And finally, we remind our readers about the serious health risks of asbestos following yet another related prosecution by the HSE after a company contracted to carry out roof refurbishment at a primary school disturbed asbestos insulation board in a small plant room.

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

Health and safety in the film, theatre and broadcasting industries – HSE to prosecute film company after Star Wars incident

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today informed a film company that it will be prosecuted over an incident in which actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured during the filming of Star Wars: The Forces Awakens.

The film company, which is based in London, will appear at High Wycombe Magistrates Court in May 2016 to face four charges.

Mr Ford suffered a broken leg and other injuries when he was struck by a heavy hydraulic metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon. The incident happened in June 2014 at Pinewood Studios.

A spokesman for HSE said:

“The charges relate to an incident during filming of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which left Harrison Ford with serious injuries after he was hit by a heavy hydraulic door.

“By law, employers must take reasonable steps to protect workers – this is as true on a film set as a factory floor. We have investigated thoroughly and believe that we have sufficient evidence to bring the case to court.”

Health and safety in the film, theatre and broadcasting industries

The HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/theatre-tv/index.htm provides information on health and safety in the film, theatre and broadcasting industries.

It helps employers, the self employed and freelancers to recognise and comply with their duties under health and safety law.

Theatre – information to assist people who run theatres in controlling the risks to those working in the theatre or attending productions.

What you should know:

  • Health and safety law applies to theatres as it does to other businesses. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and related legislation places duties on employers, employees, the self-employed and those in control of premises.
  • The majority of injuries in the theatre industry are related to work at height and manual handling.

What you must do:

Work at height

There is a legal hierarchy for selecting equipment for work at height, based on using the safest possible method of work that can reasonably and practicably be used in the circumstances:

  • do not work at height – use auto focus or bounce focus lights, bring scenery items down to ground level for adjustment etc
  • work from an existing place of work – use gantries, bridges or catwalks, a trampoline system etc
  • work positioning – use fixed length lines to prevent falls, MEWPs etc
  • fall mitigation – use airbags, nets, inertia reel harnesses (which require a rescue plan)
  • systems of work – use ladders, Tallescopes, Zargees etc

Further information on working at height can be found in the ABTT Code of Practice for the selection and use of temporary access equipment for working at heights in theatres .

Manual handling

There is a large amount of manual handling involved in theatres, especially for travelling shows. Many loads are awkwardly shaped, heavy and often difficult to move in sometimes very confined spaces. This movement is often also done under time pressure. More than a third of the injuries reported annually to HSE are related to manual handling. These tend to be long-term injuries, which can have serious implications for those involved. Reducing the amount and severity of manual handling is a legal obligation. For more information, see: “Manual handling at work: A brief guide” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg143.htm)

Legal duties

There are legal duties on:

  • employers
  • employees
  • the self-employed (freelance)
  • people in charge of premises

Employers

Employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees, while not exposing others to health and safety risks. As an employer, you must have systems in place to ensure that the risks presented by the work are assessed and either eliminated or controlled. There are a number of ways this can be done. Further help and information can be found in: “Health and safety made simple” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/)

Self-employed (freelance)

Self-employed people have duties to ensure they work safely so that their activities do not create risk to themselves or others. Remember, ‘self- employed’ has a different meaning in health and safety matters to that used in tax matters. Both employers and the self-employed should make sure they know their legal status and obligations under health and safety law.

Person in charge of premises

Any person who allows people not employed by them to work in premises, such as a theatre, has duties to make sure:

  • the means of getting in and out are safe
  • all plant and equipment within the premises is safe and does not present a risk to health. This includes the electricity / gas and water supplies etc

Film, TV and broadcasting – information for those involved in film, TV and broadcasting to assist them in complying with their legal duties to eliminate or reduce the risk from their work.

What you should know:

  • Health and safety legislation applies to all work activities in the UK, whether conducted by UK nationals or foreigners, even if they are not being paid.
  • Legal duties under health and safety law cannot be delegated.

