Wimbledon company, AA Construction (London) Ltd fined for dangerous demolition site

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A Wimbledon construction firm has been prosecuted for endangering workers and the public with unsafe demolition work. AA Construction (London) Ltd failed to properly plan the work at Quintin Avenue, near Wimbledon Chase tube station, in early February 2011. Local residents raised concerns that asbestos materials were being smashed up and littering the site, that debris was dropping from height onto the road and footpath; and that the site was insecure despite its close proximity to a local school. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was notified and served three enforcement notices relating to unsafe practices that forced the site to be closed until urgent improvements were made.Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard today (24 October) that the HSE investigation found that numerous precautions could and should have been taken to make the site safe. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-ldn-19412.htm?eban=rss-

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Gillingham worker pays price for firm’s safety failings while fitting hanrails

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A Dartford Scaffolding firm and its director have been prosecuted for failing to provide a safe way of working on a fragile roof after a worker fell and suffered serious injuries. Mr James Froud, 22, from Gillingham, was hospitalised for ten days and had to take several months off work whilst wearing a back brace and using crutches as a result of the incident at Siemans Windpower Compound at Ramsgate Port on 12 October last year. Canterbury Magistrates heard yesterday (23 October) that Mr Froud, a scaffold labourer working for London and South Scaffolding Ltd, was fitting hand rails on a fragile rooftop when he fell seven metres through the skylight. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found that the company and director Gary Peck were aware of how fragile the roof and skylights were, but failed to take adequate measures to prevent a fall, such as using a mobile elevating work platform to avoid standing on the roof, or using staging fitted with guard rails. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-se-19312.htm?eban=rss-

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Paul Siviter General Builder fined for worker fall

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A Cwmbran builder has been fined after an employee was seriously injured in a 2.3-metre fall from the roof of a property near Llandegfedd Reservoir.

Andrew Hosking, 34, broke his left femur and had to be airlifted to hospital following the incident at Glascoed Lane, Glascoed, on 17 October 2011. He has been off work ever since.

Colleague Anthony Skarratts, 20, also fell from the roof, but escaped injury.

Abergavenny Magistrates’ Court heard today that the duo were part of a team of workers undertaking a roof installation for Paul Siviter, trading as Paul Siviter General Builder.

They were standing on an old wooden roof beam balanced less than three metres above the ground, in order to receive A-frame trusses from a telehander and assemble them into position.

The beam broke in half and both men fell inwards to the ground below, with Mr Hosking hitting the edge of a disused bath tub beneath. It was this impact that caused his injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that although there was scaffolding in place around the exterior of the building, there were no measures in place to prevent workers falling from height within the building, such as birdcage scaffolding or mobile elevated work platforms.

The investigation also found that Paul Siviter’s own site-specific risk assessment identified that the work activity would involve working at height above two metres and identified ‘appropriate scaffolding’ as a necessary precaution to take.

The builder, of Garn Wen Farm, Belle Vue Lane, Cwmbran, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £2,945.30.

via Cwmbran builder fined for worker fall.

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Paper firm, Arjo Wiggins Ltd fined after death of South Hams worker

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An international paper manufacturer has been ordered to pay £260,000 in fines and costs for serious safety failings after a mill worker was crushed between two large rollers running at full production speed.

Family man Richard Zebedee, 45, from Ivybridge died at the Arjo Wiggins site at the Stowford Mill on 28 April 2009. He died after being drawn into poorly-guarded rollers while trying to clear waste material from them.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, which brought a prosecution against Arjo Wiggins Ltd, of Manchester, at Plymouth Crown Court today (Monday 22 October).

The court heard there had been significant production problems on the day of the incident before Mr Zebedee started his shift in the drier area of the mill, with paper breaks and waste material affecting the process.

At one stage in production, Mr Zebedee gained access to the large rollers by opening a gate, which had an unlocked padlock, and used a long-handled tool to clear waste material, known as “broke”. At the time, the rollers were running at production speed of 131 metres a minute.

Mr Zebedee was drawn into the rollers and suffered severe crush injuries. Despite the efforts of fellow workers to free him and administer first aid, he showed no signs of life.

HSE found significant failings by the company in guarding the rollers and in the amount of training given to Mr Zebedee. The padlock on the gate was often left unlocked and staff had reported it to management.

In addition, although he had worked at the mill for a year-and-a-half, Mr Zebedee had only started work as a drierman a fortnight before the incident. He had taken part in training after his eight-hour shifts but several items on his training log had not been signed-off.

The investigation also found other staff had been working inside areas of the machine which should not have been accessed.

Arjo Wiggins (Ivybridge) Ltd of Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £60,000 in costs.

via Paper firm fined after death of South Hams worker.

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Severn Trent Water fined £20,000 for polluting Gloucestershire brook

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Yesterday, Severn Trent Water Limited, pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court to one charge of breaching a condition of their Environmental Permit.

This led to a discharge of untreated sewage to a tributary of the Ley Brook in Huntley, Gloucestershire.

The company was fined £20,000, ordered to pay £3,322.75 in costs, along with a £15 victim surcharge.

The charge was brought by the Environment Agency under Regulation 38(2) of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010.

