Artists use vape litter for crafts to urge recycling

Costume designer Sheilagh McCafferty’s eyes lit up as she pulled apart one of a pile of vape cartridges, a treasure trove of wiring, lithium batteries and light-emitting diode (LED) dots that she used to decorate some of her creations. Her work is part of an art exhibition in Sacremento, where artists want to put a spotlight on recycling single-use e-cigarette devices.

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Construction company fined after worker falls from platform

A construction company has been fined after a worker fell from a platform causing him to be knocked unconscious and suffer a broken wrist.

Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 28 August 2018, during refurbishment work at Old Eldon Farm, Shildon, a site operative fell from a raised platform. The operative was undertaking work to fit rafters to the roof at the Farm, when he fell approximately 2.2 metres to the floor below, knocking him unconscious.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Greens Property Developments Limited had failed to ensure that, so far as was reasonably practicable, construction work was carried out without risks to health and safety by failing to plan, manage and monitor work at height.

Greens Property Developments Limited of Chester Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £25,10.41 costs.

After the hearing HSE inspector, Andrew Woodhall, said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning, managing and monitoring the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those who fall below the required standards.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

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Buckinghamshire company fined after forklift truck struck worker

A packaging company has been fined after an employee was struck by a reversing forklift truck.

Reading Magistrates’ Court heard that on 9 August 2018 an employee, Arthur Weston, working at Boxes and Packaging (Oxford) Limited in Long Crendon, was struck by a reversing forklift truck when he bent down to pick up a broken piece of wood.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was inadequate separation of fork lift trucks and pedestrians within the workspace. The unit where the Mr Weston worked was in an unsuitable area right next to the traffic route.

Boxes and Packaging (Oxford) Limited of Drakes Drive, Long Crendon was found guilty of breaching Regulations 4 (1) and 17 (1) of Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The company has been fined £10,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £2,560.00.

Speaking after the hearing inspector, Stephen Faulkner, said: “The Company failed to undertake a number of simple safety measures including segregation of reversing vehicles, from employees.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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Engineering company fined for exposing workers to the risk of dermatitis

An engineering company has been fined for failing to control the risk of its employees developing dermatitis following exposure to metalworking fluid.

West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court heard that, between October 2017 and January 2019, employees of Lymington Precision Engineers Co Limited were exposed to metalworking fluid while working on conventional machines such as lathes and milling machines on the company site in Limington, New Forest. Metalworking fluid is used on the machines to lubricate and cool work pieces and is classed as a substance hazardous to health. Exposure to metalworking fluid can lead to the development of dermatitis and asthma and can have serious, life-changing health effects.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to ensure adequate measures were in place for the control of exposure to metalworking fluids, exposing their employees to the risk of contracting dermatitis.

Lymington Precision Engineers Co. Limited of High Street, Rickmansworth have pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7(1) of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and have been fined £20,000and ordered to pay costs of £4,447.46.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Nicola Pinckney said: “This case could so easily have been avoided by simply implementing correct control measures and appropriate working practices. Appropriate controls could include provision and use of well-fitting overalls, use of gloves in contact with contaminated work pieces, avoidance of the use of airlines for cleaning activities, and the provision of an effective skin care regime.

“Control of exposure to hazardous substances is a legal requirement on employers and HSE provides guidance on how control can be achieved.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at: http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. HSE guidance and information about Dermatitis can be found at:   http://www.hse.gov.uk/skin/employ/dermatitis.htm

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Gas fitter jailed illegal gas work

A self-employed gas fitter has been jailed after working on gas appliances while unregistered.

Manchester Crown Court heard that in November 2014, Mr Richard Goldthorpe was served a Prohibition Notice by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) banning him from carrying out gas work unless he gained the necessary competence and registered with the Gas Safe Register.

Picture with notes from Gas Safe Register

An investigation by HSE subsequently found that between 3 March 2018 and 22 March 2019, Mr Goldthorpe undertook work on gas appliances at seven addresses across England. On one occasion, he used a false name. His unsafe work featured on the BBC Watchdog programme.

Several defects were found on each gas appliance worked on by Mr Goldthorpe, including incomplete and defective flue joints, flues not sealed to building structures, and the dangerous decommissioning of a back boiler; all the defects identified posed safety risks for the homeowners and their families.

