Improvements to Cedrec
Published: 29 Nov 2010
As part of our continuing development of Cedrec, we have put together a new topic on our environmental systems.
Through "Energy and Climate Change", we aim to examine the UK's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, which limits greenhouse gas emissions and reduces climate change. The importance of this subject is becoming increasingly evident through a series of initiatives designed to encourage businesses to use fossil fuels more efficiently and reduce emissions.
Some measures have been around for a while, such as the climate change levy, climate change agreements and emissions trading scheme, but it is the more recent CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formally the Carbon Reduction Commitment) which has placed the subject at the forefront of businesses' concerns. The Scheme started in April 2010 and is a crucial part of the UK's strategy for improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, as set out in the Climate Change Act 2008.
As a result of these improvements, the information on "Regulatory Bodies" can now be found in the "General" topic.
As always, your feedback is crucial to us. So if you have any comments or suggestions on this new topic, please don't hesitate to contact our Authoring Department, at email@example.com.
Lord Young Review
Published: 17 Nov 2010
The outcome of Lord Young's health and safety review has now been published, with the Health and Safety Executive reacting warmly to its proposals.
The report "Common Sense, Common Safety" follows a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of compensation culture. It puts forward a series of policies and recommendations for improving the perception of health and safety, which includes:
- simplifying risk assessments for low hazard workplaces;
- the accreditation of health and safety consultants;
- consolidating existing legislation into a single set of regulations; and
- a restriction on "no win, no fee" advertising for compensation claims.
This report is available to view in its original format. Click here to open the PDF.
Storage of carbon dioxide
Published: 03 Nov 2010
In doing so, it establishes:
- requirements relating to licensing carbon dioxide storage;
- liabilities of the storage operator both during and after the active operation of the store.
The Regulations are made in accordance with the Energy Act 2008, which establishes a licensing regime for storing carbon dioxide in the offshore area, as well as prohibiting the storage of carbon dioxide except in accordance with a licence granted under that Act.
Veolia collect fine
Published: 01 Nov 2010
National waste and recycling company Veolia ES (UK) Ltd has been fined £225,000 after a worker was killed in a vehicle collision while collecting litter from a busy road. The prosecution follows an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive following the incident on 2 March 2007 in East Peckham, Kent.
Damian Griffiths, an agency worker for Veolia, was litter-picking on a grass verge of the A228 with a colleague, who was driving a caged vehicle alongside him to collect litter. A large goods lorry travelling in the same direction collided with the vehicle, shunting it into Mr Griffiths. The LGV driver escaped serious injury but Mr Griffiths died at the scene. Veolia, of Pentonville Road, London, was found guilty of breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Maidstone Crown Court on 11 August 2010. It was also ordered to pay costs of £95,239.
Following sentencing, HSE inspector Caroline Penwill said, “Veolia failed to ensure Mr Griffiths’ work activity was safe and properly planned. As a result of its failure a man has died. This has had devastating consequences for Damian Griffiths’ family. Litter-picking near busy roads can be a high-risk activity if not properly planned. Veolia was responsible for managing these works, but in this case did not properly protect the roadside crew from oncoming traffic. Other road users were also put at risk. This is unacceptable. Those responsible for managing roadside jobs must ensure that safe systems of work are in place, and measures are taken to safeguard workers and members of the public.”
Underground chamber tragedy
Published: 01 Nov 2010
A County Down company has been fined £80,000 after one of its workers was seriously injured when he fell into an underground chamber in Bangor last year. John Graham (Dromore) Limited admitted two breaches of health and safety legislation at Downpatrick Crown Court this month, in a case brought by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland.
Lester Cowan is in a paraplegic condition as a result of head and spinal injuries sustained in a fall on-site at Ashley Park water pumping station in Bangor. Mr Cowan was a subcontractor for John Graham Ltd who was working on a new waste water scheme. He fell into a large underground water chamber that was being constructed at the time. The HSENI investigation found that access areas in the roof of the 6.4m deep chamber were not adequately covered and the means of accessing the chamber were inadequate. Mr Cowan was pulled to safety by a specialist rope team from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue, in an operation that took 90 minutes.
Kevin Campbell, an inspector with the HSENI said, “It is vital that companies identify and address hazards within the workplace. Falls from height must be prevented by the implementation of sensible and effective procedures. These systems need to be communicated to the workforce, implemented, maintained and updated when necessary. Simple measures would have prevented workers on this project from falling.”
A responding statement from the Graham group read, “We have no further comment to make on the court proceedings today, except to reiterate that we continue to treat all health and safety matters seriously and with the proper attention. Our thoughts are obviously still with Lester and his family.”
For more information, see:
- Work at Height Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2005/279.
Manufacturer fined for taking the pizza
Published: 01 Nov 2010
A pizza manufacturer has been fined after failing to comply with an improvement notice, which required the installation of edge protection around an open first floor doorway.
An unannounced visit by the Health and Safety Executive to Capri Foods Ltd’s factory in Isleworth, Middlesex discovered an unguarded doorway on the first floor, which was used to load and unload goods from a forklift outside of the building. Although no loading was taking place at the time of the visit, the doorway was left open with nothing to prevent anyone falling from the building.
The firm was issued with an improvement notice that required edge protection to be installed. However, a further inspection found that no attempt had been made to comply with the notice.
Capri Foods pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice, and the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735. It was fined £7,500 for each offence and ordered to pay £2,607 in legal costs.
HSE inspector Steve Kirton commented, “Falls from height remain one of the biggest dangers in the workplace, accounting for a fifth of all deaths and scores of serious injuries in the food-manufacturing sector alone, according to our latest official figures. So it’s incredibly frustrating to see a company like Capri Foods blatantly ignoring calls to protect employees when such a clear and obvious risk has been identified. Fortunately, no one was hurt on this occasion, but the consequences of falling through that door could have been horrific.”
The company responded by saying it had no previous convictions. It has now complied with the notice by installing sliding gates in the doorway, which can be operated by a remote control.