Monthly Archives: February 2014

Car maintenance company owner prosecuted after fatality

Mark Walker, who operated a Berkshire car maintenance business, was fined £7,500 and ordered to do community work after reversing into and killing a 70-year-old customer in his van. The customer was walking away after leaving vehicle for an oil leak to be repaired, when Mr Walker’s van reversed into him. It was found that there was no system in place for managing the movement of vehicles, particularly reversing vehicles, in the yard. The van had no direct rear visibility and a retro-fitted rear monitoring camera was not in use.

HSE also established that Mark Walker did not physically check whether the route was clear of any person or arrange for assistance when reversing. The costs of the prosecution costs were covered through insurance. HSE commented that pedestrians and vehicles should always be segregated, and if that cannot happen then other precautions should be put in place.

False record of examination leads to prosecution

Stuart Jeavons, who supplies workplace vehicles and lifting equipment, has been fined for falsifying a Report of Thorough Examination for a lift truck. Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court heard that he had put the name of a genuine forklift truck supplier at the top of the report and forged a genuine examiner’s signature at the bottom.

Mr Jeavons, from Shropshire, entered a guilty plea and was fined £2,400 with costs of £989.

Asbestos exposure leads to Academy prosecution

Equitas Acadamies Trust from  Birmingham, and Birmingham Glass Services Limited, appeared in Birmingham Magistrates’ Court for failing to properly manage refurbishment works and exposing workers to asbestos. The Trust is the owner of Aston Manor Academy, where the glass company were commissioned to replace old windows.

Nobody gave any information to the contractors on the location of any asbestos containing materials and the school’s site manager said he didn’t think asbestos was present. However, strips of asbestos insulating board were found and subsequently damaged. The workers had not received asbestos awareness training, nor been provided with any form of personal protective equipment.

Birmingham Glass Services Limited incurred fines and costs of £7,000 and Equitas Academies Trust paid a total of £10,500. It was noted that the school had not been under local authority control since 2011, and had failed to provide adequate training to make up for the loss of local authority support and had not ensured that a suitable asbestos management plan was in place.

NEBOSH National General Certificate

The dates for our next public course in Kent are:

Week 1: 19th – 23rd May
Week 2: 2nd – 6th June 2014

Examination Dates:

10th June – Practical Guidance,
11th June – Written Examination

To book your course or for more information please contact Karen Fallows karen.fallows@phsc.co.uk or Tel: 01622 717700

Please ask about our discounts for multiple delegates

Excuses, excuses…

According to an HSE analysis, people in London and the South East come up with more phoney health and safety excuses than people in any other part of the UK. More than fifty spurious “elf and safety” cases were reported from the region over the past year.

Examples of nonsensical interpretation of safety requirements include

  • Cleaners at London Underground stations being banned from wearing woolly hats in winter
  • A well-known department store discontinuing fried eggs for fear of a pan fire
  • An airline flying from Heathrow who refused to serve boiled sweets to passengers suffering ear-ache.

Other stupidity from around the country included:

  • A Kenilworth fishmonger who would not fillet a fish for a customer because it was too slippery
  • A woman who had her parasol confiscated at a racetrack as it may cause danger to others

Staff Profile: Sarah Neal

Sarah is literally the “girl next door”, living in the house next to our Aylesford premises. Sarah works parttime for Inspection Services (UK), in the administration department. Karen Bishop, who used to carry out that role, has transferred to the accounts Department of PHSC plc.