Family guilty of forced labour – The Irish Times –

Family guilty of forced labour – The Irish Times – Fri, Dec 14, 2012: Five members of the same Irish Traveller family have been found guilty in a court in Britain of keeping their own private workforce.William Connors (52) his wife Mary (48), their sons John (29), and James (20), and their son-in-law Miles Connors (24), were all convicted of conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour between April 2010 and March 2011.A jury at Bristol Crown Court found the Connors family guilty following a three-month trial.They had also faced a second charge of conspiracy to hold another person in servitude but Judge Michael Longman ordered the jury to find the defendants not guilty of that offence.

Visit safety photos

Indian eatery shut down for serving filthy food

Indian eatery shut down for serving filthy food: London, Dec 14 (IANS) A kebab, pizza and burger takeaway in Britain’s Greater Manchester, owned by three people of Indian origin, was shut down by a judge for serving mouldy onion bhajis and foul-smelling meat.The Nile eatery in Bolton had failed to comply with hygiene standards for many years, the Daily Mail reported. The takeaway was closed Thursday for serving food “unfit for human consumption”.It also faced complaints of an unclean floor, damaged shelves in a fridge and a freezer that did not shut properly.Partners in the business Abid Patel, 28, Sajid Patel, 20, and Tahir Patel, 30, were fined at the Bolton Crown Court and ordered to do unpaid work.

Visit safety photos

HSE responds to Rotary Club of Cheam decision to ban Santa from his sleigh

Dear Mr Cunningham,

I have seen a number of stories in today’s newspapers reporting that your Rotary Club branch has taken a decision to prevent Santa Claus from riding on a sleigh during Sutton’s Annual Parade.

Health and safety has been cited as being the reason behind this decision, so I am writing to you asking for clarification of the issue.

Health and safety laws exist to provide safeguards against people being seriously injured or made unwell at work, not to hamper fun activities.

Clearly nobody wants Santa injured at this, his most important time of year. But regular parades take place all year around all over Britain and floats are a major part of that tradition. Others have been successful in finding ways of safely letting performers ride on vehicles so I am curious to know why you considered this was not possible.

There may be genuine reasons why the Rotary Club has taken this decision, but there is nothing in health and safety law which stands in your way.

All too often we see headlines in the press citing health and safety as reasons for unpopular decisions. We recognise the decision is yours to make but we would appreciate you making public details of the real reason behind your decision.

Yours sincerely,

Judith Hackitt
Health and Safety Executive

via HSE responds to Rotary Club of Cheam decision to ban Santa from his sleigh.

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, (tax payer) fined £20,000 and £7,594 costs after electric shock incident

Bury Council has appeared in court after one of its employees suffered an electric shock from a 230 volt mains cable.

The 33-year-old from Prestwich, who has asked not to be named, suffered burns to his wrist, leg and groin and singed his facial hair while removing a lamp post on Harper Fold Road in Radcliffe on 9 June 2011.

The local authority was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found he had received inadequate training and supervision for the work.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard today (14 December 2012) that new street lights had recently been installed on the road and the old lights had been disconnected.

The injured worker and a colleague were in the process of removing one of the old lamp posts, using a jackhammer to break the concrete around the base, when he struck a mains electricity cable.

HSE discovered the two workers had not been given service drawings for the lamp post they were removing, which would have shown where the mains cable ran.

Their manager had also not received any health and safety management training, despite it being part of his job to ensure work was carried out safely.

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, of Knowsley Street in Bury, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £7,594 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of workers.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector John McGrellis said:

“The council employee needed several days off work to recover from his burn injuries but he could easily have been killed.

“He shouldn’t have been put in a situation where he didn’t know what the potential dangers were as he used a jackhammer to break up the concrete around the lamp post.

“It’s vital that people carrying out work near to power lines receive appropriate supervision and training to ensure their safety.”

More information on electrical safety is available at

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – Council in court over worker’s 230 volt shock – RNN media information for journalists and the press.

