Business owner ignores asbestos controls

Plus Safety Comment: Irresponsible, ignorant and stupid, Don’t you wish that if anyone has to suffer lung cancer due to inhalation of asbestos fiber in the future it is this owner!! Chances are it will be some other some other unsuspecting worker.

Bolton night club owner fined over asbestos exposure
A Bolton night club owner has been sentenced after admitting a failure to carry out a survey for asbestos before starting on the refurbishment of a local night club.

Manchester Magistrates’ court heard how UK Night Life Limited and its sole director, Charles John McGrath, undertook the management of a refurbishment project between 1 August and 12 August 2015 on The Level nightclub, Mawdsley Street, Bolton without an experienced contractor in place to manage the site. Up to 20 workers were potentially exposed to deadly asbestos fibres in order for the club to open in time for Fresher’s week and an influx of students to the club.

The site first came to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) attention in August 2015 following a complaint from Bolton Council regarding unsafe construction works throughout the site.

The HSE inspector served a total of three Prohibition Notices and two Improvement Notices, along with a Notification of Contravention for a foreseeable risk of asbestos exposure, a lack of competent site manager, risks of falls from height, unsuitable welfare facilities and inadequate fire safety precautions.

Charles McGrath, sole director of UK Night Life Limited, of Mawdsley Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and Regulations 5(a) and 16 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and was fined £5,720.00 with costs of £3,535.86.

In his summing up, District Judge Sanders remarked that Mr McGrath had chosen to rush through the works with unqualified and inexperienced people running the site on a day-to-day basis. He went on to say that it was clear that these offences amounted to a ‘degree of cost cutting at the expense of safety’.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case: “Mr McGrath totally failed in his duty to protect his workers, subcontractors and anyone else accessing this site from a foreseeable risk of serious harm. Asbestos related diseases are currently untreatable and claim the lives of an estimated 5,000 people per year in the UK.

“The requirement to have a suitable asbestos survey is clear and well known throughout the construction industry. Only by knowing if asbestos is present in any building before works commence can a contractor ensure that people working on their site are not exposed to these deadly fibres.

“The cost of an asbestos survey is minimal compared to the legacy facing anyone who worked on this site. They now have to live with the realisation that due to the lack of care taken by Mr McGrath they may face a life shortening disease at some point over the next 30 or more years, from an exposure which was totally preventable. This case sends a clear message to any company that it does not pay to ignore risks on site, especially to simply keep to a self-imposed tight schedule.”

Builders! – Its simply a matter of time!

Plus Safety Comment: Health & Safety applies to all businesses large or small irrespective of number of employees – Builders, tradespeople — Get Your Act Together!!

Self-employed trader fined for safety failings

Date: 27 September 2016

A Bradford self-employed trader was sentenced today for safety breaches after poor scaffolding arrangements at a domestic property put himself and others at risk.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mark Podstawski, 47, after an investigation found poor planning, the absence of guard rails and a scaffold not of a recognised design, put himself and others, including people on the ground at risk.

Mark Podstawski of Horton Bank Top in Bradford pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was given 200 hours community service and ordered to pay £918.02 costs by Bradford Magistrates Court.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Thompson commented: “Mr Podstawski had been served with a Prohibition Notice six months prior to this incident when he breached the Work at Height Regulations for similar circumstances. This incident could and should have been prevented. Scaffolding should always be erected to the appropriate standards and previous enforcement action should not be ignored”.

Reminder- fork lift trucks are dangerous vehicles

Plus Safety Comment: Moving around where FLT’s operate require everybody to take note of where the vehicles are at all times, equally Fork Lift Truck drivers must make sure that no-one is in the vicinity of their vehicle operations.

Delivery firm fined after worker loses leg

Date: 23 September 2016
A Buckinghamshire delivery firm has been fined after a driver suffered life changing injuries when he was hit by a reversing fork lift truck.

Delivered UK Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after the incident on 2 September 2014 at their depot in Ajax Avenue in Slough.

Reading Crown Court heard how the delivery driver who was working for an agency, was pushing a trolley containing parcels along the side of the building between the wall and a row of delivery vehicles. When he reached the end of the row of vehicles a fork lift truck which was operating near an entrance to the building reversed out of the shutter door, striking him and trapping his foot in the rear wheel.

