Superior Plumbing Installations Ltd failures led to workers’ exposure to asbestos at Aberystwyth flats

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Significant safety failures by a plumbing company may have led to two workers being exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres during a major refurbishment project on flats in Aberystwyth.

The workers – a site manager and a subcontractor – were not provided with information about the presence of asbestos while working at the flats in the Penparcau area between November 2010 and February 2011.

Superior Plumbing Installations Ltd, the principal contractor at the site, appeared before Aberystwyth Magistrates today (10 Dec) in a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The court heard that a routine inspection by HSE found contractors carrying out refurbishment work without taking account of asbestos that may have been present.

Workers had removed 82 metres of cement board, which a survey had identified as ‘presumed to contain asbestos’, by breaking it up with a hammer and shovelling it into a wheelbarrow before putting it in a general waste skip. The contractor was due to do the same on two other properties, one of which had asbestos confirmed in the soffits.

HSE found that Superior Plumbing had made no effort to obtain asbestos surveys that existed for the properties to determine if asbestos was present in the flats (Penybont, Gwel Rheidol, Bryn Ysgol and Tremafon blocks) or assess the risk of working with asbestos on the site.

The firm also failed to make a plan to properly deal with its removal and hired a site manager for the scheme who had not been given asbestos awareness training.

Superior Plumbing Installations Ltd, of Windmill Hill Business Park, Whitehill Way, Swindon, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,830 in costs.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-w-superiorplumbing.htm?eban=rss-

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Hazardous waste disposal costs company £15,413.92

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Yesterday, East Midlands Demolition Limited of Duffield Road, Little Eaton, Derby, was sentenced at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to charges relating to the illegal deposit of hazardous waste. The company pleaded guilty at an earlier Court hearing.

The company was fined £11,000.00 ordered to pay £4,398.92 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.

The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under Section 33 and 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Prosecuting for the Environment Agency, Kiran Cassini told the Court that on 6 September 2010, the Environment Agency was made aware of noise and dust coming from a site owned by Evans Concrete Limited, Pye Bridge Industrial Estate, Alfreton. Officers attended and observed that the land on the site appeared to have been raised by approximately one metre. Officers spoke to the managing director of the company and he indicated that tarmac had been brought onto the site by East Midlands Demolition Ltd to create a hardstanding area for storage on the site.

Environment Agency officers checked waste transfer notes provided by Evans Concrete Limited and found that East Midlands Demolition Limited originally removed the waste from Cavendish Junior School on 10 and 11 August 2010. The waste was described as ‘tarmac’ and 720 tonnes of it had been imported onto the Evans Concrete Limited site.

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/news/144732.aspx

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Farmer dies in tractor rollover – Weekly Times Now

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WORKSAFE inspectors are investigating a fatal tractor rollover and a horrific accident involving a forklift in Victoria.

A farmer was killed on a Whanregarwen property after his tractor rolled on a slope.

Police said the man in his 70s was last seen on Sunday and was located by a family member at 1.30am this morning.

A report will be prepared for the Coroner.

 Farmer dies in tractor rollover – Weekly Times Now 

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Father, son fall from scaffolding in Southwest Austin | kvue.com Austin

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AUSTIN — Two men were injured after falling 20 to 25 feet off of scaffolding in Southwest Austin.

It happened around 2:40 p.m. Monday at 9433 FM 2244 (Bee Cave Road) near Cuerna Vaca.

A father and son working to put up awning on a new office complex called Crystal Mountain fell when a ladder they’d placed on scaffolding gave way

 Father, son fall from scaffolding in Southwest Austin | kvue.com Austin 

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Two men seriously injured from accident caused by fallen tree limb | 11alive.com

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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A traffic accident involving three vehicles caused by a fallen tree limb has sent two men to Gwinnett Medical with serious injuries.

The accident happened when a City of Lawrenceville employee was driving south on Stone Mountain Street near Constitution Boulevard around 1:30 p.m. in stormy weather, according to police.

