Published: 29 Sep 2011
The Equality Act 2010, received Royal Assent on 8 April 2010. This Act mainly applies to England, Scotland and Wales, with some additional sections applying to Northern Ireland.
This is a very detailed Act, with the following provisions having significance to health and safety:
Published: 08 Sep 2011
The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) (Amendment) Regulations SI 2011/1567, which amend the Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations SI 2000/1059, to include individuals that show no evidence of disease (asymptomatic individuals) who are exposed to medical x-rays for the purpose of health assessments, as those who must be protected from ionising radiation.
The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations SI 2000/1059 implement Directive 97/43/EURATOM, laying down basic measures for the health protection of individuals against dangers of ionising radiation in relation to medical exposure.
Published: 01 Sep 2011
This Edition sees the publication of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (Amendment) Order SI 2011/1868 which amends the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, insofar as it relates to various forms of custody or detention.
In addition, the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (Amendment) Order SI 2011/1868 amends the Act, insofar as it relates to various forms of custody or detention.
The Act creates an offence where an organisation can be found guilty of the offence of corporate manslaughter if the way in which its activities were managed or organised by senior management causes a death and amounts to a gross breach of a relevant duty of care. When the Bill was originally debated in Parliament, amendments were tabled at a very late stage to make sure the Act would also apply to the management of custody. Those amendments did not cover service custody premises, which are the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence or customs facilities, which are the responsibility of the UK Border Agency. When Parliament agreed the amendments, they said they could be delayed for up to five years to allow sufficient time to comply.
Custody providers have now indicated that they are ready for these provisions to take effect.
Published: 26 Aug 2011
A roadworker has died of his injuries after falling 12 metres while working over the M5 motorway near Cleveland. Cecil Grant was repairing CCTV cameras used to monitor one lane of the road during the night of 24 January 2006, when he fell off a wall into bushes below. He was taken to hospital, but died of his injuries ten days later.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Grant's employers, Serco Ltd and principal contractor, Birse Civils Ltd, for failing to protect him when he was working at the site near Junction 20 Northbound, between Cleveland and Gordano. Bristol Crown Court heard Serco Ltd did not plan, manage and monitor the work properly, meaning Mr Grant was not warned about the drop. Both companies had also failed to co-operate with each other to make sure workers at the site were not put in danger.
HSE inspector Steve Frain said, "There were major failings in the way this work was planned which sadly resulted in Mr Grant's tragic death. When employees are working at height, proper plans must be put in place and workers made aware of the possible risks. In this case, Mr Grant had not been aware of the dangerous drop where he was working. If he had, the incident could easily have been avoided."
Serco Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242. They were fined a total of £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,186. Birse Civils Ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs SI 1999/3242. They were fined £100,000 with costs of £180,093.
Call to close down 'cursed' factory after third death
Published: 26 Aug 2011
The Sonae Industria factory in Kirkby is currently under a joint investigation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Merseyside Police after James Kay died on their site in an industrial accident. This was the third death at the factory, which produces chipboard and particle board, since 2010.
James Bibby, 25, and Thomas Elmer, 27, were both killed in an accident in December 2010 after they had fallen into a machine in the factory. Then in June, a fire broke out on the site which burned for eight days, causing extensive damage to one of the buildings; an event that led Labour MP George Howarth to call for the site to be permanently closed.
As a result of the damage caused by the fire, Andrew Connolly Demolition was then subcontracted to demolish the damaged building. Mr Kay was one of the people on the demolition team when he died, although Merseyside Police are keeping an open mind after post-mortem tests into his death were inconclusive.
This series of events has led to the factory coming under a lot of pressure, and a campaign group - 'say bye to Sonae' - has been formed calling for the plant to be closed.
Referring to comments he made following the fire, George Howarth said, "It's barely three weeks since I said that 'as matters stand I don't see how anyone can have any confidence in Sonae to operate safely and with stability.' It's too early to comment on the details about this tragic incident but I sincerely hope that this will never happen again".
For more information, see:
The Sky's not the limit
Published: 26 Aug 2011
Satellite TV installation firm Foxtel Ltd has been prosecuted following the death of a worker who fell while carrying out work on a roof. Engineer Noel Corbin suffered fatal head injuries after falling 13.5 metres from a four-storey house onto a side patio in Belsize Park, London on 3 February 2008.
The Old Bailey heard safety equipment found in Mr Corbin's van was unsuitable for the type of work he was undertaking. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident exposed a number of failings at Foxtel, including failure to ensure work at height was properly planned, organised and monitored. Mr Corbin was working on a satellite TV dish on the property's roof apex and had accessed the roof via a dormer window. Before his fall he was also seen working on another satellite dish located on a flat roof. Evidence suggests he fell from the flat roof itself, or while walking across the sloping roof.
Charles Linfoot, HSE inspector said, "Mr Corbin's death has had a devastating effect on his family, made all the more tragic by the face that the incident was easily preventable. Owing to the foreseeable risk of falling and the lack of suitable access equipment, the work should have been cancelled. Foxtel should have carried out a full site-specific risk assessment, planning and organising the work to be executed in a safe manner. It is not acceptable to simply delegate health and safety duties to employees without adequate instruction, training, monitoring or supervision. I hope the conviction of Foxtel sends a clear message to other installation companies, that where access to residential properties from height is required, companies are ultimately responsible for carrying out a full site-specific risk assessment."
Foxtel Ltd, based in Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. However, the firm is no longer trading and was shown to have no assets. As a result, the Court fined them £1.
Falls from height remain the most common cause of workplace fatality. In 2008/09 there were 35 fatalities, 4,654 major injuries and a further 7,065 injuries that caused the injured person to be off work for three days or more.
For more information see:
- Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735.