Construction company fined
Published: 12 Feb 2013
Muldoon Bros LLP have been fined £10,000 plus costs of £1,400 at Omagh Crown Court, after pleading guilty to three breaches of health and safety legislation.
The case arose from an incident on a construction site at Cookstown on 26 July 2010, when a dumper which was being used to transfer soil and clay across the site tipped over an embankment. The investigation found that during one of the transfers, a large boulder was being moved. The operator approached the tipping area and began to tip the boulder over the embankment, however the dumper went over the edge and overturned in the process.
The 18 year old workman, who had only been with the company for seven days, was trapped under the steering wheel and suffered several fractures to his pelvis.
The investigation also revealed that the injured party had not received adequate training to operate the dumper and that the company had failed to provide a proper method to make sure materials could be tipped safely. Lawrence Knox from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) Construction Team said, "All companies must control hazards within the workplace. It is essential that proper measures are in place to allow the workers to transport materials safely. All operators of mobile plant and equipment must be given appropriate instruction and training. Failure to take proper measures could result in workers being injured or even killed."
For more information, see the:
Implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive begins
Published: 12 Feb 2013
Draft legislation has been published which will amend the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2010/675 in order to implement Directive 2010/75/EU, on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (Recast).
The draft Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 will also remove some unnecessary descriptions of industrial activities from Schedule 1 to those Regulations and revoke three other statutory instruments which have no current purpose.
Implementation of Directive 2010/75/EU has already started in other areas of the UK, through the:
- Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2012/360; and
- Pollution Prevention and Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2012/453.
The Directive recasts seven current Directives into a single one which regulates emissions from various industrial activities, ranging from power generation to intensive pig farming and waste incineration to dry cleaning. Much of the material in the component Directives is substantively unchanged, but there are some tightened or clarified requirements.
Northern Ireland Energy Performance of Buildings amendment
Published: 12 Feb 2013
The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2013/12 came into force on 18 February 2013.
They amend the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations (Northern Ireland) SR 2008/170 in order to implement the requirements of Directive 2010/31/EU, on the energy performance of buildings (recast).
The main changes introduced:
- allow an energy performance certificate (EPC) to be produced for a dwelling based on the assessment of another representative building of a similar design and size and with a similar energy performance;
- require advertisements for the sale or rental of properties in commercial media to include details of energy performance indicators;
- require the issue and display of EPCs for buildings bigger than 500 square metres that are occupied by a public authority and frequently visited by the public;
- require the display of display energy certificates (DECs) for buildings bigger than 500 square metres (threshold reduces to 250 square metres in July 2015) that are occupied by a public authority and frequently visited by the public;
- require that where EPCs are issued for buildings constructed, sold or rented out, and the building is frequently visited by the public, the EPC is prominently displayed;
- clarify existing requirements about when an EPC should be issued and made available;
- extend the use and disclosure of information and data from EPCs held on the Northern Ireland Register;
- require landlords in the non-domestic sector to provide energy use data to energy assessors.
Celebrating 100 years of protection
Published: 12 Feb 2013
The protection of ancient monuments and listed buildings is second nature in the modern world. Without adequate protection, architecture of the past and markers of our heritage will disappear from the landscape forever. This was realised 100 years ago, when American collectors began buying historic houses and interiors to transport them to America.
As a result, the Ancient Monuments Act 1913 was made which provided many of the powers which are still in use today in order to safeguard the nation's historic buildings. And now, 100 years on, English Heritage are celebrating the creation of this Act and the ultimate protection of our heritage.
In celebration, this year there will be five special exhibitions at London's Wellington Arch which will trace the history of heritage. In addition, a BBC Four series, "Heritage! The Battle for Britain's Past" will draw on new research into the first heritage legislation. Finally, a new book by Dr. Simon Thurley will tell the story of the State in the heritage protection movement.
Such buildings are now safeguarded under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Act 1979 and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
Dr. Thurley, who is the Chief Executive of English Heritage, said, "Imagine England without Stonehenge, imagine England without its great castles and abbeys, and imagine England without its great historic monuments". He added, "It is largely thanks to the 1913 Ancient Monuments Act that these stone, brick and iron eye-witnesses to our past survive today to tell their story."
That's the spirit!
Published: 11 Feb 2013
The owner of premium drinks like Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Captain Morgan and Guinness has made the switch to using 100% of its electricity from renewables at its Norwalk headquarters in the US.
Three other of Diageo's sites also use 100% energy from renewable sources, in addition the company can now boast that 50% of the energy they use globally comes from low carbon sources.
Larry Schwartz, Diageo's North America President said, "By purchasing electricity derived from renewable sources, like wind or solar power, we will reduce our carbon emissions in Norwalk by more than 92%. This transition is just one of many positive changes Diageo has made in the last five years to deliver significant and sustainable improvements on our environmental impact."
The company also generates its own renewable energy at its production sites and purchases carbon offsets for its fleet of commercial vehicles. Diageo claims the Norwalk factory has also earned an "Energy Star" from the USA Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information, see:
- Regulation (EC) 106/2008, on a Community energy-efficiency labelling programme for office equipment.
Spell of trouble for Legoland
Published: 11 Feb 2013
As a consequence of an accident in 2011 which involved a worker falling more than three metres from a ride he was fixing, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd, operators of Legoland in Berkshire, have been fined £23,200 and ordered to pay £12,115 in costs.
Reading Magistrates court heard how the 42 year old worker was removing damaged parts from the Dragon Coaster ride when he stepped on to a section of the walkway that had been removed and replaced, but not secured in position, causing the man to fall and break his shoulder and several ribs. He was off work for two months, but has since returned.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that despite the serious injury the man suffered, the work continued in the same way the following day in order to complete the task. A risk assessment by the company stated that harnesses and lanyards should have been used. However, because there were so many workers, the lanyards kept getting tangled up, so the operatives decided against using them.
Immediately following the incident, a new risk assessment was undertaken, which reiterated the instruction for workers to wear their fall-protection equipment, but, again, the team decided not to do so.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Karen Morris said, "This incident and the injury to the worker were avoidable and show the importance of using safe systems of work when carrying out tasks at height.
It is quite unacceptable that the day after someone was injured in this way, more work is carried out to complete the task, and allowed to continue in the same way with inadequate fall protection or fall prevention measures in place.
The dangers of falls from height are well known, and Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd was placing employees at unnecessary risk."
Inspector Morris added, "Although this decision was made hands-on by the supervisor and the operatives, the senior management team visited the site at least twice on the first day and, again, on the second day. So, there was tacit approval by senior management, who watched them working but didn’t challenge them."
Sentencing Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd, the magistrates identified the failure to learn lessons immediately as an aggravating feature. This was reflected in the penalty, which comprised a £10,000 fine for the initial incident, relating to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735, plus £13,200 for the same breach of the Regulations, relating to the work carried out on 2 June 2011, even though no incident occurred on that day.