Skip hire company skipped environmental permit

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An Essex skip hire company and its director were today (Tuesday) fined £500 each and ordered to pay a contribution of £1000 each towards the Environment Agency’s costs for running an illegal waste site.

Timothy Rushbrook is sole director of RRR Recycling Solutions Ltd which hires skips to builders.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard today how RRR Recycling Solutions was using Bates Road Yard in Maldon to store skips full of waste without being authorised by an environmental permit.

Mrs Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said in February and March 2011 Environment Agency officers had seen RRR Recycling skips stored at the Bates Road Yard.

She said that Mr Rushbrook had been contacted by the Environment Agency and informed that he needed a permit to store waste and was asked to clear the waste from the site. However, in May 2011 there were still 15 RRR Recycling skips on the site, 12 of which contained mixed waste including green waste, metals, soils, concrete, rubble and builders’ waste.

Mrs McDonald said that the waste activities were deliberate. As Mr Rushbrook holds certificates in waste management and RRR Recycling holds a waste carriers registration permitting it to transport waste, both were aware that they required a permit to manage waste.

The court heard that unregulated waste activities can cause harm to the environment. Bates Road Yard has been used for storing waste by both RRR Recycling and other people as well as being used by flytippers to deposit waste. The site is adjacent to the River Blackwater which is protected by national and international conservation designations.

After the hearing, Environment Agency officer Jenny Martin said “Large amounts of waste were stored at this site without a permit. Our advice was not followed and the uncontrolled handling of waste can harm human health and pollute the environment.

“Stopping illegal waste sites from operating is a high priority for the Environment Agency and we strive to find, investigate and take action against anyone in the waste industry flouting the law.”

via Environment Agency – Skip hire company skipped environmental permit.

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Master of Ship Fined After Collision in Dover Straits

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At a hearing today at Southampton Magistrates Court, the Master of a cargo vessel pleaded guilty to three offences brought under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1974, as amended (Colregs), and fined £1500 plus costs of £1000.

The Spring Bok is a 12,113 gross ton Refrigerated Cargo Ship (Reefer) registered in the Netherlands. On the 24 March 2012 she was on passage from Rotterdam to Aruba and was traveling in the South West lane of the Dover Straits Traffic Separation Scheme. A small liquid gas carrier was also heading south west and traveling at 7-8 knots while the Spring Bok was transiting at 18-20 knots. At approximately 1014 utc, the Spring Bok ran into the stern of the Gas Carrier. An investigation into the collision was started.

Captain Robert Koningstein was the Officer of the Watch of the Spring Bok. The visibility in the Dover Straits had been poor but had improved to about 2.5 miles off Dungeness. After the visibility had increased he had sent the lookout down. His son and brother-in-law were on the bridge also but not in any official capacity. Captain Koningstein admitted that he had seen the Gas Artic some 20 minutes before the collision. However he had no recollection of seeing it again until it appeared from behind the forward cranes moments before the collision. Damage on both vessels was comparatively light.

A more serious collision was avoided by the actions of the Master of the Gas carrier who saw the approaching Spring Bok and altered course immediately in order to avoid the collision.

Robert Koningstein pleaded guilty to three charges brought under the Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collision) Regulations 1996. These were a failure to keep a good lookout, a failure to ascertain that risk of collision existed and a failure to keep clear of a vessel being overtaken.

Captain Eric Meare, Marine Surveyor at the Dover Marine Office said:

The Dover Straits are the busiest shipping lanes in the world. It is essential to maintain a good lookout and watch at all time. Strict compliance with all of the Colregs is essential to ensuring the safety of all users of the Straits.

via Newsroom – Press Releases.

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Royal Group, Inc. Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured

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Newmarket, ON – Royal Group, Inc., carrying on business as Royal Pipe Co., a Toronto pipe manufacturer, was fined $50,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

On July 2, 2011, a worker at the company’s Woodbridge manufacturing facility was setting up one of the production lines. The worker slipped on a wet surface and fell onto a machine. The worker’s arm was trapped and injured between the frame of the machine and one of its moving parts.

Royal Group, Inc., carrying on business as Royal Pipe Co., pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the work surface was kept free of slip and fall hazards.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace John MacDonald. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

via Royal Group, Inc. Fined $50,000 After Worker Injured.

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£810 water pollution fine for East Kilbride Farmer

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An East Kilbride farmer was fined £810 on Monday 10 September after being found guilty of polluting a local watercourse.