Ancient, Rickety Railroad Bridge Caused Toxic Spill, Dozens Say

Courthouse News Service: PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Sixty people were hospitalized after 100,000 gallons of vinyl chloride spilled from railcars on a poorly maintained bridge 2 weeks ago, causing a toxic cloud so thick “you couldn’t see the person next to you,” dozens claim in court.
Lead plaintiff Jill Swindell-Filiaggi and 53 other residents of Paulsboro, N.J. sued Conrail and CSX Corp. for the Nov. 30 accident, in the Court of Common Pleas.
They claim CSX and Conrail failed to maintain a 150-year-old bridge and ignored warning signs of its decay.

Visit safety photos

OSHA cites Lawrenceville, Ga.-based roofing company with a willful violation for exposing workers to fall hazards

SPRING, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Peach State Roofing with a willful violation for exposing roofing workers to fall hazards at its work site on FM 2920 in Spring. OSHA began the inspection in October as part of its regional emphasis program on construction hazards. The proposed penalty totals $70,000.

“Employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers exposed to fall hazards are provided with fall protection equipment appropriate for the job at all times when a fall hazard is present,” said David Doucet, OSHA’s area director at its Houston North area office. “Falls are the leading cause of death in construction and can easily be prevented by planning ahead to do the job safely, providing workers with proper equipment and training them to recognize and address fall hazards. It is fortunate in this case that no one was injured.”

The willful violation was cited for failing to provide personal protective equipment, such as harnesses, to protect workers from falls of 6 feet or more above lower levels. 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.

OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are working with trade associations, labor unions, employers, universities, community and faith-based organizations and consulates to provide employers and workers-especially vulnerable, low-literacy workers-with education and training on common-sense fall prevention equipment and strategies that save lives. OSHA has created a new fall prevention Web page at that has detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page includes fact sheets, posters and fall prevention videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

via 2012 – 12/13/2012 – US Labor Department’s OSHA cites Lawrenceville, Ga.-based roofing company with a willful violation for exposing workers to fall hazards.

UPDATE: There, there Deer! ‘Dasher’ the Reindeer safely back in garden centre… (From The Westmorland Gazette)

UPDATE: There, there Deer! ‘Dasher’ the Reindeer safely back in garden centre… (From The Westmorland Gazette): A RUNAWAY reindeer is�safely back with its herd this morning after making a festive bid for freedom�in North Lancashire.

The young female�animal – nicknamed Dasher -�escaped earlier today�from�the Bay View Garden�Centre on the A6 near Bolton-Le-Sands.

Visit safety photos

OH Deer! Reports of ‘Dasher’ the Reindeer escaping from garden centre… (From The Westmorland Gazette)

OH Deer! Reports of ‘Dasher’ the Reindeer escaping from garden centre… (From The Westmorland Gazette): A RUNAWAY reindeer is on the loose in North Lancashire this morning.

The young animal is understood to have escaped from a garden centre on the A6 near Bolton-Le-Sands.

There have been reports of the reindeer – already nicknamed Dasher -�making it into the safety of�a field�but then heading�onto the nearby sands at Morecambe Bay where staff are currently attempting to shepherd it to safety.

Visit safety photos

Fire delay ‘highlights dangers of city cuts’ (From York Press)

Fire delay ‘highlights dangers of city cuts’ (From York Press): THE FIREFIGHTERS’ union claims a five-minute “delay” in getting to a fatal York blaze has highlighted the risks of planned reductions in city-centre fire cover.

The Press can reveal that a fire engine from Acomb was the first to reach the blaze in Skeldergate on December 1, when a 91-year-old man is believed to have died from smoke inhalation. It took about seven minutes to get to the scene.

Visit safety photos

Health and safety charges for farmer | This is Cornwall

Health and safety charges for farmer | This is Cornwall:

A FARMER and his wife have appeared in court charged with flouting health and safety laws.
Philip and Linda Medland stood side-by-side in the dock at Truro Crown Court on Friday.
During a brief hearing the couple spoke only to confirm their names and to enter not guilty pleas to two counts each in a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive.
The couple are partners of F Medland and Son, Langstone Farm, Coads Green, Launceston.

Visit safety photos