Can crushing canned
Published: 01 Jan 2011
Two companies and a manager have been fined a total of £440,000 after a fatality involving a worker who was crushing aerosol canisters.
Deeside Metal Company Ltd, of Saltney, Chester, and Jeyes UK Ltd, of Bromfield Industrial Estate, Mold, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to have proper controls in place to manage the extremely flammable materials that led to the incident. A separate charge was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service against the manager of Deeside Metal, Mr Robert Roberts.
Deeside Metal had received the canisters from Jeyes, who had failed to clearly label and segregate them from less hazardous waste.
The court heard that Roberts instructed workers to crush the canisters in a metal baler. When the baler was activated, a canister caught fire and an employee suffered fatal burn injuries. Neither company carried out suitable risk assessments before allowing workers to handle potentially hazardous materials such as aerosols, and both had failed to train or monitor staff.
HSE Head of Welsh Operations, Jane Lassey said, "Jeyes UK had a clear responsibility to ensure the canisters were labelled correctly and separated from non-hazardous waste, and to have procedures to prevent such dangerous waste being inadvertently removed from their site. By failing to do this, they put workers in danger. Deeside Metal Company lacked proper procedures for handling hazardous materials and operating dangerous machinery. They assumed the canisters were empty, but this proved to be a fatal error of judgement. This must serve as a warning to other companies handling potentially dangerous material about the consequences of not having safe working practices in place."
Deeside Metal pleaded guilty to charges under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242 and was fined £100,000 with £10,000 costs. Jeyes pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £330,000 with £50,000 costs. Robert Roberts pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £10,000.
Advice on risk assessments and handling hazardous material can be found on the HSE’s website.
For more information, see:
- Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2005/894.
Industrial Emissions Directive cleared
Published: 01 Jan 2011
Following agreement by MEPs and the European Parliament, the EU Council of Ministers has formally approved the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) 2010/75/EU. The Council vote means the Directive has cleared the last procedural hurdle and was adopted on 24 November 2010 and published in the Official Journal on 17 December 2010. It will enter into force on 6 January 2011, although a transposition period of two years will be given to Member States during which they can begin implementing the new legislation.
The IED recasts seven existing Directives relating to industrial emissions into a single piece of legislation. It will replace the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive 2008/1/EC, the Large Combustion Plants Directive 2001/80/EC, the Waste Incineration Directive 2000/76/EC and the Solvents Emissions Directive 1999/13/EC. It also recasts Directives 78/176/EEC, 82/883/EEC and 92/112/EEC, on Titanium Dioxide into its framework.
The IED attempts to clarify the rules for reducing harmful industrial emissions across the EU, which it is hoped will better protect human health and the environment, particularly through improved application of Best Available Techniques (BATs). Installations covered by IPPC rules must apply BAT and demonstrate an appropriate environmental performance to receive an IPPC permit.
Further, the IED imposes a tougher emissions regime, with limits for nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and dust, and for large combustion plants (including fossil fuel power stations) brought into line with BAT. It is intended that there will be a level playing field, since industrial installation operators are to uniformly apply BAT.
Nations united in green climate fund
Published: 01 Jan 2011
After two weeks of talks in the Mexican holiday resort of Cancun, the United Nations finally came to an agreement on how to approach the problems of global climate change. The “Cancun Agreements” mostly flesh out last year's Copenhagen Accord by agreeing that a fund needs to be set up for developing countries and recognising that deeper cuts in carbon emissions are needed.
However, the fund agreement is non-legally binding and, although it was agreed greater cuts are needed in carbon emissions, the nations could only reaffirm their agreement that the world average temperature should be no more than 2°C, but declined to commit collectively to real and binding targets for emission cuts.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne described the deal as a “serious package” of measures but acknowledged that the agreement did not give everybody everything they wanted and would still require work towards a final deal at a meeting next year in Durban, South Africa.
David Norman, director of campaigns at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said a new climate change treaty had never been on the cards, “There was such a disappointment, such a breakdown of trust at Copenhagen last year, this was very much about rebuilding the basis for an agreement.”