What you must do:

  • Define responsibilities and duties
  • Have a system for managing health and safety
  • Assess and manage risks
  • Regularly review the process and procedures for managing risk

Define responsibilities and duties

Employers are required to have a management system in place to control the risk to employees and others from their work. The industry uses large numbers of independent companies and freelancers and it is sometimes difficult to decide who the employer is. However, in the majority of cases, the employer will be the producer or production company. Help in deciding individual responsibilities can be found in: Health and safety in audio-visual production: Your legal duties .

System for managing health and safety

The size and complexity of management systems for health and safety depend on the size and complexity of the production. General advice on management systems can be found in: “Health and safety made simple” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/) but – for more complex, hazardous or specialist productions – advice may have to be sourced from a competent outside specialist or consultant. Please note, an employer’s legal duty to manage health and safety cannot be delegated to a consultant or to anyone else.

Assess and manage risks

Risk assessment is a fundamental part of managing health and safety and helps you to identify hazards and control the risk they create for those involved in your production. The process requires you to:

  • take the time to systematically look at your activities
  • decide what hazards they present
  • assess the risk of people being exposed to these hazards
  • find ways to either eliminate or control them

For more information, see: “Risk management” (http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/index.htm)

Review

You must review and update both the risk assessments you have made and the controls you put in place as work progresses to make sure they are still working. After the production, it is good practice to review the whole system to see whether useful lessons could be learned for the future.

For more information visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/entertainment/theatre-tv/index.htm or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help. We have experience of providing health and safety support and training within the film, tv and broadcasting industry.

DSEAR Regulations – manufacturing company and director fined for safety failings

A manufacturing company based in Shropshire and its director have been fined £13,666 and £4,000 respectively after an empty 45 gallon steel drum once containing flammable liquid caught fire and exploded when being cut in half.

Shrewsbury Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of the company had reported the incident, and indicated this particular method of work had been in operation for a significant period of time, and that previous incidents had occurred.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident immediately served a prohibition notice (PN) stopping the cutting of metal containers once containing highly flammable liquid or vapour with metal cutting angle grinders.

HSE inspector David Kivlin said after the hearing: “Carrying out this type of activity in this manner is a well-known risk and there has been many incidents resulting in serious injury and death.”

DSEAR Regulations

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) are concerned with preventing or limiting the harmful effects of fires, explosions and similar energy-releasing events and corrosion to metals. DSEAR are goal-setting regulations and are supported by an Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP) that provides practical advice on how to comply with them.

They include the following:

  • DSEAR
  • ATEX and explosive atmospheres
  • Petroleum
  • Workplace process fire safety
  • Gases under pressure and substances corrosive to metals
  • Celluloid

DSEAR

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 are concerned with protection against risks from fire, explosion and similar events arising from dangerous substances used or present in the workplace. From June 2015 DSEAR also covers gases under pressure and substances that are corrosive to metals. This is to allow for changes in the EU Chemical Agents Directive the physical hazards aspects of which are enacted in Great Britain through DSEAR.

They set minimum requirements for the protection of workers from fire and explosion risks related to dangerous substances and potentially explosive atmospheres and from gases under pressure and substances corrosive to metals and require employers to control the risks to the safety of employees and others from these hazards.

Further information: DSEAR (http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/dsear.htm)

ATEX and explosive atmospheres

Explosive atmospheres in the workplace can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts. Explosions can cause loss of life and serious injuries as well as significant damage.

DSEAR require that any workplace where explosive atmospheres may occur are classified into hazardous zones based on the risk of an explosion occurring, and protected from sources of ignition by selecting equipment and protective systems on the basis of the categories set out in the Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (EPS)

Further information: ATEX (http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/atex.htm)

Petroleum

Petrol is a dangerous substance and is a highly flammable liquid which can give off flammable vapour, even at very low temperatures. This means there is always a risk of fire and explosion when a source of ignition is present and when ignited it can quickly cause fire, injury and loss of life. Storing and dispensing petrol at a workplace is covered by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR), and other legislation specifically for controlling petrol storage and the suitable containers for storing petrol in.

