G and G Contracts (Fife) Ltd fined £2,000 for unsafe scaffolding

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A Fife construction firm has been fined for exposing workers to fall from height risk by using unsafe scaffolding.

Dangerous scaffolding was identified by inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) during an unannounced visit to a site operated by G and G Contracts (Fife) Ltd in Kirk Street, Culross, Fife on 15 April 2010.

Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard today (13 December) that work to construct a single storey house extension had reached the stage where roof tiling, the installation of a skylight and other work to make it wind and watertight remained outstanding.

A scaffold was in the process of being constructed by workers employed by the company. It appeared incomplete when HSE Inspectors arrived and they quickly established that those involved in erecting it were not trained or competent to do so.

The scaffold was also being used by two workers from a plumbing and heating firm sub-contracted by G and G Contracts (Fife) Ltd to install lead flashing.

The HSE Inspectors ordered all work to stop and carried out a full inspection. This revealed a number of deficiencies with the scaffolding, including missing guard rails, bracings and toeboards; and no guarding on a working platform. The ledgers, used to hold the structure together, were also incorrectly placed and an access ladder was not properly secured and did not extend to a sufficient height.

The court was told that the scaffolding failed to provide the required standard of protection.

G and G Contracts (Fife) Ltd was fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After sentencing, HSE inspector Mike Orr said:

“Falls from height are one of the main causes of fatalities and serious injuries in the workplace, and employers cannot afford to ignore the risks.

“Thankfully no-one was injured as a result of the deficiencies in the scaffolding at this site, which posed a clear danger to those who were required to use it in order to work at height.

“This case should serve as a warning to companies that HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action when workers are unnecessarily put at risk.”

In the 12 months to April 2012, 49 workers lost their lives on construction sites in the UK, with falls from height being the most common cause of fatal injuries.

Guidance on working safely at height can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/workingatheight.htm

Guidance for small businesses can also be found on HSE’s website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/areyou/builder.htm

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – FIFE CONSTRUCTION FIRM FINED FOR DANGEROUS SCAFFOLDING – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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Workplace Safety and Health Council Festive Season Campaign reminds all to work safely for loved ones

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Workplace Safety and Health Council: The Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council is launching a festive season campaign from December 2012 to February 2013 to remind everyone the importance of keeping safety top of mind at all times. With the message “The best gift is returning home safely from work every day”, the campaign was created with the insight that the festive season was a time when people ponder on gifts for family and friends.

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Man killed in Moses Lake industrial accident | Spokane/E. WA – KXLY.com

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Man killed in Moses Lake industrial accident | Spokane/E. WA – KXLY.com: MOSES LAKE, Wash. –
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a male employee of Genie Industries in Moses Lake was killed in a work-related industrial accident Tuesday night.At approximately 7:25 p.m., deputies responded to Genie Industries, after a large piece of equipment fell and trapped the victim by his head.�

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Drilling Worker KIlled In Bradford County Accident – WETM 18 Online

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Drilling Worker KIlled In Bradford County Accident – WETM 18 Online: BURGLINGTON TWSP., PA. – A drilling company worker was killed Wednesday while clearing a a right of way for a natural gas pipeline in Bradford County.Bradford County Coroner Thomas Carman says 42-year old Kenneth Elliott of Missouri was killed in the accident which took place off the Berwick Turnpike in Burlington Township.

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88 industrial accidental deaths in last two yrs – India

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88 industrial accidental deaths in last two yrs: Admitting that accidents in industrial units in the State are on the rise, Labour and Employment Minister Bijayshree Routray on Tuesday told the Assembly that as many as many as 191 accidents occurred in industrial complexes during the last two years.

During the Question Hour, he said the highest 15 numbers of deaths took place in Bhushan Steel and Power in Dhankanal district. The Minister said during the year 2011-12 as many as 56 workers died in 122 factory accidents, and during 2012-12 so far, 32 workers were victims in 69 accidents.

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OSHA cites Certifit Inc. with safety violations for exposing workers to electrical and fall hazards in San Antonio

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SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Salt Lake City-based Certifit Inc. with two repeat and one serious violation from an August follow-up inspection for continuing to expose workers to fall and electrical hazards at the company’s San Antonio work site on Sonterra Boulevard. Proposed penalties total $71,500.

The initial January inspection, which resulted in $12,000 in fines, determined that defective rolling ladders exposed workers to fall hazards, and the employer failed to ensure a competent, on-site person was trained and certified in first aid. The August inspection resulted in the same repeat violations. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

“This employer continues to jeopardize the safety of its workers,” said Kelly C. Knighton, the agency’s area director in San Antonio. “Employers have a responsibility to ensure a healthful and safe workplace environment.”

via 2012 – 12/12/2012 – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Certifit Inc. with safety violations for exposing workers to electrical and fall hazards in San Antonio.

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Pub to pay nearly £14k (From Salisbury Journal)

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A NEW Forest pub has been ordered to pay nearly £14,000 after fresh rodent droppings were found in its kitchen and potatoes had been gnawed by rats.

