Royal Mail bans postmen from estate over health and safety fears – as uneven paving stones are the excuse | Mail Online

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Royal Mail bans postmen from estate over health and safety fears – as uneven paving stones are the excuse | Mail Online: Early in the morning, just as day is dawning, he picks up all the postbags in his van… but now, the postman is banned from delivering to one particular housing estate due to fears he might trip over. Overzealous Royal Mail health and safety officers have ruled that the uneven paving slabs on two roads in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, are too dangerous for their postmen to negotiate.

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Newquay building contractor fined “The fall risks were highlighted by the HSE advisor, yet no effective action had been taken”

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A Newquay building contractor has been fined for allowing multiple safety failings at a new-build construction site, exposing workers to serious risk of injury.

Bodmin Magistrates’ Court heard today (28 Nov) that Paul David Brannan was the principal contractor at the four-storey apartment block in Mount Wise, Newquay.

The unsafe site in Mount Wise, Newquay

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that numerous ‘fall from height’ risks were observed at the site, including unprotected edges in floor-to-ceiling window openings, the lift shaft and stairwell. Scaffolding was also incomplete.

A health and safety inspection had been carried out by a competent advisor two months before the HSE inspection. The fall risks were highlighted by the advisor, yet no effective action had been taken by Mr Brannan to make improvements or to eliminate the safety risks.

Paul David Brannan, of Ulalia Road, Newquay, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,800.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Barry Trudgian said:

“The dangers of working at height are well known within the construction industry and this site had the greatest number of fall risks I have seen in one structure. It is very fortunate that nobody was injured because in numerous parts of the building, on each floor, there were no measures in place to prevent workers falling from height.

“Today’s prosecution should serve as a reminder to all building contractors and companies to protect their employees from falls when working at height. It is a legal duty to manage safety and failing to do so ends too often in tragedy.”

Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/falls

via Newquay building contractor fined for ignoring safety risks.

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“This could have been a far more serious incident had the lower joists not helped to break the worker’s fall”

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A Leicestershire building firm has been fined after an employee fell five metres and was then struck by a wooden board and concrete blocks after a partially-built floor gave way.

The worker, who does not wish to be named, fractured his elbow and nose in the incident at Brook Street, Shepshed on 26 January 2012.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard today (29 November) that he was helping to construct the second floor of a new build house for Hinckley-based W J Edge & Sons Builders Ltd when it gave way after being overloaded with concrete blocks. The joists collapsed onto first floor joists that also gave way.

The lower joists helped to break his fall, but he still fell to the ground with the materials, some of which landed on top of him. He was unable to return to work for six weeks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted his employer for failing to prevent the incomplete floor from being used and overloaded.

W J Edge & Sons Builders Ltd, of Henson Way, Sharnford, Hinckley, was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Waring said:

“This could have been a far more serious incident had the lower joists not helped to break the worker’s fall to the concrete below. He was also fortunate that a wooden board that landed on top of him provided a degree of protection from the falling concrete blocks.

“Had the company properly planned the work and prevented the incomplete floor from being accessed and overloaded, then the incident could have been avoided. It’s essential that a build sequence is closely managed and that floor sections are properly constructed prior to working on them.”

The latest figures show that 38 people died as a result of a fall in a workplace in Great Britain in 2010/11, and more than 4,000 suffered a major injury. Information on preventing falls is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – LEICESTERSHIRE FIRM PROSECUTED AFTER WORKER’S FIVE-METRE FALL – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Property developer, PJ Livesey Group Ltd fined £100,000 and costs £21,404 > Manchester gas explosion

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A property development firm has been fined £100,000 following a major gas explosion that destroyed dozens of homes in South Manchester.

PJ Livesey Group Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the blast at the Didsbury Gate development on 8 December 2009.

Manchester Crown Court heard today (29 November 2012) that the former Withington Hospital building on Nell Lane was being converted into houses and apartments when a worker cut through a six-inch gas pipe in an underground tunnel.

The 41-year-old from Elton, Cheshire, who has asked not to be named, suffered burns to his hands and face when gas inside the pipe ignited. About an hour later, gas that had continued to leak from the damaged pipe ignited again causing an explosion that destroyed a large part of the site.

The emergency services evacuated residents from hundreds of homes following the initial gas leak, including 21 apartments at the Didsbury Gate development which already had people living in them.

Businesses, three schools, a hospital, two health units and a police station also had to be evacuated, and the Urban Search and Rescue team was brought in to search the rubble to see if anyone was trapped.