Mr Hugh Neilson pled guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court to storing silage and farmyard manure in ways which led to significant quantities of silage effluent and slurry entering the Cleughearn Burn and the Calder Water. The matter was investigated by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a report prepared for the Procurator Fiscal.

In August 2010, SEPA officers were informed by Mr Neilson of an incident at the farm, where workers overfilled a silage pit which overflowed during heavy rainfall. This caused silage effluent to enter the main drainage system which connects with the Cleughearn Burn. Despite Mr Neilson eradicating the issue of excess silage, SEPA officers decided that action should be taken given the potential impact on the watercourse and the previous history of pollution events at the site.

Through an inspection of the watercourse, numerous samples collected downstream from Park Farm were found to be heavily polluted. Considerable fungal growth and odours were also discovered at points downstream from the site, as well as a noticeable decrease in living organisms.

A further inspection was carried out in November 2010, following a complaint from a member of the public who had reported pollution in the Calder Water and Cleughearn Burn. During the inspection, SEPA officers observed a large pile of manure being stored on the edge of a silage pit. Due to its ineffective placement, the manure was mixing with surface water and running into the main drainage system and, eventually, the watercourse

In January 2012, another complaint was received by SEPA with regards to further pollution in the Cleughearn Burn. After noticing large amounts of sewage fungus in the burn, and an unnamed tributary, SEPA officers discovered the pollution was coming from a dug out pit which accepts surface water drainage from Mr Neilson’s farm. Mr Neilson admitted the pollution was due to excess manure which was being ineffectively stored within the silage pit. This resulted in slurry spilling out in front of the pit, down an adjacent field and into the unnamed tributary.

Following the repeated pollution events associated with the site, SEPA Officers concluded that, despite his co-operation, Mr Neilson had continually failed to operate in an environmentally responsible way and felt they were left with no option but to recommend the case to the Procurator Fiscal.

via £810 water pollution fine for East Kilbride Farmer.

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Emergency-stop button and interlock were not working costs Harvest Freshcuts Pty Ltd

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Harvest Freshcuts Pty Ltd

Background Details

The accused operated a business which produced read-made salads for supply to supermarkets from its premises in Bibra Lake (Workplace).

At the Workplace there were a number of different machines to cut and slice the produce, one of which was a belt slicer. Vegetables were placed on the belt slicer’s conveyor belt, which would feed them through to a cutting chamber containing three rotating blades that would cut the vegetables into smaller pieces.

The cutting chamber was covered by a guard that could be opened, exposing the blades. However, opening the guard would engage an interlock device that would cut power to the blades. The blades could also be stopped by switching it off and/or unplugging it at the wall, turning the machine off at its on-off switch, and/or pressing its emergency-stop button.

On 24 June 2009 an employee was operating the machine. He decided to clear vegetable matter from the cutting chamber. He hit the emergency-stop button to stop the machine and then opened the guard and put his hand into the machine to scoop out the vegetable matter.

However, unbeknownst to him, the emergency-stop button and interlock were not functioning due to a fault in a single-contact electrical relay on the circuit in which they were connected. As a result, the blades were still spinning when the employee put his hand in the cutting chamber. Two of his fingers were amputated to the middle knuckle.

After the accident, the accused:

fitted the belt slicer with multiple-contact electrical relays that were less likely to fail, and would fail to safe if they did fail;
fitted the guard with a time-delay interlock that would fail to safe if it did fail, and which also prevented the guard being opened while the blades were spinning; and
instructed its employees to isolate power to the machine by switching it off and unplugging it at the wall before opening the guard.

It was reasonably practicable for the accused to have taken any or all of these measures prior to the accident.

via Prosecution Details | Prosecutions Database | Department of Commerce.

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GP Roofing and Construction of Palm Coast, Fla., cited by US Department of Labor’s OSHA for exposing workers to fall, other hazards

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ST. JOHNS, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Palm Coast-based GP Roofing & Construction LLC with three willful safety violations for exposing workers to fall and other hazards while they were conducting roofing work at a new residential site in the Aberdeen subdivision of St. Johns. OSHA initiated an inspection in June as part of the agency’s Local Emphasis Program on Fall Hazards in Construction. Proposed penalties total $72,600.

The violations involve failing to provide eye protection for workers using pneumatic nail guns, fall protection for workers installing roofing materials on steep-pitched roofs, and a safe means for workers to access and exit a 19-foot-high roof. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23166

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Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Fined $200,000 After Workers Injured

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Kitchener, ON – Maple Leaf Foods Inc., a Toronto producer of frozen and prepared foods, was fined $200,000 for two violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after workers were injured in two separate incidents.