Further information: Petroleum (http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/petroleum.htm)

Work process fire safety

There are thousands of recorded fires in commercial premises every year. HSE’s main responsibility in this area is for the special precautions within a work process which are designed to prevent or reduce the likelihood of a fire breaking out or (should a fire break out) reduce its intensity. HSE also has enforcement responsibility for process fire safety on construction sites, for nuclear premises and on ships under construction or repair.

These pages provide information about HSE’s role (click on the links):

Gases under pressure and substances corrosive to metals

Gases that are under pressure (eg gas in a cylinder) may present a risk of explosion if not correctly handled in the workplace. Substances that can corrode metals could cause structural damage reducing integrity of structures if not suitably contained. From June 2015, DSEAR places a formal requirement on employers to assess the risks for substances if classified for these properties and put in place suitable control and mitigation measures. It is anticipated that the practical impact, if any, of these changes will be minimal because the intrinsic hazards of the substances being used, or present, in workplaces is unchanged. The need to carry out a risk assessment and have in place procedures for the safe use of chemicals not currently covered by DSEAR is already required by the general requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Therefore, assuming businesses are already complying with these duties, they are unlikely to need to take any additional action.

Celluloid

Private individuals and voluntary groups may come into contact with old film in their home or at other non-workplace premises. Old cinematographic film and old photographic negatives (including X-ray film) may be made from cellulose nitrate.

Cellulose nitrate film can be very dangerous; it catches fire easily and once alight is difficult to put out.

The free HSE leaflet ‘The dangers of cellulose nitrate film’ gives more information: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg469.htm

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

Asbestos health and safety – Company fined for safety failings when dealing with asbestos at a school

An Oxford based company has been fined £20,000 after disturbing asbestos insulation board (AIB) at a school.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard how the company was contracted to carry out roof refurbishment at a primary school in Northampton. During the course of this refurbishment company workers disturbed AIB in a small plant room.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident which occurred in November 2014 found failings in the company’s project management arrangements. They failed to monitor and identify asbestos materials during this specific roof refurbishment work at the school and ensure key personnel had suitable asbestos awareness training.

HSE inspector Sam Russell said after the hearing: “The serious health risks of asbestos which is a class one carcinogen are well-known and publicised. Any maintenance or construction work undertaken in buildings built before 2000 must consider and manage the risk of possible asbestos containing materials. It is important this material is considered at every stage of a construction project and failure to do so places workers, buildings occupants and the public at risk to possible exposure to asbestos fibres.”

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc) and causes around 5000 deaths every year.

Why is asbestos dangerous?

  • Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is more than the number of people killed on the road.
  • Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure
  • However, asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.

When materials that contain asbestos are disturbed or damaged, fibres are released into the air. When these fibres are inhaled they can cause serious diseases. These diseases will not affect you immediately; they often take a long time to develop, but once diagnosed, it is often too late to do anything. This is why it is important that you protect yourself now.

Asbestos can cause the following fatal and serious diseases:

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure and by the time it is diagnosed, it is almost always fatal.

Asbestos-related lung cancer

Asbestos-related lung cancer is the same as (looks the same as) lung cancer caused by smoking and other causes. It is estimated that there is around one lung cancer for every mesothelioma death.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious scarring condition of the lung that normally occurs after heavy exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition can cause progressive shortness of breath, and in severe cases can be fatal.

Pleural thickening

Pleural thickening is generally a problem that happens after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung (pleura) thickens and swells. If this gets worse, the lung itself can be squeezed, and can cause shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.

Where can you find asbestos?

Asbestos can be found in any industrial or residential building built or refurbished before the year 2000. It is in many of the following common materials used in the building trade that you may come across during your work:

  • Loose asbestos in ceiling or floor cavity
  • Lagging
  • Sprayed coatings on ceilings, walls and beams/columns
  • Asbestos insulating board
  • Floortiles, textiles and composites
  • Textured coatings
  • Asbestos cement products
  • Roofing felt
  • Rope seals and gaskets

What you need to know and do

For asbestos health and safety guidance visit the following HSE web pages (click on the links):

For more information visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/ 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 – 11TH FEBRUARY 2016

