Environmental: use of certain civil sanctions to be limited to companies with over 250 employees

Environmental: use of certain civil sanctions to be limited to companies with over 250 employees: A statement by the Government of its intention to limit the use of certain civil sanctions to larger companies “paves the way” for their introduction for offences under the Environmental Permitting Regulations (EPR), an expert has said.

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Accident which killed founder member of ELO was preventable, court told | This is Plymouth

Accident which killed founder member of ELO was preventable, court told | This is Plymouth: A founder member of the rock group Electric Light Orchestra was killed in a freak accident when a half tonne hay bale rolled down a steep field onto his vehicle, a jury was told as the case came to court.
Mike Edwards, 62, was a former cellist with the 1970s ELO band, and was killed in September 2010 when the bale, of either hay or silage, rolled down the grass field, through a wire fence and thin hedge into the path of his van as he drove along a busy road near Halwell in Devon.

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Asbestos caused former PC’s death, inquest rules – Exmouth Journal

Asbestos caused former PC’s death, inquest rules – News – Exmouth Journal: Charles Troake, who was 91 years old and lived in Bapton Close, died on June 25 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.Two doctors’ reports which were read to the inquest at County Hall said that married Mr Troake, who was born in East Budleigh, had died from malignant mesothelioma.

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Crushed hand in forklift costs Builders Supply Company £5000 fine – Scotsman.com

Crushed hand costs company �5000 fine – Top stories – Scotsman.com: A CONSTRUCTION supply firm has been fined �5000 following an accident in which a worker had part of his hand crushed. Builders Supply Company pled guilty to a contravention of Health and Safety at Work Act following the incident in April 2010.

The employee, then aged 19, sustained a severe injury while attempting to lift a hopper off the ground using a forklift truck at the firm’s base in Longstone.

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Worker killed in accident at Muskogee paper plant a 33-year-old Fort Gibson native

Worker killed in accident at Muskogee paper plant a 33-year-old Fort Gibson native: MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Officials have identified the man killed while working at a Georgia-Pacific paper plant in Muskogee.
Officials say 33-year-old Clint Woods worked as an electrical contractor who was subcontracted through Industrial Controls of Oklahoma. Woods died Wednesday in an accident at the plant, but officials have not released details of the incident or a cause of death.

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Devon caravan park, Falcon and Hillside Park fined for polluting stream with sewage

A South Devon caravan park has been ordered to pay £33,089 in fines and costs for polluting a tributary of the River Dart with sewage.

The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

The operators of the Falcon and Hillside Park, Totnes Road, Paignton continued to discharge poor quality sewage effluent into the Longcombe Stream despite repeated requests from the Environment Agency to improve the site’s sewage treatment plant.

A local farmer said cattle kept in a field close to the caravan park refused to drink from the stream and he had to provide them with an alternative water supply.

The previous owners of the site had permission to discharge treated sewage effluent into the Longcombe Stream that flows across farmland down to the River Dart near Totnes. This permission is known as a ‘consent’. In 2008 the new owners of the site, Hatchmere Park Ltd, were warned by the Environment Agency that the treatment plant wasn’t operating properly and was causing pollution.

In 2009 and 2010 the Agency took a series of formal effluent samples at the caravan park to monitor the performance of its sewage treatment works. All four samples failed including one ‘massive’ failure. The owners were told they were contravening conditions of the site’s consent.

In October 2009 an Agency officer inspected the site and, once again, saw evidence of poor maintenance. A ditch close to the effluent discharge point was ‘black and putrid’ and there was a thick accumulation of brown sewage sludge at the point where the ditch joined the Longcombe Stream. Sewage-related debris (sanitary wastes) were visible around the discharge pipe.

When the officer entered the sewage plant compound he found signs of inadequate treatment including poor settlement, abnormal foaming on the surface of the effluent and a build up of sludge in the final chamber.

The Agency issued Hatchmere Park Ltd with an Anti-Pollution Works Notices to encourage the company to carry out the necessary improvements and safeguard the environment.

In October 2011 an officer returned to the site to see if the owners had complied with the anti-pollution notice. He found there had been no improvement in the performance of the sewage treatment plant. Sewage fungus, a sign of chronic pollution, was clearly visible in the Longcombe Stream.

‘The current owner failed to improve the performance of the treatment plant at this site despite receiving guidance, encouragement and advice from the Agency over a number of years. In-action on the part of the site operator resulted in continued illegal discharges of sewage into a rural stream. In the end we were left with no choice other than to prosecute,’ said Pete Ball for the Environment Agency.

‘The River Dart is used extensively for recreation and is also an important habitat for salmon and sea trout. It is also used as a commercial shellfishery so it is important tributaries such as the Longcombe Stream are safeguarded from pollution,’ said Pete Ball.

Appearing before Torbay magistrates Hatchmere Park Ltd, of Nottingham Road, Sedgebrook, Grantham, Lincolnshire, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £13,089 costs after pleading guilty to three offences of discharging without a permit and non-compliance with two notices.

