New REACH fees published
Published: 26 Mar 2013
A new Regulation has been published which amends the fees and charges set out in Regulation (EC) 340/2008, for registering chemicals under Regulation (EC) 1907/2006, on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
The amendments have been made by Regulation (EU) 254/2013 which came into force on 22 March 2013, however the amendments will not apply to pending submissions made under Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 before that date.
Under the changes, standard fees have increased by approximately 7%, but discounts for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will see the costs of compliance fall for SMEs compared to current levels.
Medium-sized firms (with up to 250 members of staff) will receive a 35% discount on standard registration fees, compared to the current 30% reduction, small firms (with up to 50 employees) will receive a 65% discount and micro firms (with 10 employers or fewer) will get a 95% discount.
While the standard charge for registering a substance of 1-10 tonnes, for example, will rise from €1,600 to €1,714, medium sized firms will pay €1,114, compared to the €1,120 they pay currently, and small firms will pay €600 rather than €640.
Similar increases in the discounted rates will also apply for charges for authorisations and appeals.
Antonio Tajani, the commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, and Janez Potocnik, the environment commissioner, said, "By reducing fees for SMEs affected by the REACH legislation, the commission is directly responding to their concerns.
We are working together towards EU chemical legislation that protects health and the environment, as well helping European businesses to grow and to create jobs."
Leisure centre risks result in fines
Published: 25 Mar 2013
Carrickfergus Borough Council and Mr Patrick Buckler, trading as Water Management Services Limited, have been sentenced at Laganside Magistrates' Court for breaches of health and safety legislation.
The case arose out of a failure to properly manage the risks associated with legionellosis at the Carrickfergus Amphitheatre, which put both employees and members of the public at risk. The council had engaged the services of Mr Buckler to assess the risks associated with their water systems. Mr Buckler had no specific training in health and safety, or legionellosis, and the risk assessments he had prepared were not suitable or sufficient.
Following an improvement notice issued in November 2011, the council employed a different water management company to carry out a risk assessment which found the risk of legionellosis as high. The council then voluntarily closed the facility in order to carry out remedial works to the water system. The problems identified included a build up of slime and scale, both well known hazards associated with legionellosis bacteria.
Carrickfergus Borough Council was fined £1,500 plus costs of £61, and Mr Patrick Buckler was fined £750, with costs of £61.
Louis Burns, head of the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland's (HSE NI) Major Investigation Team commented, "This case highlights the need for duty holders to properly manage the risks associated with legionellosis, a potentially fatal infectious disease. If they subcontract this work they must make sure that the contractors are competent to do the work properly and professionally. In this case Mr Buckler was not."
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Triangular tray-bake troubles
Published: 25 Mar 2013
A school in Essex has decided to change catering practices regarding the shape in which flapjacks are cut following an injury to a pupil! The decision was taken after a triangular shaped slice of flapjack was thrown in school, and ended up hurting a pupil. As a result, the tray-bake must now be cut into squares or rectangles.
The incident happened last week when a year seven boy was injured. This led to the school reviewing the "texture and shape of the flapjacks".
Ray Hurst, former president of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, said that he could not understand why triangular flapjacks had been banned but not square or rectangular flapjacks. He commented, "Anything that is thrown is likely to cause injury if it hits somebody, especially in the face or the eye." He added "It does seem a little over the top to ban triangular flapjacks."
An anonymous school "insider" told the Telegraph that, "It’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard. I thought it was a joke. Even if you only have rectangular or square-shaped flapjacks, the children could still break them into triangles and launch them at someone."
Michelin tread the boards at the Palace
Published: 22 Mar 2013
Paul Kinkead, Head of Environment and Protection at Michelin's truck tyre plant in Ballymena, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to environmental protection in Northern Ireland.
The honour was awarded to him in recognition of his achievements in the environmental field, both within Michelin and on a national level. As well as his work within the company, Mr Kinkead was also an active board member for the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) for three years, and has delivered his recycling methodology to more than 200 companies in Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Mr Kinkead is also an industrial member of the CBI for environmental matters, annually hosting and facilitating seminars on sustainability, environmental regulation and zero waste to landfill at the Michelin site in Ballymena. In September 2010, he was appointed to the Northern Ireland Waste Programme whose aim is to raise the recycling performance to at least 50%. He also chairs the Commercial and Industrial Waste Task Group on this Board, on behalf of the Environment Minister.
On receiving the OBE, Paul Kinkead commented, "It is a prestigious honour to be personally recognised for my on-going environmental work. Working at Michelin for the past 25 years has enabled me to expand my career from engineering into environmental management and I am lucky to have had so many opportunities to work in a field which I am truly passionate about."
Clearly being a Cedrec subscriber for over 10 years has stood Michelin in good stead! Congratulations Paul, from everyone here at Cedrec!
Festival organisers fined
Published: 22 Mar 2013
The organisers of the Kendal Calling festival have been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £25,000 in costs at Carlisle Crown Court after admitting to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
Donald Berry was operating a crane to manoeuvre a portable building when his crane hit a live cable, giving Mr Berry an 11,000 volt electric shock. The accident left Mr Berry with brain damage.
Earlier this month, safety firm Piper Event Services Ltd, which was hired to assess safety at the festival, was accused of failing to issue proper warnings about the cable. However, the trial heard that Kendal Calling had given the company "limited instructions" because they wanted to save on the expense of paying for a comprehensive health and safety plan. Piper events was found not guilty of a safety breach.
A statement from Kendal Calling said, "Since the incident on-site, we have brought all health and safety management in-house and appointed an industry-leading events production company."
However, Eden Council's environmental health officer Elaine Lowmas said, "Mr Berry's family will be very disappointed by the fine, obviously he suffered very serious injuries and will have to live with these injuries for the rest of his life."
Napalm Death cancelled over safety fears
Published: 22 Mar 2013
Regular visitors to London's Victoria and Albert Museum will know what to expect from a visit, and a grindcore concert by the band Napalm Death is not one of the attractions that is likely to appear high on their list of expectations. The band was due to play at the V&A museum in an experimental concert, but it has, however, been cancelled this week over safety fears.
The concert, called Bustleholm, was a one-off experimental collaboration between Napalm Death and artist Keith Harrison, who is a residential ceramic artist.
Mr Harrison had created the ceramic sound system, which was designed to disintegrate during the concert as a result of the sound levels. Alas, the museum has decided to cancel the show on safety grounds as the decibels produced could damage the fabric of the building.
A spokesperson from the museum said, "This was due to take place in the Europe Galleries, which are currently being refurbished, and a further safety inspection has revealed concerns that the high level of decibels generated by the concert would damage the historic fabric of the building."
They added, "The V&A is committed to an exciting programme of exhibitions and events but the safety of our visitors and building remains our priority at all times."