Debris from the site landed on The Birches Primary School nearby, damaging buildings, a play area and the power supply for the school.

The court was told that PJ Livesey Group, the principal contractor for the development, had obtained a diagram from National Grid during the planning stages of the project which showed a gas main running into the site.

However, the company did not arrange for a detailed survey to be carried out to find out where the pipe ran, and wrongly informed workers on the site that the gas pipes had been decommissioned.

PJ Livesey Group Ltd pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after failing to ensure people’s safety. The company, of Beacon Road West in Trafford Park, was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £21,404.

After the hearing, Thomas Merry, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:

“This was a major incident that led to a massive emergency response and significant disruption to the neighbourhood. It was only luck that more people weren’t seriously injured or even killed in the explosion.

“It was unacceptable for PJ Livesey Group to allow the work to go ahead without checking that the gas supply had been properly disconnected. What’s worse is that the company actually had a National Grid document showing a gas main entering the site.

“A simple check would have identified it as being live, and avoided months of disruption and heartache for those residents who lost their homes.

“Construction companies involved in the refurbishment or demolition of buildings must make sure they know what potential dangers they’re dealing with before they allow work to start.”

Information on improving safety in the construction industry is available at www.hse.gov.uk/construction.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Property developer sentenced over Manchester gas explosion – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Dumfriesshire farmer fined for pollution offences | “Those who offend against our environmental laws will continue to be brought to account”.

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A Dumfriesshire farmer was fined £800 at Dumfries Sheriff Court for polluting the local water environment with silage and slurry effluent between July and October 2011.

Raymond Cassells, aged 40, of Mouswald Banks Farm, Mouswald, Dumfries had pled guilty on 17 September 2012 to two contraventions of the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003.

Mr Cassells produced silage and stored manure at his farm. He failed to control the overflow of effluent (liquid run off) from this, which flowed into his farm yard and entered the surface water drainage system. Due to a blocked drain, the effluent did not reach the Breconrae Burn. Had it done so, it is likely that significant pollution would have occurred.

Environmental regulations restrict all activities that are liable to pollute the water environment and specifically prohibit sewage or trade effluent being discharged into any surface water drainage system.

Craig Harris, Head of the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), said:

“The neglect shown by Raymond Cassells could have had a horrific effect on the local water. It was simply fortune that a blocked drain prevented a far more severe environmental incident.

“The steps to prevent this offence were straightforward but were not taken and advice from SEPA was ignored. A responsible farmer would not act in such a way.

“Those who offend against our environmental laws will continue to be brought to account”.

via Dumfriesshire farmer fined for pollution offences | Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

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SpongeBob SquarePants bouncing back after E&S story causes a stir � Express & Star

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SpongeBob SquarePants bouncing back after E&S story causes a stir � Express & Star: SpongeBob SquarePants is coming back to Wolverhampton – after the Express & Star revealed thousands missed seeing him at the city’s Christmas lights switch-on because of health and safety red tape.

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Allerton girl is hurt by PE lesson sticky tape (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

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Allerton girl is hurt by PE lesson sticky tape (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus): A Bradford school has defended its health and safety policy after being criticised by an angry parent.

Ash Mahmood said his six-year-old daughter Aisha was distressed, crying and in pain when he picked her up from Heaton St Barnabas because of tape put on her ear lobes to cover studs while she took part in a PE lesson run by Sports UK.

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“Don’t eat the flowers” – East Anglian Daily Times

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Sudbury: “Don’t eat the flowers” – News – East Anglian Daily Times: The green and white professionally produced plastic signs, which read “PLEASE do not eat the flowers” sprung up in beds close to St Peter’s Church on Market Hill this week. They have even appeared in two recently planted commemorative iron ladles, due to be officially unveiled before Christmas.

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Baby in lift shaft plunge terror (From The Bolton News)

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Baby in lift shaft plunge terror (From The Bolton News): A THREE-month-old baby had an amazing escape after plunging 15 feet down a lift shaft.

The boy is thought to have escaped serious injury thanks to his pram during the fall from the first floor of Smyths Toy Store at Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich, at 12.20pm yesterday.

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Owner of Bangladesh factory ravaged in fire says he didn’t know it needed emergency exits – The Washington Post

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Owner of Bangladesh factory ravaged in fire says he didn’t know it needed emergency exits – The Washington Post: DHAKA, Bangladesh — The owner of a Bangladesh clothing factory where a fire killed 112 people says he was never informed the facility was required to have an emergency exit, a sign of how far removed the leaders of the nation’s garment industry are from issues of worker safety.

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