REGISTER BELOW-LEFT TO RECEIVE OUR UPDATES BY EMAIL

IN THIS UPDATE

Introduction

Scrap and metal recycling – firm fined after fatality at waste recycling site

Tree work health and safety – college fined after tree felling injury

Construction work at height – company fined after carrying out dangerous window installation work eight-metres above a West End street

Introduction

It’s now 18 months since representatives from the waste management and recycling industry came together to form the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum, their aim being to identify, devise and promote activities to improve industry health and safety standards. At the same time (2014/15), the waste industry was one of the few sectors witnessing a rise in incidents of fatal injuries, with 11 reported from April 2014 to March 2015. This was a 120% increase on the previous year. We open this week’s update with HSE guidance on the topic, following news of a scrap metal recycling company being fined £120,000 plus £40,000 costs after the death of a worker.

Another industry classed as one of the most dangerous in Britain, is tree work. A college in Surrey has recently been fined £70,000 plus costs after a student was struck on the leg by a tree as it was being felled, so we’re also sharing guidance this week on tree work health and safety.

And finally, after news of a window manufacturing and installation company being fined £36,000 after carrying out work in the West End of London with no measures to prevent the workers falling eight metres (and after dropping part of a window onto the public area below), we close this week’s update with HSE guidance on working at height in construction.

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

Scrap and metal recycling – firm fined after fatality at waste recycling site

A scrap metal recycling company based in Sheffield has been fined £120,000 plus £40,000 costs for safety failings after a worker was killed when he was hit in the head by an exploding gas cylinder.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how the worker, aged 55, was working at the recycling site in June 2009 when a pressurised gas cylinder was put through a shearing machine causing it to explode. A large section of the cylinder hit him in the head causing fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a number of safety failures by the recycling company. They had no effective health and safety management system in place and failed to adequately assess the risks involved with processing different types of scrap material. The company also failed to put in place a range of measures to reduce the risks, for example by providing a blast wall.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Kirsty Storer commented: “Companies processing different materials should have good, documented systems to ensure materials such as pressurised cylinders are sorted and dealt with correctly. Workers also need to be properly trained and supervised.

“In addition where safeguards are provided they need to be well maintained, and an assessment should be carried out to determine any additional precautions that might be required, such as a pit or blast wall.”

Scrap and metal recycling

Introduction

The greater part of the scrap and metal recycling industry processes ferrous and non ferrous metal scrap into vital secondary raw material for the smelting of new metals.

The scrap and metal recycling industry has consistently had a poor fatal accident rate for several years.

The main risks include (click on the links for more information):

The main Trade Associations dealing with this industry include the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) and the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association

End of Life Vehicles (ELV)

The introduction of the End of Life Vehicle Regulations has resulted in a significant change to the make up of the scrap industry as every vehicle scrapped now has to be de-polluted and waste materials accounted for.

For more information see Motor vehicle dismantling (http://www.hse.gov.uk/waste/dismantling.htm).

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

This is a rapidly growing and highly specialised part of the metals recycling industry. Large household appliances (e.g. ovens, fridges, washing machines) make up over 40% of WEEE but there are large volumes of other equipment such as IT equipment (mainly computers), televisions (cathode ray tube and flat screen), small household appliances (e.g. kettles and hair dryers), electrical tools, digital watches, electronic toys and medical devices.

Such items contain a wide variety of materials e.g. an average TV contains 6% metal and 50% glass, whereas a cooker is 89% metal and only 6% glass. Other materials found include plastics, ceramics and precious metals.

For more information see Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (http://www.hse.gov.uk/waste/waste-electrical.htm).

Disposal of aerosols

Each year the UK uses around 600 million aerosols, which is equivalent to about ten cans per person. With approximately 65 per cent of aerosols made from tin-plated steel, and the rest from high-grade aluminium and this represents almost 30,000 tonnes of reclaimable metal that can be recycled each year.

Householders should only put empty used aerosols in can banks or kerbside collections. They should not be segregated or concentrated into batches as the best safest way for consumers to recycle aerosol cans is to mix in with other metal waste – this serves to  ‘dilute’ the proportion of aerosols in the total mix.  Householders should not pierce or squash aerosol cans before disposal.

