The return of the 'Rogue Trader'
Published: 01 Jun 2012
Brian Lloyd, from Ossett near Wakefield, was exposed in 2009 by the BBC's "Rogue Traders" for carrying out illegal gas work in homes. The self-employed plumber was under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at the time and was then successfully prosecuted in February 2010, which resulted in a fine and a 17-week prison sentence that was suspended for 12 months.
However, Mr Lloyd removed an old boiler and gas fire from a house in Ossett and then installed a combination boiler in August 2010. This was in contravention of a Prohibition Notice issued by the HSE which prevented him from carrying out gas work until he was registered as a Gas Safe engineer. At the time of the work, he was also under his suspended sentence.
Unfortunately for Mr Lloyd, the new boiler didn't work and despite the fact that the householder had asked for a Gas Safe certificate and boiler warranty, they were not provided. Subsequently, the householder discovered that the boiler had never been registered with its manufacturer.
Following this, a Gas Safe engineer inspected the boiler and classified it as 'at risk', citing a list of faults that had to be rectified.
Mr Lloyd was ordered at Leeds Crown Court to pay court costs of £500 and was given a 12-month community order and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work.
The chief executive of the Gas Safe Register, Paul Johnston, said, "Consumers should always check that an engineer is qualified to carry out gas work. Ask to see an up-to-date ID card and call us to check if you have any doubt. It is also important to check the back of the card to ensure that they are qualified to work on that type of appliance. If you have any doubts about the gas safety of any work you have done then contact Gas Safe Register to request a free inspection."
For more information, see:
HSENI statistics to be released in July
Published: 01 Jun 2012
Scotland stay abreast of waste legislation
Published: 31 May 2012
A recent report published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), "Waste Data Digest 12: Key facts and trends", shows that Scotland is changing its attitudes and practices toward the disposal of waste and is trying to become a more waste aware and sustainable nation.
Jim Pritchard, SEPA's Data Unit Manager, said, "Less waste is being generated and landfilled and household recycling is on the increase. This demonstrates that not only is recycling becoming part of every day life for many people, so is reducing the amount of waste that is produced in the first place."
Mr Pritchard continues, "The trends indicate that regulations are making a difference to Scotland's environment. The Landfill (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2003/235 require pre-treatment of waste before landfill and the Waste (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2012/148 ban biodegradable municipal waste from landfill from 2021."
Key facts in the report include:
- total amount of waste generated fell by 10% between 2006 and 2010, largely due to reductions in industrial waste;
- amount of waste recycled by Scottish local authorities increased by 21% over the five year period;
- amount of waste composted by Scottish local authorities increased by 27% over the five year period;
- amount of controlled waste treated in 2010 was 50% greater than in 2006;
- amount of controlled waste landfilled fell by 37% between 2006 and 2010;
- between 2006 and 2010, the amount of biodegradable waste landfilled fell by 30%.
For more information, see:
- SEPA Waste Data Digest, http://cedr.ec/8r.
New Waste (Scotland) Regs
Published: 31 May 2012
The Waste (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2012/148 have been published, which provide for the collection, transport and treatment of dry recyclable waste and food waste, and related matters, through a series of amendments to the:
- Environmental Protection Act 1990;
- Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2000/323;
- Landfill (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2003/235;
- Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations SSI 2011/228.
The amendments introduce new requirements through the duty of care, on those who:
- produce controlled waste, other than occupiers of domestic property, to make sure that dry recyclable waste is collected separately from 1 January 2014;
- control and manage a food business to ensure the separate collection of food waste from 1 January 2016;
- collect and transport controlled wastes to keep all separately collected wastes separate;
- produce food waste, other than on domestic properties or in a rural area, to make sure that waste is not deposited in a drain or sewer from 1 January 2016; and
- produce or manage controlled waste to make sure that high quality waste is available for recycling.
They also place a ban on:
- materials collected separately for recycling going to landfill or incineration from 1 January 2014;
- biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill from 1 January 2021.
CDM Regulations to be rewritten
Published: 29 May 2012
Those Regulations establish provisions regarding health, safety and welfare in construction by placing various responsibilities on those involved in construction projects.
The announcement came at an Association for Project Safety (APS) event, although the exact details of the new Regulations will not be know until a HSE Board Paper is presented in December. However, it has been suggested that they will probably be based more closely on the requirements of Directive 1992/57/EEC, on the minimum health and safety requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites.
This redraft also comes in light of the Löfstedt report, which recommended a review of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2007/320.
Putting the Bee in Britain!
Published: 28 May 2012
A species of bee which has been extinct on our shores for a quarter of a century has been introduced into the wild.
Around 100 short-haired bees have been brought across from Sweden to repopulate areas where they have previously inhabited. 50 of the healthiest were released at the RSPB's Dungeness reserve in Kent, an area near to where they were last recorded living in the wild in 1988. The aim is that the bees will create new colonies, feed off the red clover flowers and eventually expand into other parts across the country.
Project officer Dr Nikki Gammons said, "It's a really exciting new scientific procedure, something which hasn't been attempted before with bumblebees. It's very exciting for the bee species to get a second chance."
The short-haired bee population has declined rapidly over the last 60 years, mainly as a result of a loss of habitat. Some 100 bees were captured from Skane in southern Sweden in April using bee nets, as part of a Natural England-backed Species Recovery Programme. The programme also involved the RSPB, Hymettus and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and has been used in the past to successfully reintroduce the red kite and the large blue butterfly.
The captured bees were placed in temporary hibernation and were brought over to a quarantine facility at the Royal Holloway University in Surrey, where they were examined before being released.
Image courtesy of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust's Twitter feed. Follow them @BumblebeeTrust.