Magistrates also ordered the company to carry out improvements works to ensure it complies with the Anti-Pollution Notices by March 31, 2013.

via Environment Agency – Devon caravan park fined for polluting stream with sewage.

Defence firm fined for worker’s death | Meridian – ITV News

Defence firm fined for worker’s death | Meridian – ITV News: A defence firm has been sentenced today for health and safety breaches that led to the death of a worker six years ago. Anthony Sheridan died in a factory explosion in Juen 2006 at Wallop Defence Systems in Over Wallop

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Major George McCallum admits H&S charges over Kaylee McIntosh death

BBC News – Major George McCallum admits charges over Kaylee McIntosh death: The man responsible for an army cadet expedition which led to a teenager’s death has admitted health and safety charges.

Kaylee McIntosh, 14, from Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, drowned after becoming trapped under a boat during a training exercise in Loch Carnan in the Outer Hebrides in 2007.

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Farm fined for polluting stream near Devon beauty spot

The owners of a North Devon dairy farm have been ordered to pay £5,623 in fines and costs for polluting a stream near a popular coastal beauty spot.

The case was brought by the Environment Agency.

In January 2012 the Agency was contacted by a member of the public after they saw pollution in the Speke’s Mill Stream near Hartland. The stream runs through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and discharges into the sea via a spectacular 60ft waterfall at Speke’s Mill Mouth. This stretch of the North Devon coastline is especially popular with walkers and surfers.

An Agency officer saw the stream was heavily discoloured and smelled of slurry. A dark brown effluent was discharging from a pipe on the left bank of the watercourse just below Welsford Bridge.

The pollution was traced to Welsford Farm where a slurry store was found to be ‘brim full’. There was a pool of slurry on the ground beside the store. The slurry had run down a bank into a ditch before draining under a gateway and into the Speke’s Mill Stream.

The owner of Welsford Farm, Mr Paul Colwill, said there were 450 cows at the farm – 380 of which were used for milking. They were housed indoors for six months of the year. Mr Colwill said wet weather had prevented the spreading slurry on the land and this had caused the store to fill up. He had delayed spreading to avoid run-off and pollution.

The slurry store was built approximately 14 years ago when the farm had 350 cows. The owners had since covered more of the yard to reduce the amount of rainwater entering the storage lagoon. This had increased its capacity. However, the lagoon had not been emptied since before the winter reducing its capacity.

‘This pollution was the result of not so much a lack of storage capacity, but poor management. We accept the farm was reluctant to spread slurry with heavy rain forecast, but they should have realised the storage lagoon was close to overtopping and acted much sooner to reduce the risk of pollution,’ said Liz Iles for the Environment Agency.

Approximately a mile of the Speke’s Mill Stream was polluted as a result of the slurry spill.

BR, MJ & PJ Colwill, the partnership operating Welsford Farm at Hartland near Bideford, Devon was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,623 costs after pleading guilty to discharging poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to a tributary of the Speke’s Mill Stream on or about January 10, 2012, an offence under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010. The case was heard by Barnstaple magistrates yesterday (Nov 7).

via Environment Agency – Farm fined for polluting stream near Devon beauty spot.

Wallop Defence Systems Ltd (WDS) has been ordered to pay £376,000 in fines and costs

Wallop Defence Systems Ltd (WDS) has been ordered to pay £376,000 in fines and costs for safety failings that caused a fatal explosion at its Hampshire factory.

Anthony Sheridan, 37, from Over Wallop, was killed from injuries sustained in the blast at WDS, in Middle Wallop near Stockbridge, in June 2006.

Mr Sheridan was emptying one of six industrial ovens used in the manufacture of military flares. The ovens contained high levels of nitroglycerin (NG) that exploded, causing an explosion that destroyed the factory building.

Several other workers were injured in the incident, with blast debris landing up to 600ft away.

Winchester Crown Court heard today (9 November) that WDS had realised in 2004 that their process for curing pellets as part of the production of military flares produced the explosive chemical as a by-product.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that none of the company’s senior management team or technical advisers were competent to deal with the NG issue, but did not seek external professional assistance.

Reviewing the company’s procedures since NG was discovered in 2004, HSE found WDS was not complying with the basics in explosive safety and failed to adhere to licensing requirements for the storage and processing of explosive substances. Their failure to properly assess and manage the risks put workers and the public in danger.

A second explosion occurred in December 2008 when the company attempted to dismantle the remaining NG contaminated oven on the company’s second site. No one was injured in the explosion. The court heard that the company failed to engage with the HSE and seek competent expert advice on dismantling it and that the incident was entirely foreseeable and avoidable.

Wallop Defence Systems Ltd, of Craydown Lane, Middle Wallop was fined a total of £266,000 and ordered to pay £110,000 in costs for three breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, two relating to the fatal explosion and the other to the second blast.

The company pleaded guilty to all three breaches in an earlier hearing at Andover Magistrates Court.

via RNN media information for journalists and the press – Press Releases – DEFENCE COMPANY SENTENCED OVER EXPLOSION DEATH – RNN media information for journalists and the press.