On July 26, 2010, a worker at the company’s Kitchener factory was operating a machine that folds and glues cardboard into boxes. The machine jammed and the worker opened its gate and reached in to remove the jam.

Once the jam was cleared, the machine activated and crushed the worker’s arm.An investigation found the machine’s moving parts had not been stopped and blocked prior to the worker removing the jam.

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was fined $100,000 for failing to ensure that the jam was removed only when motion that could endanger the worker was stopped and the machine’s moving parts were blocked.On December 29, 2010, at the Kitchener factory, a worker was checking a machine to make sure sanitary standards were met before work began for the day.

The worker saw a piece of plastic wrap stuck in the machine’s conveyor system. The worker reached in to remove the plastic wrap and the conveyor activated when the debris was dislodged.

The worker’s glove got caught in the conveyor and the worker’s hand was pulled into the equipment.The worker had not been instructed on the proper procedures for removing debris from the machine.

The worker was also not taught how to effectively lock out power to the machine.Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was fined $100,000 for failing to ensure that the worker was provided information, instruction and supervision on the safe procedures for cleaning and locking out the machine.The fines were imposed by Justice of the Peace Michael Cuthbertson.

In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2012/10/maple-leaf-foods-inc-fined-200000-after-workers-injured.html?utm_source=ministry_of_labour_news&utm_medium=rss_click&utm_campaign=rss_feed

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Northstar Hospitality GP Inc. Fined $70,000 After Worker Injured

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Toronto, ON – Northstar Hospitality GP Inc. was fined $70,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured at the Toronto Hilton.On August 9, 2011, a worker was doing a weekly test of the Toronto Hilton’s emergency generator equipment.

The worker saw a leak under the radiator at the back of the generator and leaned over near the fan box to get a better look.

The worker’s hand inadvertently entered an opening at the bottom of the fan box and the worker’s fingers were amputated.

Northstar Hospitality GP Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the generator was guarded to prevent access to its moving parts.The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Kevin Madigan. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2012/10/northstar-hospitality-gp-inc-fined-70000-after-worker-injured.html?utm_source=ministry_of_labour_news&utm_medium=rss_click&utm_campaign=rss_feed

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Deep Foundations Ltd. Fined $90,000 After Worker Injured

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Ottawa, ON – Deep Foundations Ltd., a Gormley, ON, construction company, was fined $90,000 for a violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was critically injured. On October 28, 2009, workers from the company were at a construction project at Woodroffe Rd. and Baseline Rd. in Ottawa. They were vibrating large steel beams into the ground to be used as piles to support the soil during construction. Four beams, or piles, had been welded onto a frame before the workers began setting them into the ground. Workers were vibrating one of the piles into place when another came loose from its welding. The pile fell and struck a worker, causing serious injuries. Deep Foundations Ltd. was found guilty of failing to take the reasonable precaution of either: driving one pile at a time without having any others welded during the driving process, or having a professional engineer provide requirements for welding when one or more pile is welded while another is being driven. The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Brian Mackey. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime. http://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2012/10/deep-foundations-ltd-fined-90000-after-worker-injured.html?utm_source=ministry_of_labour_news&utm_medium=rss_click&utm_campaign=rss_feed

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Firm fined after teenage apprentice loses four fingers on machine

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A teenage apprentice lost four fingers on a poorly guarded tube-expanding machine while helping a worker who was not trained or authorised to use it, a court heard today (29 October).

The 18-year-old, who does not want to be named, had been working for only five weeks at engineering firm W P Metals Ltd in Aldridge, near Walsall, when the incident occurred on 16 February this year.

His left hand was trapped by the mechanism of a swager machine, which expands the ends of metal tubes so that other tubes can be inserted inside.

All four fingers were severed clean off. Surgeons successfully reattached two of them, but his little finger and ring finger could not be saved. As well as being left permanently disfigured, he now struggles with everyday tasks, such as dressing himself.

Walsall Magistrates’ Court heard the teenager was serving a three-month placement at W P Metals through LATA, the Logistics Apprenticeship Training Academy.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found he was lining up tubes for a permanent employee who wasn’t trained or authorised to be using the swager. Although the apprentice was aware of how to use the machine, he should have been properly supervised.

The firm also failed to ensure the machine was properly guarded to prevent access to dangerous moving parts. As such, W P Metals Ltd failed to provide a safe system of work.

The company, of Westgate, Aldridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £2,740 in costs.

via Firm fined after teenage apprentice loses four fingers on machine.

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