South Coast Crane Hire Ltd and JR Pickstock Ltd fined after crane crashed down on building site

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Two companies have been fined after a serious failure in communications led to an 80 tonne mobile crane toppling over, narrowly missing workmen and a busy road. The site of the incident at Gillingham The site of the incident at Gillingham The incident happened on a building site in Fernbrook Road, Gillingham, on 18 August 2009 during construction of a new nursing home. South Coast Crane Hire Ltd and the principal contractors, JR Pickstock Ltd, appeared at Weymouth Magistrates court today (21 November) in a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The court heard the crane was supplied and operated by South Coast Crane Hire but confusion arose as to whether the job had been set up as a crane hire only or contract hire basis, where planning of the lifting operation is included. This resulted in planning of the lift being neglected by both firms and led to vital roles for the job not being assigned. In addition, important information – including the weights being lifted and ground conditions – were not passed on to the workers involved. HSE’s investigation found the lift itself was carried out unsafely as the crane was overloaded and being operated on poor ground. As a result the 80-tonne crane overturned and its extended 50 metre jib fell across the site, narrowly missing the workers and a nearby road. HSE said a larger crane should have been used and ground mats were needed to spread the load of the crane’s outriggers due to the poor ground conditions. The court was told the lift hire contract should have met industry guidance, which says a competent person should be appointed to plan the lift. This person should be provided by the crane hire company if it is a contract hire arrangement or by the hirer if it is a hire-only agreement. The crane hire company should have ensured this happened when they set-up the contract. A lift plan should have been drawn-up by the competent person and communicated to those involved in the work. The principal contractor should also have taken all reasonable steps to ensure the construction phase plan identified risks to health and safety and included measures to address risks. South Coast Crane Hire Ltd, of Tradecroft Industrial Estate, Portland pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1)c of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £14,917 in costs. JR Pickstock Ltd, of Maesbury Road, Oswestry, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 23(1)a of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £16,000 and also ordered to pay £14,917 in costs. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-sw-southcoastcranehire.htm?eban=rss-

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Jurors Give 80-Year Sentence for Toddler’s Death in Daycare Fire

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HOUSTON (CN) – A daycare operator who left her charges alone in the house with a still-burning stove, causing a fire that killed four children, will serve 80 years in prison.
     Prosecutors said Jessica Tata left the children, all of whom were under the age of 4, unattended to shop at a nearby Target in February 2011. While she was gone, a pan with oil on a hot burner caught fire.
     Elias Castillo, 16 months, Kendyll Stradford, 20 months, Elizabeth Kajoh, 19 months, and 3-year-old Shomari Dickerson died in the blaze. Another three were injured.
     Tata’s defense attorney Mike DeGeurin had argued that a defective refrigerator switch started the fire.

Jurors Give 80-Year Sentence for Toddler’s Death in Daycare Fire

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Plant Pays $14M to Settle Louisiana Pollution Suit

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BATON ROUGE (CN) – The NRG Energy electric plant Louisiana Generating will pay $14 million in fines and environmental-improvement projects to settle pollution claims.
     Justice Department officials heralded the settlement Tuesday as the largest Clean Air Act agreement in Louisiana history.
     The government had sued the company in 2009 over the Big Cajun II coal-fired power plant in New Roads, La.
     Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno called Big Cajun II Power Plant “the largest source of illegal air pollution in Louisiana.”
     It had faced claims that it violated federal and state law by operating Big Cajun II Units 1 and 2 without the required permits, and that it should have installed modern air pollution controls after undergoing the largest boiler modifications in the history of the plant.

Plant Pays $14M to Settle Louisiana Pollution Suit

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New Haven, Conn., manufacturer cited by OSHA for safety violations after 4 workers hospitalized following fire

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Uretek Archer LLC, a urethane coating and laminate fabric manufacturer in New Haven, has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for alleged serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards after four workers were hospitalized in August due to a machine fire at the company’s Lenox Street facility. The fire triggered an inspection by OSHA’s Bridgeport Area Office, which has assessed $74,000 in proposed penalties.

The fire occurred when a flammable solvent used to clean machines ignited. OSHA found that the employer had not taken adequate precautions to eliminate potential ignition sources. Several violations related to the incident involve an inoperable fire alarm system, no assurance that fire precaution procedures were in place, improperly grounded machinery, a lack of hazard inspections, a lack of personal protective equipment for workers, and failing to provide and record adequate fire extinguisher training. Additionally, there were no lockout/tagout procedures in place while workers were cleaning machinery in the facility.

OSHA’s standard for hazardous energy control, or lockout/tagout, requires that machines be shut down and their power sources locked out to prevent unintended start-up during maintenance and cleaning. The conditions found resulted in the issuance of citations with $14,000 in proposed fines for four serious violations. 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=23298

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Takeaway owner fined for hygiene offences (From The Northern Echo)

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A TAKEAWAY owner has been fined for allowing food to be prepared on his premises without the use of running water.

Mr Ibrahim Nassar, the owner of La Roma pizzeria, in Northgate, pleaded guilty at Darlington Magistrates’ Court to four food hygiene offences on Wednesday (October 31).

Takeaway owner fined for hygiene offences (From The Northern Echo)

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Rungs snapped, sending the man to the bottom of the 10-foot pit

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CALCUTTA – An employee with the water and sewer department of the county engineer’s office sustained head injuries Tuesday afternoon after falling down a water meter pit outside an apartment complex in St. Clair Township.

Another employee at the scene who declined to be identified said the worker had been descending a ladder built into the wall of a water meter shaft at the edge of Calcutta Woods Apartments, 15172 Sprucevale Road, when one of the rungs snapped, sending the man to the bottom of the 10-foot pit. The victim was attempting to take a monthly water meter reading at the complex when the incident occurred.

Worker hurt – MorningJournalNews.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Lisbon, Ohio – The Morning Journal

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Worker killed after trench collapse on N.C. State campus – NewsObserver.com

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RALEIGH — State labor officials investigating the death of a construction worker who died Tuesday after becoming trapped in a trench on N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus will determine whether the man’s employer had equipment in place designed to prevent a cave-in.

The man, whose name has not been released, was working in a four-foot trench when he was covered in about three feet of dirt

Worker killed after trench collapse on N.C. State campus – Crime/Safety – NewsObserver.com

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Company directors to face fewer prosecutions – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Previously, directors could be held personally liable in the state if they failed to prevent their companies from committing more than 1,000 different offences.

But that number has now been reduced to about 150, to bring the state into line with principles agreed at COAG.

Greens MP John Kaye says the changes will encourage a cowboy corporate culture.

“This is about directors turning a blind eye when corporations do the wrong thing,” he said.

Company directors to face fewer prosecutions – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Public Works pleads guilty in death of worker killed by boiler explosion

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OTTAWA – The federal department of Public Works has pleaded guilty to three charges in the death of a worker killed when an Ottawa boiler plant exploded.

Peter Kennedy, 50, was killed in October 2009, and three others were injured, when a boiler blew in a steam plant that helps heat the parliamentary precinct and other downtown buildings.

Public Works pleads guilty in death of worker killed by boiler explosion

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