Many local authorities are successfully including collection of aerosols in their kerbside or mixed waste collection schemes.

For mixed waste processed at a Material Recycling Facility (MRF), as far as is possible, only aerosols derived from the domestic waste stream should be handled by the MRF. At the MRF aerosols can be baled, flattened or shredded but this must only be done where appropriate precautions are in place

The British Aerosol Manufacturers Association (BAMA) provides guidance on the collection and processing of “empty” or “near empty” cans by local authorities when processed through MRFs. Advice on the recycling of empty post-consumer aerosols (http://www.bama.co.uk/pdf/recycling_post_consumer.pdf) recovered through MRFs is available on the BAMA website.

When disposing of full or partly full aerosol canisters in bulk then they need to be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of safely.  It is also recommended that aerosols from the commercial waste stream be directed to specialist recycling facilities

Further guidance on the safe disposal of aerosols can be found in the following sources (click on the links for more information):

Radioactive contamination in scrap in metal recycling

Click on the link for more information: http://www.hse.gov.uk/waste/radioactive-contamination.htm

Scrap Metal Dealer Licence Applications

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 and related Regulations local authorities (councils) are responsible for determining the suitability of applicants and issuing of scrap metal dealers licences.

Information on health and safety enforcement action, both prosecutions and enforcement notices is publically available on HSE’s Register of prosecutions and notices (http://www.hse.gov.uk/enforce/prosecutions.htm) should councils wish to consider health and safety offences as part of the application.

HSE will not routinely respond to requests from councils about applicants.

Other HSE guidance and advice (click on the links for more information)

For more guidance on waste management and recycling visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/waste/ or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

Tree work health and safety – college fined after tree felling injury

A college in Surrey has been fined £70,000 plus costs after a student was struck on the leg by a tree as it was being felled.

Redhill Magistrates’ Court heard how the campus supervisor at the college instructed an employee and part of the estates team, to take two work experience students to fell a tree.

While the tree was being cut two students arrived to observe the operation. The falling tree hit one of the students who was observing, causing fractures to one of his legs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident, which occurred in May 2015, found that there was insufficient training given to fell the tree competently. There was inadequate supervision and the risk assessments were not sufficient and had not been followed.

Tree work health and safety

HSE’s Tree Work website allows those involved in forestry and arboriculture both high risk industries to find sector specific information on health and safety quickly.

It is most relevant to Arborists, tree surgeons and forestry workers and will help you find essential information and guidance on good practice including training and PPE which are essential.

See also the safety and health topic sections on managing risks: http://www.hse.gov.uk/treework/safety-topics/index.htm

Are you a…?

Tree work is carried out from time-to-time in many sectors but is particularly important in Forestry and Arboriculture. Clink on the links for more information:

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

Construction work at height – company fined after carrying out dangerous window installation work eight-metres above a West End street

A company which manufactured and installed windows has been fined £36,000 after carrying out work in the West End of London with no measures to prevent the workers falling eight metres and after dropping part of a window onto the public area below.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the company carried out window installation work at a property on Park Street, London, in January 2015 that put their workers and members of the public at risk of suffering serious injuries or a fatality.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation into the work after a member of the public provided photos of workers leaning out of window openings eight meters above the ground. They also provided a video showing the workers dropping part of a window which fell to the ground and missed a nearby pedestrian.

The company had failed to provide equipment such as scaffolding which would have prevented the workers and window falling. None of the workers had received any formal training and no one was appointed to supervise the work.

The risks associated with the work had not been sufficiently assessed. The court heard the company had failed to invest in equipment for working at height and had a health and management system which relied entirely on the company’s managing director, despite his lack of relevant training and experience.

The work was halted when HSE served a Prohibition Notice (PN). The court heard the company had previously been given advice by HSE in connection with work at height and that an audit by their bank had previously identified a range of relevant health and safety failings. The court heard that neither written warning was heeded by the firm.