On 6 September 2011, a report was made to the Environment Agency by Severn Trent Water Ltd, of a pollution incident at Huntley sewage treatment works.

Following this report an Environment Agency officer attended and took samples from the brook. The samples smelled of sewage and ammonia levels were found to be high.

Further investigation found that the blockage at the sewage works inlet was causing untreated sewage to enter the Ley Brook. This went undetected by Severn Trent Water for almost two weeks.

This was attributable to a reduced maintenance schedule, multiple failures with Severn Trent Water’s telemetry system that should have alerted them to the incident, and a delayed response once the problem was identified.

Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “We take cases of pollution to watercourses very seriously due to the environmental damage that can be caused. In this case, Severn Trent Water fell short of their responsibilities to maintain their sewage treatment works which led to the blockage, and so we did not hesitate to prosecute.”

A representative for Severn Trent Water apologised for the offence and said that they acted promptly once they were aware of the problem.

via Environment Agency – Severn Trent Water fined £20,000 for polluting Gloucestershire brook.

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A. R. Berry Design and Build Ltd fined for worker’s 6 metre fall in Feltham

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A Somerset construction company has been fined after a worker plummeted six metres from a roof he was working on in south-west London.

Wayne Bird, 28, was cleaning dead leaves from the gulleys of a building on the Radius Park in Feltham on 18 January 2011 for Somerset-based company A. R. Berry Design and Build Ltd.

Mr Bird, of Okehampton, Devon, stepped on a fragile skylight, which broke, sending him crashing through to the concrete floor below.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard today (22 Oct) that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and prosecuted A.R Berry for failing to ensure the safety of its employees.

Mr Bird suffered fractures and severe tendon damage to his left knee and right arm, broke his nose and lost several teeth. He is still unable to straighten his right arm or turn his elbow. As well as receiving on-going medical treatment, he is being treated for the psychological effects of the incident and has been unable to return to work

The court was told that HSE found the company failed to plan the work properly and did not train their workers to work at height. There was no edge protection in place and, although there were running lines available on the roof, no harnesses had been attached to them to protect the workers.

A.R. Berry Design and Build Ltd of Timberscombe, Minehead, Somerset, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £5000 and ordered to pay £8000 in costs.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Company fined for worker’s fall in Feltham – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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C&M Construction Limited fined ~ “failed to ensure that a Caterpillar Bulldozer”

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A fine of €10,000 was imposed on C&M Construction Limited today (Friday 19th October) by Judge Patricia Ryan in the Criminal Courts of Justice in Parkgate St.

The case arose after an investigation into a fatal accident, for which C&M are not being prosecuted.

C&M Construction Limited, pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 37 (b) of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006 in that they failed to ensure that a Caterpillar Bulldozer was maintained in proper working order.

On the 27th February 2008, at the Apron reconstruction site south of Pier D, Dublin Airport Mr Brian Clarke sustained fatal injuries when a Caterpillar Bulldozer D3 reversed over him.

Upon subsequent examination the Bulldozer was found to be defective in that the transmission selection mechanism was defective due to wear. This led to the gear lever being in neutral position albeit that the gear box was actually engaged in reverse.

via Health and Safety Authority – Construction Company fined for health and safety breach.

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Balloch burn pollution leads to fine for building supply company

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An Argyll company was fined £2,000 at Dumbarton Sheriff Court yesterday (16 October) after admitting they had failed to provide their garden centre at Gartocharn Road, Balloch with a sewage treatment system sufficient to meet limits designed to protect the environment.

Cowal Building and Plumbing Supplies Limited had previously pled guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of an enforcement notice which specified that an additional sewage treatment system must be installed by 19 October 2009 to ensure they met the conditions of their licence. The matter was investigated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a report was sent to the Procurator Fiscal. The company originally pled on 26 May 2011 and sentence was deferred several times until the problem was resolved.

The company has held an authorisation since September 2008 permitting them to discharge treated sewage effluent to the Ballagan Burn. The authorisation requires compliance with strict standards and SEPA samples the treated effluent to ensure compliance.

A routine sample taken in 2008 failed the upper tier limit for biochemical oxygen demand and so formal sampling procedures began. Nine formal samples were taken by SEPA between January 2009 and February 2010 and all failed to meet the licence conditions.

via Balloch burn pollution leads to fine for building supply company.

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Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (RIFE) report published

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The latest Radioactivity in Food and the Environment Report (RIFE, 2011) has been published and shows that doses of radioactivity received by people in Scotland are still well within international dose limits.

In the UK, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) are responsible for ensuring that doses from authorised releases of radioactivity do not pose an unacceptable risk to health.

The data collected by the agencies shows that levels and concentrations of radioactivity measured in the environment in 2011 were similar to those in 2010. SEPA is responsible for the radiological monitoring that is carried out in Scotland and has a duty to ensure that no member of the public receives a dose in excess of the statutory dose limit of one millisievert (1mSv) per year from authorised discharges. The report shows that doses received by the public in Scotland from authorised discharges of radioactivity were below the statutory limit. RIFE also reported that discharges from all of the nuclear licensed sites in Scotland were within the limits set by SEPA.

Additionally this year the report includes details of the monitoring that was done by the agencies across the United Kingdom, including SEPA, following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant incident.

via Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (RIFE) report published.

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