Northern Ireland firefighters tackle biggest blaze in years
Published: 27 Jul 2012
A fire at a clothes recycling plant in Newry, County Armagh has been described by the chief fire officer in Northern Ireland as "one of the biggest incidents for years."
At the height of the fire, 23 fire engines and 115 fire service staff from across the region were involved in tackling the serious and rapidly developing blaze.
Reinforcements, including crews with specialist high reach aerial appliances, water tankers and high volume pumping units were called in as the flames started to spread to a nearby lorry car park.
The warehouse at the plant was saved but a clothing storage area has been destroyed in the fire. The cause of the fire is now under investigation.
Sinn Féin councillor for Newry Packie McDonald said it was thankful that no one was injured but the damage was a "serious blow to the local economy" as over 100 people are employed at the recycling plant.
Published: 26 Jul 2012
The Environment Agency is trying to tackle a fly infestation in the Lancashire town of Oswaldtwistle. Residents and businesses in the town have recently been complaining of an increased amount of flies, which seem to be attracted to a nearby waste site at a former chemical factory.
The apparent infestation is so bad, residents cannot even eat comfortably without having to battle with the flies. To add to the problems, some have complained that fly sprays are simply not working.
A local pub landlord, Ian Wright, said, "On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays we've got a really good local trade for food, but last weekend it just died a death. It's even got now to where me and my partner can't even eat our food because as soon as you sit down, there are just swarms of flies around the food."
Hyndburn Council's environmental health team have confirmed that the source of the problem is the waste site.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said, "We have received around 70 complaints from local people affected by a site in Oswaldtwistle due to flies, where waste is being stored. This is unpleasant for local people and has caused disruption to local businesses, which is not acceptable.
"We understand pest controllers from the companies involved are working on the site today and everyday until the situation is resolved. We are currently investigating the enforcement options available with the Local Authority and are closely monitoring the situation."
Habitats and Wild Birds Directives review published
Published: 26 Jul 2012
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published the findings of its implementation review of Directive 1992/43/EEC, on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, and Directive 2009/147/EC, on the conservation of wild birds. The review of the implementation of those Directives was announced in November 2011 because of concerns that the authorisation process for development proposals often resulted in long delays and costs.
The main objective of the implementation review is to improve the interaction between "top 40" infrastructure projects, and other nationally significant infrastructure projects, and the Directives to reduce this delay and cost whilst making sure that the environmental and economic objectives are fulfilled.
Four key areas were identified in the review as areas where change will improve the implementation of the Directives, namely:
- facilitating nationally significant infrastructure projects;
- improving the implementation process and streamlining guidance;
- improving the quality, quantity and sharing of data;
- improving the customer experience.
In order to address these four key areas, DEFRA will be implementing a package of measures, which includes the establishment of a cross-Government Major Infrastructure and Environment Unit to work at the pre-application stage with the so-called "top 40" infrastructure projects and other nationally significant infrastructure projects.
For more information, see the:
We're Eco-friendly at Cedrec!
Published: 24 Jul 2012
Cedrec have developed many professional relationships since it first began in 1994. However, their latest association with Eco Campus is definitely one to shout about!
Eco Campus is the leading national Environmental Management System (EMS) and award scheme for the higher and further education sectors. The scheme enables universities to systematically identify, evaluate, manage and improve their environmental performance and practices.
Since 2011, Cedrec have been delivering seminars and workshops organised by Eco Campus, in which they helped guide various universities through the raft of legislation relevant to their campus and supported them in developing their own registers of legislation. As a result of this, Cedrec is now used by Universities nationwide.
Cedrec's latest business relationship built through Eco Campus is with Canterbury Christ Church University, who are currently celebrating their 50th anniversary. Since CCCU first opened its doors they have grown into a five campus University, with 20,000 students, hundreds of courses, and a strong reputation. Cedrec are delighted to be adding another prestigious organisation to the impressive list of clients already using the Cedrec product.
Director, Gareth Billinghurst said, "We are delighted to be working with Eco Campus and since 2011 we have been able to build a number of fantastic business relationships, the latest being with CCCU. We look forward to continuing our association with Eco Campus in the future."
Lion Steel fined £480,000 for Corporate Manslaughter offence
Published: 20 Jul 2012
Lion Steel Equipment Ltd, which is only the third company in the UK to be convicted under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 since it's entry into force in 2008, has been fined £480,000 at Manchester Crown Court for one offence of Corporate Manslaughter following the death of an employee caused by senior management failure.
The Cheshire-based storage manufacturer had pleaded guilty to the offence in relation to the death of Steven Berry, 45, who died after falling through a fragile roof panel at a site in Hyde, Cheshire in May 2008.
The fine is payable in four instalments up until 30th September 2015. Lion Steel was also ordered to pay costs of £84,000 and a victim surcharge of £15.
Three of the firm's directors had originally faced charges of gross negligence manslaughter and failing to ensure the health and safety of their employees under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc 1974 when the trial began on 12 June. However, at the close of the prosecution's case on 3 July, the judge ruled that the gross negligence manslaughter charges should not proceed as there was no case to answer, and formal not guilty verdicts were entered on these charges.
Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter if the way in which their activities are managed or organised causes a death, and this amounts to a gross breach of a duty of care owed to the victim.
Companies convicted of corporate manslaughter are liable to unlimited fines, and the Sentencing Guidelines Council has stated a fine should "seldom be less than £500,000 and may be measured in millions".
How to silence the Boss
Published: 20 Jul 2012
Bruce Springsteen, known as "the Boss" in the music world, was silenced at his Hyde Park concert as it ran on for too long! Organisers made the decision to turn off the microphones as Springsteen had over-run the 10.30pm curfew.
To make things worse, the Boss was in the middle of a duet with a pop Royal, Sir Paul McCartney. The decision to turn off the microphones therefore left tens of thousands of fans disappointed and angry.
However, in the aftermath of the event, a spokesman for Live Nation, the organisers, claimed that the concert was stopped because of health and safety reasons; a claim that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been quick to dismiss.
The Deputy Chief Executive of the HSE Kevin Myers, who was in attendance at the concert, was disappointed that Health and Safety had once again been used as a scapegoat. In a statement on the HSE website, he said,"As a longstanding Bruce Springsteen fan and one of the crowd at Hard Rock Calling, I was doubly disappointed to hear Live Nation give 'health and safety' as the reason for cutting short Saturday's gig.
The fans deserve the truth: there are no health and safety issues involved here. While public events may have licensing conditions dictating when they should end, this is not health and safety and it is disingenuous of Live Nation to say so."
So, if the boss runs on for too long, don't be tempted to pull the plug on the microphones, at least not in the name of health and safety.