Richard Goldthorpe, of Irwin Road, St Helens pleaded guilty to:

  • Seven separate offences under Section 3 (2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • One offence under Regulation 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
  • One offence under Regulation 3 (7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
  • One offence under Section 33(1) (g) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Whilst on bail awaiting sentence, Mr Goldthorpe undertook further gas work whilst unregistered and subsequently pleaded guilty to two additional offences; one under Regulation 3 (3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations and one under Section 33(1) (g) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Mr Goldthorpe was jailed for 16 months.

Speaking following the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Banks commented: “Richard Goldthorpe knowingly defrauded homeowners and purposely misled them into thinking he was registered with Gas Safe Register.

“Mr Goldthorpe had even been warned on national television that he was breaking the law. The work he did was unsafe and he put several families at risk. It is only a matter of chance that no one was seriously harmed.

“All gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life. The public should always ask to see the gas engineer’s identification and check the registration number online (https://ift.tt/RdBQkL) or ring the Gas Safe Register customer helpline 0800 408 5500.”

 

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

 

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Antarctic penguin count reveals dramatic decline

The number of chinstrap penguins in some colonies in Western Antarctica has fallen by as much as 77% since they were last surveyed in the 1970s, say scientists studying the impact of climate change on the remote region. Emer McCarthy reports.

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South Wales Police fined after employee injured during cable installation

South Wales Police has been fined after an employee received an electric shock whilst installing computer data cables.

Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard that on the 16 October 2015, at Bridgend Police Station, Brackla Street, a 48-year-old civilian employee sustained damage to his heart muscles when he came into contact with an exposed end of a live 3-core electrical cable which had been left in a ceiling void.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the Force had failed to ensure the electrical system was safe and that the ceiling void was a safe place of work.

South Wales Police Headquarters, Bridgend was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £64,000 and ordered to pay £29,449.14 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Neil Craig HSE’s head of operations commented: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Police forces have the same duties under health and safety legislation as any other employer. It was appropriate for HSE to bring this matter before the courts given the avoidable, life-changing injuries suffered by their employee.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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Construction materials company fined after employee suffers life-changing injuries

A company that designs, manufactures and distributes construction materials has been fined after an employee suffered serious injuries, resulting in his left arm being amputated.

Loughborough Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 13 August 2017, an employee of Saint-Gobain Construction Products UK Limited was seriously injured when a rock handling belt failed at the company’s plant in Barrow-Upon-Soar, Leicestershire. Two employees had been clearing rock that had built up around the belt; as the belt had become so compacted it was difficult to remove by hand. Both men went to the isolator end of the belt and removed the local isolation with the guards still removed and pressed the ‘start/stop’ button. On checking the tail-end of the drum they saw it had not cleared itself of rock. One of the men went to the opposite side of the tail-end drum to remove the rock and the pair were no longer in visual contact. His colleague pressed the start/stop button again whilst his colleague’s arm was in close proximity to the rotating drum and his arm was drawn in.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no risk assessment or safe system of work in place for clearing rock safely from tail-end drums.

Saint-Gobain Construction Products UK Limited of Binley Business Park, Coventry pled guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of £12,945.62.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Michelle Morrison said: “This injury could easily have been prevented, had the risk have been identified. Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery”.

 

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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Two companies fined after worker dies in Camden explosion

Materials Movement Ltd and P J Labour Services Ltd have been fined after a worker was killed in an explosion at a demolition site.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 16 March 2017, 54-year-old Stephen Hampton, working at a site on Swains Lane in Camden, London, was killed when an old fuel storage tank he was cutting up exploded and the end of the vessel struck him causing fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found both contractors failed in their duties to effectively plan, manage and monitor control measures to address the risks associated with the demolition of a site that contained fuel tanks. The standards for this type of work are well known, established and clear.

Materials Movement Ltd of Clifton Road, Henlow, Bedfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £33,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,675.38.

P J Labour Services Ltd of Technology Park, Colindeep Lane, Colindale, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 15(2) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £33,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,648.18.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Ian Shearring said: “Mr Hampton had recently adopted two young boys and this incident leaves them, along with his wife, alone and struggling financially all for the sake of a bit more effort on both defendant’s parts. Both Materials Movement Ltd and P J Labour Services Ltd have today been held to account for killing Mr Hampton after failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of persons working on their site”.

“Neither company adequately assessed and controlled the risks of this highly dangerous work. It was left to the workers to devise their own methods of working, which was compounded by no site management.

 

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

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