Italian ski resort becomes first to ban plastic

The Peio valley tourist spot is now plastic-free after scientists discovered up to 162 million plastic particles in a nearby glacier. Visitors welcome the eco-friendly solution as the local authorities aim to eliminate more single-used plastic products in 2020.

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Waste management and packaging company fined after worker was injured

A waste management and packing company has been fined after a worker was struck by a falling bale of compacted waste paper.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard that on 13 December 2016 an employee of Recycled Packing Ltd was seriously injured in a warehouse in Hillington, Glasgow, when he was struck by a falling bale of paper which weighed approximately 500kg, becoming trapped beneath it.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identified that the method of storing bales was unsuitable and bales were stacked in single columns up to five high with no support or ‘tying in’ to aid stability. The investigation also found that the practice of removing contamination from bales by hand created voids in lower bales contributing to the risk of stack instability.

Recycled packaging Ltd of Muriel Street, Barrhead pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £20,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jane Scott said: “In the waste and recycling sector the risks associated with falling objects are well known.  This incident could easily have been avoided by providing a segregated workspace for operatives to clean bales before they are stacked and safe bale stacking procedures.

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

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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Company fined after employee suffers partial amputation of fingers

A food ingredients manufacturer based in Lincolnshire was fined after one of its employees suffered partial amputation of the four fingers on his right hand after it came into contact with the rotating vanes of a rotary valve.

Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court heard that on 18 August 2017 an employee of Kerry Ingredients (UK) Limited was investigating a blockage of flour within a collection hopper at a site on Carr Lane, Gainsborough. During the task, his foot slipped on the ladder he was standing on and, as he reached out to balance himself, his right hand came into contact with the rotating vanes of a rotary valve. He sustained partial amputations to all four fingers on his right hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found that the company had failed to carry out a risk assessment for the task of clearing blockages from collection hoppers. As a result, suitable measures to either avoid or minimise the risks from contact with dangerous moving parts of machinery and working at height were not implemented, and a safe system of work for the task was not provided to employees. The investigation also found that insufficient information, instruction and training had been provided to employees as to how the task should be carried out safely, and arrangements for supervision and monitoring were ineffective as dangerous working practices had persisted for a number of years unchallenged.

Kerry Ingredients (UK) Ltd of Carr Lane, Gainsborough pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,622.64.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Aaron Rashad said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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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EU launches new Forest Information System to improve knowledge on forests and woodlands

Amid a need for more accurate, up-to-date and harmonised data and monitoring on Europe’s valuable woodlands, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission today launched a new Forest Information System for Europe (FISE) which aims to become Europe’s knowledge hub to monitor the state, health and sustainability of Europe’s many forests.

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Engineering company fined after employee fall

An engineering company has been fined after a 31-year-old employee fell through a hole in a mezzanine floor during construction work being carried out in Bristol.

Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard that on 13 November 2018, an employee of N&C Engineering Services Limited was involved with the installation of flooring at Albion Dockside Works, Hanover Place, Bristol. An opening had been cut in the boarded‐out mezzanine floor through which the employee fell three metres to the ground, suffering serious head injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the contractor failed to adequately plan, manage and monitor the construction work, so as to ensure that appropriate methods to prevent or mitigate a fall during the construction work, were in use.

Now-liquidated, N&C Engineering Services Limited of Binegar, Radstock, Somerset was found guilty of breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Ian Whittles said: “This incident so easily could have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“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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Employer sentenced for failing to implement safe working practices for the removal asbestos

An employer has been sentenced for failing to reduce exposure and spread of asbestos when demolishing a large pig shed.

Lincolnshire Magistrates’ Court heard that, in July and August 2018, whilst carrying out demolition and asbestos removal works at the former pig shed on Caenby Corner, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, Barry Patchett, trading as BSN Demolition, had failed to remove asbestos containing materials (ACMs) prior to commencing the work. Consequently, the ACMs were needlessly broken up in significant quantities across the site, leading to the risk of spreading asbestos fibres.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Patchett had received the relevant training on how to remove non-licenced asbestos and had submitted a plan of work to the client which included removing the asbestos sheets manually before demolition, which he chose not to follow. Mr Patchett also failed to have a copy of the plan of work on the premises for workers to follow at the time of the demolition.

Mr Patchett of Firebeacon Farm, Wargholme, Louth pleaded guilty to contravening Regulations 7(2), 11(1) and 12 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for one year, and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith said:

“Asbestos related disease still kills around 5,000 workers each year.  Asbestos is not just a problem of the past; it can be present today in any building or industrial process plant built or refurbished before the year 2000.”

“In this case, Mr Patchett failed to follow basic safe working practices required by the Regulations.”

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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Airline company sentenced for unsafe operation of a passenger lift

Flybe Ltd has been fined today after an investigation into a worker falling into a lift shaft at Exeter Airport uncovered health and safety failings.

Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard that on 15 May 2016, a 34-year-old employee was moving a loaded lift trolley in the tool department of Hanger 2 when he fell into the lift shaft to the bottom floor and suffered injuries.

Although the exact cause of the incident could not be established, the HSE investigation found that the lift doors had a fault which meant that they defaulted to locked. As a result, the emergency door release key was being routinely used by employees to bypass the fault and therefore the lift’s safety devices.

Flybe Ltd of New Walker Hanger, Exeter Airport pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,963.16.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Emma O’Hara said: “Despite a fault, busy workers who were moving parts and tools felt compelled to keep the lift in use. The safety features of the lift were therefore made redundant.

“The lift should have been taken out of service or an alternative system of work should have been in place, and this should have been communicated.

“HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below 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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Galapagos expedition discovers a relative of Lonesome George

A scientific expedition in the Galapagos Islands discovered about 30 giant tortoises of two species believed to be extinct, including a relative of Lonesome George, a giant who died about eight years ago without leaving offspring and who was believed to be the last of his lineage.

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