The droppings were discovered by council environmental health officers when they paid a surprise visit to the Red Shoot in Linwood in May this year.

 Pub to pay nearly £14k (From Salisbury Journal) 

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Ex-BPI worker sues ABC, Oliver over ‘pink slime’

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 SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A former worker at a South Dakota beef processor is suing ABC News, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and a food blogger, saying their use of the phrase “pink slime” to describe one of the company’s products led to him losing his job.

Bruce Smith, 58, is among about 750 people who were laid off at Beef Products Inc. in the wake of what the company called a misinformation campaign in social media and news reports about the product: lean, finely textured beef.

In May, Beef Products Inc. closed three plants – one each in Texas, Kansas and Iowa – and laid off workers at its corporate headquarters in South Dakota.

Smith, of Dakota Dunes, was the company’s senior counsel and director of Environmental, Health & Safety. He filed a civil suit Tuesday in Dakota County District Court in Nebraska seeking $70,000 in damages.

Ex-BPI worker sues ABC, Oliver over ‘pink slime’ 

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OSHA cites Bontrager Excavating Ltd. in Uniontown, Ohio, for failing to protect workers in trench

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UNIONTOWN, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Bontrager Excavating Ltd. in Uniontown with three willful safety violations for failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching operations. OSHA initiated the inspection in June after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions. Proposed penalties total $115,500.

“Bontrager Excavating has again failed to take adequate safety measures to protect their workers from cave-ins at excavation sites despite having lost employees in the past as a result of failing to follow these industry-specific standards,” said Howard Eberts, OSHA’s area director in Cleveland. “OSHA implemented a trenching and excavation special emphasis programs in the 1980s, so the industry is well aware of the safety regulations for trenching operations.”

OSHA placed Bontrager Excavating in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program in 2011, after one worker was killed and another injured in a trench collapse in December 2010 in Stark County. The program focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer’s facilities or job sites. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=DIRECTIVES&p_id=4503.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23397

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SAICA Pack UK Ltd & MD Engineering Services (UK) Ltd fined after forklift accident

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Two North East firms have been fined after a worker suffered serious head injuries when the fork of a forklift truck struck him on the forehead.

Jim McGowan, 66, of Felling, Gateshead, was employed by MD Engineering Services (UK) Ltd when the incident happened on 15 December 2010.

The company had secured a contract to remove redundant machinery and equipment at the premises of SAICA Pack UK Ltd in Queensway, Hartlepool and he was carrying out the work with a colleague who was driving the forklift truck.

Mr McGowan was working to remove a piece of equipment from a mezzanine platform and had bent over ready to hook a lifting sling onto the fork of the forklift truck.

As the forks were raised, the right hand fork became caught on the stop bracket of the gate to the mezzanine. The driver was unaware and continued to raise the forks. The force was great enough to shear the bracket, releasing the fork which sprung upwards striking Mr McGowan on the forehead.

He suffered a double fracture to the skull, facial fractures and a fractured eye socket and continues to suffer both physically and mentally from the incident.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard today (12 December) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that SAICA Pack UK Ltd had failed to ensure the work was carried out by competent persons and that its control of contractors was inadequate.

The investigation also established that MD Engineering Services (UK) Ltd had failed to adequately assess, plan and carry out the lifting operation or ensure that the workers sent to do the job had not been properly trained.

SAICA Pack UK Ltd, of Eastmount Road, Darlington was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £5,489.40 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

MD Engineering Services (UK) Ltd, of Blackthorn Way, Fencehouses, Houghton-le-Spring was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £4,600 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 8(1)(c) of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Victoria Wise added:

“What happened on that day was totally preventable. Both companies failed in their duty of care to Mr McGowan and as a result he suffered serious head injuries.

“It clearly illustrates the importance of ensuring that lifting operations are properly planned and managed by a competent person.”

A father of two, with five grandchildren, Mr McGowan had hoped to continue working but the ongoing effects of his injuries have now forced him to retire.

He does not feel up to talking independently about his experiences, but speaking on his behalf his wife Brenda explained:

“Jim loved his job, he’d been in the trade for 49 years and had been self-employed working with MD Engineering for the last eight years. He really misses it, but he’s just not able to continue working now.

“He gets ongoing support from a support worker, case manager, physiotherapist and a psychologist. He still suffers short-term memory loss and it’s also affected his hearing, balance and taste, and we don’t know in the long term whether that will ever improve.

“It’s had a big impact on us both and the family. It’s changed everything. He was once so active and independent but now I have to spend more and more time with him, as you worry all the time if he’s safe.

“I hope that this case will help highlight the importance of safety, companies cannot afford to cut corners on safety putting people’s lives at risk. Jim was lucky, he could have been killed in this terrible incident and I just hope we can help stop anything like this happening to anyone else.”

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – TWO NORTH EAST FIRMS FINED AFTER WORKER SUFFERED SERIOUS HEAD INJURIES – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

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