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June 2016 Newsletter

CSCS Card Changes – IMPORTANT Information!

CSCS is implementing a number of changes to the CSCS card scheme to comply with the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) decision that the industry should specify and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo with no equivalents accepted.

As part of the CLC decision, cards carrying the CSCS logo should only be issued to individuals who hold the correct qualification for their occupation.

By April 2017, all new CSCS card applications, with the exception of trainees, apprentices and site visitors, will be required to hold an appropriate construction-related qualification.

As a result, CSCS has closed the Profiled Route for obtaining a manager’s card as of 31 March 2016 and applications will no longer be accepted via this route. Individuals can still apply for a Construction Site Manager card but will be required to complete the relevant construction management level qualification.

CSCS is also withdrawing the Construction Related Occupation (CRO) card as follows:

  • Cards issued up to 30 September 2015 remain valid for a full 5 years
  • Cards issued between 1 October 2015 and 31 March 2017 have an expiry date of 30 September 2017
  • No new CRO cards will be issued after 31 March 2017.

CRO cardholders will need to register for a construction-related qualification prior to the expiry of their card in order to obtain the appropriate CSCS skilled card. Those who do not register for a construction-related qualification by 30 September 2017 will be unable to obtain a CSCS card.

To help operatives apply for the correct CSCS card, Build UK has published a Guide to CSCS Cards

HSE Decisions

HSE warns companies following roof fall

A roofing firm from Malton has been fined £10,000 for safety breaches after a worker fractured his skull following a fall from height. The HSE said that even short duration work on fragile roofs should be properly assessed and managed.

Mitchell Roofing Ltd, was contracted to replace existing rooflights at Monk Bridge Construction Co Ltd, Elvington, York. The injured worker slipped and fell some seven metres through the inner roof sheet sustaining severe injuries.

During its investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) learned that there was no risk assessment in place for the job, and no precautions had been taken to prevent falls from the edge of the roof or through various fragile elements.

The defendant had previously clad a new building on the site without incident, using appropriate precautions, but the minor work of replacing the panels in an existing roof was not planned, and no precautions were followed.

Mitchell Roofing Ltd of Derwent Road, Malton was found guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 with £1,355 costs by York Magistrates Court.

After the hearing, the HSE inspector commented: “Basic precautions for roof work and better planning of the job should have been applied. Even short duration work on fragile roofs should be properly assessed and managed.”

Talk About Cases:

Company fined after worker is fatally crushed in trench

A company has been fined £2.6 million after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed on him in Lancashire.

James Sim, a 32-year-old worker, from Barry, South Wales, a sub-contractor working on behalf of Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited. On the 14 April 2010, Mr Sim was working in a trench, laying ducting for new cable for an offshore windfarm that was being built off the coast by Heysham, Lancashire. The trench was dug to a depth of 2.4 metres, without any shoring. Mr Sim was killed when he became trapped in the trench after it collapsed on him.

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court today after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The Court heard that Balfour Beatty failed to adequately risk assess the works or control the way in which the excavation took place.

HSE inspector Chris Hatton said after the hearing: “The level of this fine should serve as a warning to industry not to ignore health and safety matters.

“Balfour Beatty failed to adequately assess, plan and supervise the work being undertaken. Trench collapses are easy to prevent, and it is disappointing that James’ life was lost in such a tragic way.

“The family has shown great patience and support throughout this investigation which is a credit to both them and James’ memory.”

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Limited, of Park Square Newton, Chambers Road, Chapeltown, Sheffield pleaded guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, Regulation 31(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and was fined £2.6million with £54,000 costs.

Two companies fined after disturbing asbestos

Two companies have been fined after asbestos was disturbed during refurbishment work.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how two employees of 24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited disturbed asbestos insulating board (AIB) whilst they were doing refurbishment work at a former commercial premises undergoing conversion into flats, in Romford, London.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred between mid-July 2014 and 11 August 2014 found that the client had not passed on the details of the presence of asbestos to the contractor, despite prior knowledge.

No refurbishment and demolition survey was conducted to determine the presence of asbestos on the site. The two workers stripped out the AIB without any effective precautions and therefore received significant exposure to asbestos fibres.

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000. A refurbishment / demolition asbestos survey is required where the premises, or part of it, need upgrading, refurbishment or demolition.

Firestone Estates Limited, of Tolpits Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10(1)(b) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and were fined £10,000 and were ordered to pay £1020.64 in costs with a £1,000 victim surcharge.

24-Hour Maintenance Services Limited, of Linton Avenue, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were fined £5,000 with £974.44 in costs and a victim surcharge of £500.

Explosion at vehicle seat manufacturer injures worker

A vehicle seat manufacturing company based in Ebbw Vale, has been fined after a worker was injured from an explosion.

Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard how an operator at Sears Manufacturing Company (Europe) Limited suffered burns to his head and hands.

Highly flammable release agent is used to prevent dispensed foam sticking to the seat mould.

It was during this process that the release agent ignited, causing an explosion which injured the operator.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 26 January 2015 found that a failure to have suitable control measures in place caused the release agent to ignite.

Sears Manufacturing Company (Europe) Limited, of Rassau Industrial Estate, Ebbw Vale, Gwent, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 5,6, and 9 of Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). Judge Philip Harris-Jenkins said he thought the company bore a medium culpability for the accident and fined them £40,000.The company was also ordered to pay costs of £12,010.