 Two men seriously injured from accident caused by fallen tree limb | 11alive.com 

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OSHA cites Honeywell Electronic Chemicals for multiple process safety management violations in Mansfield, Texas

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MANSFIELD, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Honeywell Electronic Chemicals LLC with 10 serious safety and health violations at the company’s facility in Mansfield. Proposed penalties total $53,000.

OSHA’s Fort Worth Area Office personnel opened an investigation at the company’s facility at U.S. Highway 287 North as a part of the agency’s national emphasis program on process safety management, known as PSM, for covered chemical facilities. Employees were found to be exposed to catastrophic releases of highly hazardous chemicals while conducting operations at the plant.

“This company jeopardized the safety of its employees by failing to implement OSHA’s process safety management regulations effectively,” said Jack Rector, OSHA’s area director in Fort Worth, Texas. “OSHA requires employers to provide safe and healthful working conditions to prevent accidents and illnesses.”

Six serious violations all relate to PSM, and include failing to ensure process equipment complies with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices; ensure standard operating procedures were annually certified; conduct an incident investigation within 48 hours and ensure piping and instrumentation diagrams were up-to-date.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23379

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OSHA cites Amerimex Motors & Controls in Houston for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals, other safety hazards

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HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Amerimex Motors & Controls Inc. with 28 violations following a June complaint inspection for exposing workers to hazardous chemicals and other safety hazards, including electrical and unguarded machines at its North Milby facility in Houston. Proposed penalties total $82,900.

“Failing to protect employees from exposure to, and inhalation of, hazardous chemicals can be fatal,” said Mark Briggs, OSHA’s area director at its Houston South Area Office. “OSHA’s safety and health standards must be followed to prevent worker injury and illness.”

OSHA’s Houston South Area Office cited 13 serious violations for failing to implement energy control procedures; guard operating machinery, such as punches, lathes and brakes; ensure compressed gases are safely stored; properly mark electrical disconnects; provide an emergency eyewash and shower; train and certify forklift operators; and ensure protective equipment, such as gloves, are used when working with hazardous chemicals. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23385

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OSHA sues DKS Structural Services in Huntsville, Ala., for firing employee who refused to enter unprotected 15-foot-deep trench

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The U.S. Department of Labor has sued DKS Structural Services, doing business as Don Kennedy and Sons House Moving Co., and owner Jeffrey Kennedy for allegedly terminating an employee who refused to enter a 15-foot-deep trench that did not have adequate protection to prevent cave-ins.

The lawsuit follows a timely complaint filed by the employee and subsequent investigation by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA found that the company unlawfully and intentionally terminated the worker for engaging in activity protected by Section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which prohibits retaliation against employees who report or refuse to work in unsafe conditions.

The department’s lawsuit seeks back wages, interest, and compensatory and punitive damages for the employee. Additionally, it requests that the employee’s personnel records be expunged with respect to the matters at issue in this case, the employer be barred against future violations of the OSH Act by a permanent injunction and any other appropriate relief.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23376

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Jacintha Saldanha’s death, and the demise of individual responsibility | | National Post

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In California, on the other side of the Pacific, there is an interesting precedent at play. Forty-two years ago, during the summer of 1970, the popular teen-oriented Los Angeles radio station KHJ put on a promotion it called a “Super Summer Spectacular.” The stunt centred on a popular KHJ D.J. named Donald Steele Revert — a.k.a., “The Real Don Steele” — whom the radio station sent travelling around the L.A. area in a flashy red car. Throughout the day, KHJ would broadcast clues about Steele’s location, and teenagers who tracked him down would get cash prizes of about $25. Read on

 Jacintha Saldanha’s death, and the demise of individual responsibility | Full Comment | National Post 

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Introduction to International Labour Standards

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Introduction to International Labour Standards “The rules of the global economy should be aimed at improving the rights, livelihoods, security, and opportunities of people, families and communities around the world.” – World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, 2004 (Note 1) Since 1919, the International Labour Organization has maintained and developed a system of international labour standards aimed at promoting opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity. In today’s globalized economy, international labour standards are an essential component in the international framework for ensuring that the growth of the global economy provides benefits to all. http://www.ilo.org/global/standards/introduction-to-international-labour-standards/lang–en/index.htm

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