The worker sustained fractures and crush injuries to his left foot and leg and spent five weeks in hospital following the incident. Five months later he required an operation to amputate his left leg below the knee.

The HSE investigation found that at the point where the fork lift truck entered and exited the building there was no barrier in place to prevent collision with pedestrians, neither was the yard organised in such a way as to allow safe pedestrian access to vehicles that were parked on the other side of the yard. The company’s risk assessments for unloading/loading of vehicles and the use of forklift trucks all failed to consider the use of physical barriers to segregate pedestrians from vehicles. An improvement notice was served and the company has now made the necessary changes to enable pedestrians and vehicles to circulate safely.

Delivered UK Limited of Stirling Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, 1974 and was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,783.04

HSE to prosecute Alton Towers’ owners after ‘Smiler’ incident

25 February 2016
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today informed Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd that it will be prosecuted over an incident in which five people were seriously injured on a rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers in Staffordshire.

Two female passengers on the ‘Smiler’ ride suffered leg amputations and three others were also seriously injured when their carriage collided with a stationary carriage on the same track. The incident happened on 2 June 2015.

Merlin Attractions Operation Ltd based in Poole, Dorset, will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre, Newcastle-under-Lyme on 22 April 2016 to face a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act etc, 1974.

Neil Craig, head of operations for HSE in the Midlands said:

“We have today informed Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd that it will be prosecuted for breaching health and safety law.

“This was a serious incident with life-changing consequences for five people.

“We have conducted a very thorough investigation and consider that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to bring a prosecution.”

Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd is the company responsible for Alton Towers and under health and safety law is responsible for managing the risks created by the operation of the theme park’s rides.

New “Workplace Transport Safety” online training module published

Our latest title ‘Workplace Transport Safety’ is now available online.

This course will help employers, and those responsible for workplace transport, to reduce the risk of accidents occurring.

Others, such as drivers of on-site vehicles, and employees who are likely to encounter them as pedestrians, will also find it useful.

The course includes a module on Whole Body Vibration.
Request information and booking by ringing Eric on 07961346544
http://www.plustraining.co.uk

Ignoring a legionella risk cost a care home dear.

Wallasey care home fined £40k over pneumonia risk
August 2013
PLUS SAFETY Comment: Anywhere where ordinary water can reside between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius can provide the conditions for the bacteria to proliferate. Very hot water 45 degrees and above kills the bacteria, cold water 20 degrees and below the bacteria, if present, cannot grow. It is unlikely, but showerheads in constant use, as in a care home could potentially create the right conditions. Ignoring an experts advice can be costly, in this case financially in other instances in human terms also. For advice on the legionella risk and how to control it visit Plus Training website.

A private care home in Wallasey has been order to pay £40,000 in fines and costs after it failed to manage the risk of elderly residents catching a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.
Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it failed to comply with an Improvement Notice to assess the risk from the legionella bacteria.
Liverpool Crown Court was told today that the care home did not have a system in place for managing its hot and cold water. It was first served with an Improvement Notice requiring a risk assessment in November 2011, following a visit from a HSE inspector.
The company was given two extensions to a deadline to comply with the notice. However, it had still failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment by May 2012, despite being offered help and guidance on what was required.
Without proper controls legionella bacteria can build up in water systems where the temperature is between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius, creating the risk that small droplets containing the bacteria could be breathed when water becomes airborne, such as in showers.
The court heard that up to 50 residents, as well as the nursing home’s employees, could have been put at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease if the bacteria had been present.
Mother Redcaps Care Home Ltd, of Greenside Gardens in Leyland, was fined £6,525 and ordered to pay £33,475 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Phil Redman said:
“While there is no evidence that residents or members of staff were exposed to legionella bacteria, there was a clear and inexcusable failure to properly assess and control the risk.
“Elderly people and those with poor health are particularly susceptible to Legionnaire’s disease so the company should have done more to assess and control the risks, making sure lives weren’t put in danger.
“We gave Mother Redcaps several opportunities to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment after it received the Improvement Notice, but it failed to satisfy the requirements of the notice.
“This case should act as a warning to firms that they will find themselves in court if they ignore enforcement notices.”
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by bacteria found naturally in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but which can multiply and become dangerous in some purpose-built water systems.