Defending Sears, Rupert Lowe said while the company admitted it could have done more in training to stop the accident, it had ploughed money into ensuring staff were safe over a number of years.

Mr Lowe also said even though the company is at danger of running into “serious operational difficulty”, it will spend £300,000 on health and safety this year.

McCain Foods fined £800k for safety failings

Frozen food giant McCain has been fined £800,000 for safety failings after an engineer nearly lost his arm in an industrial accident at their Whittlesey factory.

Peterborough Crown Court heard how 34-year-old employee Adam Regan was examining a conveyer belt on August 21, when his arm became trapped in the machinery. He had been attempting to check the condition of the head roller on a bypass conveyor. While doing this his arm became entangled in the machinery and his arm was almost severed. Although his arm was saved, he now has limited movement in his hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on the 21 August 2014, found that the conveyor did not have the correct guards fitted. A risk assessment of the machine by the company failed to recognise the danger.

An internal investigation carried out following the accident, raised a number of other issues relating to guarding on other machines.

Judge Sean Enright heard the company has a very good safety record, and had acted very quickly to fix the issues raised in the report.

He also said a risk assessment of the machine, carried out in 2013, was flawed as it had not taken into account changes to the factory floor layout.

McCain Foods (GB) Limited of Havers Hill, Eastfield Scarborough, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £800,000 with costs of £12,831.51.

In mitigation the company’s defence said that despite Mr Regan only being employed by the firm for a short amount of time, McCain had given him full sick pay during his time off work, and had offered counselling to Mr Regan, and other employees who were affected by the incident.

He also said the firm had fully accepted responsibility for the accident, and offered their apologies to Mr Regan.

Director cleared over tyre-fitter’s death

A director of a tyre company has been cleared of health and safety breaches following the death of 21-year-old worker Matthew Hoare, of Chartham, who was fatally injured when a tyre he was pumping up exploded.

Andrew Wright, a director of Watling Tyres, was found not guilty on two counts at Canterbury Crown Court however the company pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety law in January and will be sentenced in June.

The court heard how Mr Hoare, who had been a tyre-fitter for six months, was called out to fix a puncture on an earth mover at a former brickworks in Sandwich in 2006. During the course of the repair the tyre exploded, killing him instantly.

It was heard in court how Mr Hoare had been given insufficient training, that risk assessments were inadequate, and the equipment he was using on the day of his death was faulty.

In a prosecution brought by the HSE, Mr Wright, who was the head of health and safety at Watling Tyres, was found not culpable for the failures that led to his death.

Spokesman Mike Walters said: “The HSE always seek to bring prosecutions to court where it is believed there may be a case to answer and it is in the public interest.

“However, in this instance, a jury ruled that Andrew Wright did not breach any health and safety laws.

“The HSE will continue to enforce health and safety legislation, and take appropriate action when we believe a breach has occurred.”

An inquest returned a verdict of accidental death and concluded Mr Hoare had a lack of training.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Hoare’s mother said she was “gutted” at the verdict.

“I feel like my heart’s been ripped out. He’s irreplaceable.

“Yes, there is this verdict, but I’ve got to live the rest of my life, as my family do, with this hanging over us.

“This isn’t the end for us. It goes on,” Carolyn Hoare said.

In a statement following the verdict, Mr Wright said: “I am delighted with the verdict of the jury, but saddened by the time this has taken to come to court.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of Matthew Hoare.”

Plastics manufacturer fined for death of worker

A plastics manufacturer from Cambridgeshire has been fined and given a suspended sentence after a worker died after he was crushed by printing machinery.

Peterborough Crown Court heard how a 23-year-old agency worker from Lithuania was working in a print room for Gordon Leach, who trades as RGE Engineering Company.

On 27 April 2012, the worker entered the printing machine to apply thinners to the ink when the machine started. Her head was crushed between the printing pads and the printing table of the machine, fatally injuring her.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that there was no effective system of guarding to the machine and the incident could have been prevented.

Gordon Leach (trading as RGE Engineering Company), of The Avenue, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and was given a 15 month sentence, suspended for 24 months, was fined £7,500 and was ordered to pay full costs of £45,000.

Warehouse operative crushed by a tonne of marble

A cargo handling company has been fined £100,000 after a worker was crushed under a sheet of marble.

An employee of Extreme Handling, a supplier of forklift drivers and general warehouse operatives, was working at GMA Warehousing and Transport’s site in Felixstowe, Suffolk, helping a forklift truck operator move a one-tonne sheet of marble from a container.

The marble fell on the Extreme Handling worker, who sustained extensive crush injuries to his legs, a fractured sternum and severe lacerations to the back of his head.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the 15 August 2014 incident and found an unsafe system of work was used to move the load.

At Ipswich Crown Court, GMA Warehousing and Transport pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety and Work Act. It was fined and ordered to pay costs of £9,938.

Did You Know?

  • The fatal injury rate for employees in Great Britain is a quarter of what it was in 1971.
  • The most common forms of work-related ill-health are back problems and other aches and pains with 1.2 million people affected every year, causing almost 10 million working days to be lost.
  • Great Britain has a lower rate of deaths to workers than America or any other European country: the rate is 1.7 per 100,000 workers in Great Britain; 3.2 in America and an average of 3.9 across Europe.
  • The cost of work-related accidents and ill-health to employers equals £140 – £300 for each worker employed.
Source – HSE Information Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 7HQ


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