“What we have now is a text that, while not perfect, is certainly a good basis for moving forward”, said chief negotiator Todd Stern.
The “Green Climate Fund” was agreed as part of efforts to channel billions of pounds to poor countries to help them cope with the impacts of global warming and develop without polluting. It is thought that a £60 billion fund will be provided to poor countries by 2020 with a new Adaptation Committee supporting countries as they establish climate protection plans.
It is estimated that the UK will contribute around £1.5 billion a year to the fund by, which is expected to come partly from public sources such as carbon taxes, as well as from private investment.
For more information see:
Published: 01 Dec 2010
An overzealous sales assistant will not be making it onto the Christmas list of one little girl this Christmas.
After handing over her Christmas crackers to a cashier at the QD store in Suffolk, 6 year-old Tia-Rose Innes was shaken by the prospect that her mother could soon be stuck behind bars.
The cashier asked Mrs Innes if she realised she had been breaking the law by allowing her daughter to walk around the store with the Deluxe red and silver crackers. Mrs Innes was oblivious that she’d been doing anything wrong and found the whole situation ridiculous.
It was obvious that Tia-Rose wasn't paying for the crackers, nonetheless the cashier insisted that the crackers be handed over by Mrs Innes instead of the girl, adamantly stating that she was under 16 and therefore not allowed to handle explosives.
Mrs Innes was defiant in the face of the scrooge-like shop assistant and assured the party pooper she would be handing the crackers back to her daughter once she had paid for them.
However, a QD Stores spokesman supported his colleague, saying that sales assistants must stringently comply with the Pyrotechnics Articles (Safety) Regulations by not selling crackers to people under 16, as well as being seen not to accept them.
The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations SI 2010/1554 were introduced in 2010 and reinforce laws banning the sale of explosive items.
Anyone breaching these Regulations by selling outdoor fireworks to under 18s, or selling crackers, novelty matches or indoor fireworks to under 16s can face an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison.
Snow causing chaos
Published: 01 Dec 2010
Firefighters from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service came to the aid of a woman in Rothbury this month, after a roof collapsed under the weight of snow.
The fire service, along with the North East Ambulance Service and Northumbria Police responded to the 999 call, and removed the corrugated canopy roof of a smoking shelter attached to a pub in order to rescue the elderly woman who had been trapped by her legs. The woman was attended to by paramedics at the scene and taken to hospital by air ambulance.
The roof to the smoking shelter outside the Turks Head Hotel collapsed under the weight of snow that had accumulated on it. When the incident was reported, it was initially thought that three people were caught up in the collapse. However, a man and woman managed to get out of the way of the falling structure and escaped with only minor injuries.
In a statement, a Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said, “Severe weather conditions are presenting problems and dangers that people would not normally be faced with.” In addition, Victoria Barringtom, head of public protection at the council commented, “All businesses should assess the risks associated with excessive build-up of snow on temporary and semi-permanent structures. Where possible they should take steps to safely remove the snow, or alternatively restrict access.”
A not-so Christmassy Cardigan
Published: 01 Dec 2010
A town in Wales is set to be kept in the dark this Christmas after Health and Safety concerns prevented an array of festive lighting being placed along the main street.
Fundraising for the £20,000 Christmas lights began four months ago and saw donations from large supermarkets, local traders, as well as money coming from a Community grant.
However, residents of Cardigan will not enjoy the lighting sensation this year as an assessment found that the fixings and brackets on the walls of shops were too weak to hold the illuminations.
Cardigan Chamber of Commerce has admitted that there is not enough time and money to install new brackets on shop walls for this year’s festivities, and the fittings are also deemed as being too dangerous for the old lights.
The plucky traders of Cardigan have not let this blip stand in the way of getting in the festive mood and have rallied around by putting up Christmas trees and Christmas decorations themselves.
Paul Oakley, chairman of Cardigan Chamber of Commerce assured residents that all money raised will be ring-fenced and that fundraising will continue to cover the costs of the extra work needed.