Construction work at height

Scaffold checklist

A guide for when scaffold design is required and what level of training and competence those erecting, dismantling, altering, inspecting and supervising scaffolding operations are expected to have obtained. Click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/scaffoldinginfo.htm

Managing work at height follows a hierarchy of controls – avoid, prevent, arrest – which begins with the question – can the work be done safely from the ground? Fall restraints and safety netting should only be considered as a last resort if other safety equipment cannot be used.

Assessing work at height – Assess the risks, take precautions, and issue clear method statements for everyone who will work at height. Click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/assess.htm

Roof work – Plan safe access, and prevent falls from edges and openings. Click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/roofwork.htm

Fragile surfaces – The hierarchy of controls for working on or near fragile surfaces is avoid, control, communicate, co-operate. Click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/fragile.htm

Ladders – When it’s appropriate to use ladders – and the three key safety issues – position, condition and safe use. Click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/ladders.htm

Tower scaffolds – Select the right tower for the job; erect, use, move and dismantle the tower safely; ensure that it is stable; inspect it regularly; prevent falls. Click on the link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/scaffold.htm

For more information visit the HSE web page http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/workingatheight.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 – 3RD SEPTEMBER 2015

IN THIS UPDATE

Introduction

HSE Refurbishment Inspection Initiative 2015

FLTA Safety Month – Safetember: see danger, speak up!

Licensing of houses in multiple occupation in England: a guide for landlords and managers

Key safety campaigns to be supported at British Safety Council’s annual conference

Introduction

Later this month, the construction industry will be the focus of HSE attention, as inspectors embark on a four week long programme of unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repairs are underway. We open this week’s update with details of the HSE’s 10th annual refurbishment inspection initiative.

Already underway is the Fork Lift Truck Association’s safety month which runs until 30th September, and during which free resources and guides will be available on the FLTA website. The campaign is now in its eighth year and aims to raise awareness of the dangers involved in fork lift operations throughout the industry and to stress the importance of common sense measures that can make lift trucks safer and more efficient.

Are you a landlord or managing agent/property manager? Do you know what constitutes a House in Multiple Occupation, and that some HMOs are required to be licensed? Read on for more information about your responsibilities, particularly in regard to health and safety.

The safety of cyclists on our roads has been highlighted in the news in recent weeks, and a ban on unsafe lorries has recently come into force in London. Work-related transport is one of the health and safety campaigns the British Safety Council will be focusing on at its conference on 23rd September. Read on to find out which other campaigns will be highlighted at the event.

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

HSE Refurbishment Inspection Initiative 2015

The HSE’s 10th annual refurbishment inspection initiative is due to take place between 14th September and 9th October 2015. Poor standards and unsafe practices on Britain’s building sites are likely to be targeted during a nationwide drive aimed at reducing ill health, death and injury in the industry.

During the annual initiative, HSE Construction Inspectors carry out unannounced visits to sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway, ensuring high-risk activities particularly those affecting the health of workers, are being properly managed.

What the initiative does

The main aims of the initiative are:

  • to achieve an improvement in industry standards, in particular at small sites
  • to increase awareness of HSEs expectations of the industry
  • to demonstrate that HSE will use the enforcement tools at its disposal to prevent immediate risk and bring about sustained improvements

What inspectors look for

During inspections, HSE inspectors consider whether:

  • risks to health from exposure to dust such as silica are being controlled
  • workers are aware of where they may find asbestos, and what to do if they find it
  • other health risks, such as exposure to noise and vibration, manual handling, hazardous substances are being properly managed
  • jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions, such as proper support of structures, are in place
  • equipment is correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly
  • sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls, walkways and stairs are free from obstructions and welfare facilities are adequate

HSE uses the inspection initiatives to reinforce its message to the construction industry that poor standards are unacceptable and liable to result in HSE taking enforcement action.

Previous campaign results:

More information on the above can be found on the HSE website www.hse.gov.uk or contact us on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be more than happy to help.

FLTA Safety Month – Safetember: see danger, speak up!

