Lessons should have been learned from the first incident – Jas Bowman and Sons Ltd prosecuted

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A global ingredients company has been fined for safety failings after two workers were seriously injured in separate incidents a year apart at its UK manufacturing base near Hitchin. Jas Bowman and Sons Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for not doing enough to protect people working at height at Ickleford Mill in Ickleford. In the first incident, on 7 July 2009, a maintenance engineer fell more than two metres while attempting to clean flour product from inside an elevated conveyor. He stood on the frame of a nearby machine to remove upper guarding on the conveyor but slipped, fracturing his right shoulder blade and a vertebra in his spine when he hit the floor below. A year later, on 15 July 2010, an electrical sub contractor fell down a lift shaft while carrying out maintenance work on a jammed second floor lift door. A panel reading indicated the lift was at second floor level. He manually opened the door by overriding a release mechanism and stepped in but fell into the shaft because the lift car had returned to the ground floor. He was following instructions from two Bowman employees at the time and fractured his skull, developed a cranial blood clot, severed his right ear, which was almost completely detached from his head, and sustained extensive bruising as a result of the fall. He was off work for 18 months as a result of his injuries. Stevenage Magistrates’ Court heard today (27 November) that a HSE investigation into both incidents identified serious failings with the work not being properly planned, supervised or carried out in a safe manner. After the hearing, HSE Inspector Graham Tompkins commented: “These were both serious incidents in their own right, but coupled together they provide a worrying picture. Lessons should have been learned from the first incident, however, the safety of workers continued to be compromised. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-e-105.htm?eban=rss-

Patterson v Ministry of Defence – non-freezing cold injury would not be regarded as a disease;

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It was held that as a matter of ordinary everyday language, a non-freezing cold injury would not be regarded as a disease; it was not caused by any virus, bacteria, noxious agent or parasite; it was simply a condition where blood failed to reach the cells in the nerves, skin and muscle as a result of exposure to weather or environmental conditions.

There was no basis for concluding that the term ‘disease’ in CPR 45 was intended to be interpreted by reference to the pre-action protocol for disease and illness claims, the purpose of which was very different from CPR 45.

The Protocol was concerned with the procedure to be followed at and before the commencement of litigation, while the subject matter of CPR 45, namely the success fee payable to a claimant’s lawyers was altogether different. The definition of disease in the Protocol was therefore not a reliable guide to the meaning of disease in CPR 45.

Patterson v Ministry of Defence [2012] EWHC 2767 (QB) – 12/10/12

Smurfit Kappa, fined for worker’s injuries at Caerphilly factory #flt

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An employee suffered leg injuries when a reversing forklift truck struck him while working at a cardboard factory. Michael Jones, of Abercarn, was inspecting production in an area of the factory at the Prince of Wales Industrial Estate, Abercarn, Caerphilly when the incident happened on 11 April 2011. Mr Jones’ employer, Smurfit Kappa, was fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay £14,100 in fines by Caerphilly Magistrates in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) today (26 November). The court was told that the forklift truck was reversing around a storage area to drop off an empty pallet when it struck Mr Jones, who was carrying out routine work on stock in the area. Although the forklift was travelling at a slow speed, Mr Jones suffered a broken ankle and fractured heel and subsequently developed deep vein thrombosis. An investigation by the HSE revealed that the forklift was fitted with reversing alarms, but these were not audible over the noise in the production area. No other safety measures were used, such as mirrors or flashing lights on the vehicles. Although the company had a transport policy, they had not adequately assessed the risk to all pedestrians and there were inadequate measures in place to separate pedestrians from forklift vehicles in the production area. Despite the transport policy highlighting the need for other safety devices such as mirrors, these were not fitted to the vehicles. http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2012/rnn-w-smurfitkappa.htm?eban=rss-

OSHA exposes safety and health hazards at construction sites through no-notice incident prevention campaign

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PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has concluded its 2012 “Construction Incident Prevention Initiative,” during which it issued 243 citations and assessed a total of $658,862 in proposed fines to companies on construction sites throughout the agency’s Philadelphia Region.

The four-month campaign included 545 no-notice inspections focused on falls, trenches and silica exposure. Fifty-nine percent of the inspections revealed violations, some of the most common of which are failing to use fall protection when working on roofs, ensure that scaffolds are constructed safely and protect trenches from collapse.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=23307

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The protruding arm of a crane has collapsed on top of a construction site at the University of Technology, Sydney, after earlier catching fire.

     “My mate joked it was going to fall and next thing we’ve heard this crash, bang, carnage everywhere, people running from every different direction”

Crane collapse, fire caught on camera – Sydney Morning Herald

Worker found disoriented, hurt inside Canadian General-Tower plant in Cambridge – Waterloo Record

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CAMBRIDGE — A worker was taken to the hospital after trying to clean up a chemical spill in a Cambridge factory Saturday morning.

A maintenance worker was found wandering and disoriented with a head injury at about 6:20 a.m. inside Canadian General-Tower, 52 Middleton St.

Worker found disoriented, hurt inside Canadian General-Tower plant in Cambridge – Waterloo Record

Fire kills 14 at disabled workshop in Germany – News Tribe

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Berlin: Fourteen people perished and several more were injured when a fire swept through a workshop for handicapped people in the Black Forest region of Germany on Monday, police said.

Around 100 firefighters backed by helicopters battled the blaze in the town of Titisee-Neustadt, as some wearing breathing apparatus pulled several people from the stricken building.

Fire kills 14 at disabled workshop in Germany – News Tribe

Flaming tragedy: Seven killed as van’s gas cylinder explodes – The Express Tribune

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LAHORE: Seven people were killed and four injured when a passenger van’s gas cylinder caught fire on Multan Road in Lahore on Monday.

Three members of a family, Tariq Fareed, his wife Sajida Bibi and his three-year-old daughter Kiran, perished in the flames, as well four others, including a three-month-old child and a man identified as Hafeez, a father of six children.

Flaming tragedy: Seven killed as van’s gas cylinder explodes – The Express Tribune

Parking Garage Worker Killed When SUV Falls Off Lift – NBC New York

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A Manhattan parking garage worker died after an SUV rolled off a lift and fell 6 feet onto him, FDNY authorities and a law enforcement official tell NBC 4 New York.

It wasn’t immediately clear why the vehicle slipped off the lift early Monday.

Parking Garage Worker Killed When SUV Falls Off Lift – NBC New York

Samsung unearths illegal work practices at Chinese suppliers – The Guardian

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Samsung Electronics admits it has found illegal work practices in an audit of 105 of its Chinese suppliers – but it has given the companies two more years to eliminate it. The audit of 65,000 employees follows accusations by China Labor Watch, an independent labour rights group based in New York, which alleged in August that Samsung suppliers hired children and used “inhumane” working conditions, and in September that there was illegal discrimination in hiring polices at some Samsung suppliers.

Samsung unearths illegal work practices at Chinese suppliers – The Guardian