Royal Mail fined

Medway Magistrates’ Court has fined the Royal Mail £50,000 after a worker had his foot run over by a reach truck.

The court heard that vehicles and pedestrians were unable to circulate safely in the Rochester warehouse. It was noted that the injured worker was wearing ordinary footwear rather than protective toecaps at the time of the incident. Royal Mail also had to pay costs of £10,406.

Three prosecutions follow bad safety advice

Ipswich Crown Court handed down penalties to a furniture company and two health and safety consultancies after hand injuries were sustained using cutting machinery.

Jan Cavelle Furniture Company Ltd, at Haverhill, had allowed staff to follow unsafe working practices because of a lack of training and inadequate supervision. The risk assessments for the process had been prepared by external consultants. The contract was given to Worksafe Training & Consultancy Ltd who in turn subcontracted a review and revisions of risk assessments to Leading Health & Safety Consultants Ltd.

However, the assessments and procedures provided were not sufficient to control the risks. Jan Cavelle Furniture Company was fined £18,000 along with costs of £4,000. Workplace Training and Consultancy was found guilty at trial and was fined £22,500 with costs of £22,500. Leading Health and Safety Consultants Limited was fined £5,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

Client and contractor fined for asbestos exposure

Firestone Estates Limited admitted a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and were ordered to pay £12,020 in fines and costs. They were in the process of converting a disused workplace into residential flats.

Two employees of a contractor they had appointed to carry out the refurbishment project, 24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited, were exposed to debris from asbestos insulation board. The client had failed to pass on details of the presence of asbestos to the contractor, and no refurbishment and demolition survey had been commissioned prior to work commencing. The contractor incurred fines and costs of around £6,500.

NEBOSH National General Certificate

Delegate feedback:

“PHSC delivered clear and concise training with a good combination of skilled trainers with heaps of practical, working knowledge. The training techniques kept you alert and engaged and ensured the information went in. Homework sessions set, although tough on the end of a day were key to exam success. The sessions really prepared you for the exams and written report. PHSC really cared about our success. If you want to achieve your NEBOSH General Certificate, then look no further.”

The dates for our next public course in Kent are:

  • Tuition: 17th – 21st October and 31st October – 4th November 2016
  • 8th November – Practical Guidance
  • 9th November – Written Examinations

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

New board director

The board of PHSC plc recently announced the appointment of Lorraine Young as a non-executive director. Lorraine has replaced Mike Miller.

Mike had served on the board since the company joined the Alternative Investment Market in 2005 and had previously advised the company on mergers and acquisitions. Full details of the make-up of the board can be found at www.phsc.plc. uk/phsc-plc-directors.html

Meet the Staff – Elizabeth Smith

Elizabeth joined RSA/In House as the Technical Support Officer in 2013 after previously working for the company as a self-employed consultant one day per week. As a qualified health and safety professional and trainer, Elizabeth undertakes fee earning work for a number of the company’s smaller clients. Her main duties are to look after the queries that come in from schools covered by our SafetyMARK scheme, and assuming responsibility for the quality, technical checking and generation of reports. In addition, Elizabeth looks after the training side of the business.

And finally…

A further example of health and safety being given a bad press has recently come to light at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Students have been told that they are banned from throwing hats in the air at their graduation ceremony after reports of injuries by flying headwear in past years. It does appear that a commercial opportunity is linked to the ban, as graduates can pay £8 for a mortarboard to be photo-shopped into their souvenir photographs.

A University spokesperson confirmed that the ban had been imposed after previous issues and the practise is seen as “an unacceptable risk” with management keen to “ensure no student’s graduation day is ruined by the potential for avoidable injury”. It is understood that the hire company has also complained about damaged mortarboards.

A student commented that “UEA are ruining the experience of what should be a really brilliant day. They make pathetic rules without consulting students. It’s ridiculous. Those who made the decision haven’t just finished a degree, yet they’re tainting the experience for everyone.”

Health and safety deregulation for low-risk self-employed

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self- Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 come into force on 1 October 2015. They specify the circumstances in which selfemployed persons must comply with their duty under section 3(2) the 1974 Act to conduct their undertakings in such a way as to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, they and anyone who may be affected by their work activities are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

The new rules seek to exempt self-employed persons such as someone using a computer or carrying out telemarketing activities where there is negligible risk to health or safety. There are no exemptions for some specified activities, including those working with gas, or on construction sites. A general provision states that the exemptions will not apply where work may expose another person to risk.

CDM transitional arrangements end

When the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force in April, a transitional arrangement applied for a CDM co-ordinator already in post. If the project is still active, the client must appoint a principal designer to replace the CDM co-ordinator by 6 October 2015.

Safety signs and signals

HSE has published an updated version of guidance note L64, which sets out what employers must do to meet the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. This third edition of the document brings the guidance up to date with regulatory and other changes, such as those concerning the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals (Amendments to Secondary Legislation) Regulations 2015.

The version of the Regulations included in the document has been amended to reflect those changes, with the emphasis still being on signs only being used where significant risks remain despite putting in place all other relevant measures. Hard copies of L64 (revised) can be purchased for £15 from HSE Books, or a free download version can be accessed at: www.hse.gov.uk/ pubns/priced/l64.pdf