Date and location

1st – 30th September 2015, throughout the month, location the FLTA website (http://fork-truck.org.uk/fork-lift-safety/national-fork-lift-safety-month)

Event overview

National Fork Lift Safety Week was launched by the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) in 2008 to raise awareness of the dangers involved in fork lift operations throughout the industry and to stress the importance of common sense measures that can make lift trucks safer and more efficient.

For 2015, the Association has increased the scope into a month-long campaign throughout September, dubbing the campaign “Safetember”.

Throughout Safetember the FLTA will be making a compendium of free resources and guides available on its website. The Association will also be urging every company that works with lift trucks to genuinely empower workers with the freedom to report bad practice in a blame-free environment.

After all, this freedom is not a luxury, it is a right.

Further information

More information can be found on the FLTA website (http://fork-truck.org.uk/fork-lift-safety/national-fork-lift-safety-month), or by emailing the FLTA secretariat.

Licensing of houses in multiple occupation in England: a guide for landlords and managers

This publication is aimed at landlords and managers who manage a house in multiple occupation (HMO), or if you are not sure whether you manage an HMO. The booklet explains more about HMOs, which HMOs are required to be licensed and what other if any responsibilities there are in relation to the management of HMOs.

Not sure whether you manage an HMO?

The home you manage is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if both of the following apply:

  • at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

The home you manage is a large HMO if all of the following apply:

  • it’s at least 3 storeys high
  • at least 5 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
  • tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

A household is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • married or living together – including people in same-sex relationships
  • relatives or half-relatives, eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
  • step-parents and step-children

Your safety responsibilities

You must keep the property you manage safe and free from health hazards.

Gas safety

You must:

  • make sure gas equipment you supply is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • have a registered engineer do an annual gas safety on each appliance and flue
  • give tenants a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in, or within 28 days of the check

Electrical safety

You must make sure:

  • the electrical system is safe, eg sockets and light fittings
  • all appliances you supply are safe, eg cookers and kettles

Fire safety

You must:

  • follow fire safety regulations, eg check tenants have access to escape routes at all times
  • make sure the furniture and furnishings you supply are fire safe
  • provide fire alarms and extinguishers (if the property is a large House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Download the publication by clicking on the link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/15652/HMO_Lic_landlords_guide.pdf or contact us for more information on 07896 016380 or at Fiona@eljay.co.uk and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Key safety campaigns to be supported at British Safety Council’s annual conference

Health and safety campaigns such as work-related transport, occupational health and young people at work will be highlighted at the British Safety Council annual conference on 23rd September.

Work-related transport

Every year 70 people are killed and 2000 more are seriously injured in incidents involving vehicles at work. Often these incidents occur in a lorry park or yard while goods are being delivered. In many cases it is the driver who is injured.

The HSE recently ran an advertising campaign on radio and press in the North West and Midlands to raise awareness among the people who can make a real difference – depot managers and those who receive or despatch goods.

The concerns of professional drivers, about the dangers of delivery and collection of goods have also been included.

This campaign focused on how depot managers can take small practical steps to make delivery areas safer. Examples include (click on the links for more information):

Key messages

Campaign posters

Campaign radio publicity

To download, right click and select ‘save target as…’

For more advice on transport topics visit the HSE Vehicles at Work website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/)

Proposal to replace OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety Management) with ISO 45001

ISO 45001 on occupational health and safety management system requirements is currently being produced with an intended publication date of October 2016. However, it is expected that the current standard OHSAS 18001 will be valid for some time after this date and therefore companies interested in certifying should still do so, and will benefit from its implementation.

The aim of the new standard is to improve occupational health and safety for all, in developed and developing countries, and at local, national, regional and international levels.

For up to date information about the new standard, follow our health and safety news updates.

Young people at work

When employing a young person under the age of 18, whether for work, work experience, or as an apprentice, employers have the same responsibilities for their health, safety and welfare as they do for other employees.

Guidance on the HSE website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/) will help young people and those employing them understand their responsibilities.

Work experience

Introducing young people to the world of work can help them understand the work environment, choose future careers or prepare for employment. We need young people to be offered opportunities to develop new skills and gain experience across the world of work. Click on the below links for more information:

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.