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Hello readers, visitors and subscribers!

This is a quick note to let you all know that cedrec.com will be closed for essential maintenance on 24 February 2018.

We've opted to carry out this work on a Saturday in the hope this will cause the least disruption to you and your work.

We'll be back up and running on 25 February, so fear not!

Thanks!

Cedrec Team.

On 30 June 2017, 28 year old scaffolder Mr Terrance Murray was witnessed by a concerned member of the public unsafely erecting a scaffold in Quay Street, Manchester. Photographs were taken of him whilst he did so, and it shows him between 13-18 metres up without suitable safety measures such as a edge protection or a safety harness. Accompanied at the time by a junior scaffolder, he was also setting a bad example to the untrained worker, and a fall for either of them at this height for either of them would have resulted in many dangerous and possibly fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that Murray had received all the relevant training and experience and was given the correct equipment - he acted alone in his choice to work this way against his own better judgement. Pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for one year and 100 hours of community service. On top of this he was ordered to pay costs £500 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron stated that: "This case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to erect scaffolding in a safe manner, which does not cause risk to members of the public and workers using the scaffold. It also serves to remind employees that they have a duty to look after themselves." 

The UK Government have had their plans to tackle air pollution slammed and deemed unlawful for the third time.

The need to improve air pollution goes beyond legislative burden, with an estimated 40,000 people a year dying from air pollution-related illness.

The ruling was met with a defensive statement from the spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who said: “The judge found that our modelling [of air pollution] is compliant [with regulations] and that our approach to areas with major air quality problems is ‘sensible, rational and lawful."

Furthermore, the spokesperson expanded that: "The court has also asked us to go further in areas with less severe air quality problems. We had previously considered that it was sufficient to take a pragmatic, less formal approach to such areas. However, in view of the court’s judgment, we are happy to take a more formal line with them. We have already delivered significant improvements in air quality since 2010 and we will continue to implement our £3.5 billion air quality plan.”

This is the third time that activist legal teams have won a legal judgment against the government on the issue, and it will force urgent changes to policy on air quality. As a result of the ruling, if ministers fail to remedy the situation, lawyers have “exceptional” leave to bring a judicial review without seeking further permission.

Effectively, this means the courts will have the powers to pass judgment on whether the government’s actions meet its obligations on air pollution under UK and EU law.

Clean air zones are being implemented with campaigners insisting they be introduced across more cities, quickly.

Mary Creagh, chair of the environmental audit committee in the House of Commons, said: "Millions of people in the UK live with illegally high levels of air pollution. Ministers’ shambolic attempts to tackle this means this is the third time the courts have ordered the government to come up with a new plan. The government must now use every tool in the box to clean up our choking cities."

Newly published research commissioned by the Local Government Association shows an ever-increasing backlog in the implementation of planning permission in England and Wales.

During 2015/16 the total number of properties waiting to be built was 365,146, and in 2016/17 that number rose to 423,544, showing an overall increase of almost 16 per cent, indicating developers are taking a lot longer to complete developments.

Upon the results of the study, the Local Government Association stressed the need for greater powers to take action on unbuilt land which has planning permission. This could include making it easier to compulsorily purchase the land where development remains unfinished or charging the developers a full council tax for every home that remains unfinished.

To unclog the housing market, the Association and Treasury Select committee propose to scrap the Government's cap on council borrowing, which would enable councils to speed up the process of developing affordable homes.

Local Government Association's spokesman, Martin Tett said:

"These figures prove that the planning system is not a barrier to house building. In fact, the opposite is true, In the last year, councils and their communities granted twice as many planning permissions as the number of new homes that were completed. No-one can live in a planning permission. Councils need greater powers to act where housebuilding has stalled. To tackle the new homes backlog and to get the country building again, councils also need the freedom to borrow and invest in desperately-needed new homes."

Advanced Industrial Roofing and Cladding Solutions Limited (AIRCSL) and Stephen Bell have been fined after a worker fell through the fragile skylight as he was in the process of installing a new industrial roof over the existing asbestos-cement roof. At Brunswick Industrial Estate, New Southgate, when he stepped backwards onto a neighboring unit and fell through a fragile roof light, suffering serious injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that AIRCSL failed to take suitable measures to prevent workers from falling from a height and pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 - they were fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,278; Stephen Bell (the sub-contractor) had failed to manage, plan and monitor the works carried out by workers under his control and pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £2,000.

The HSE Inspector Jack Wilby has said: "This is sadly another incident involving someone falling through a fragile roof and it is lucky that the injuries were not more severe. This incident highlights the importance of planning work at height and putting in place suitable control measures, including those preventing or managing access to fragile roofs."

A W.K.West Limited driving employee had finished his shift and was asked to work in the factory on the day of the incident. The only training and guidance he received, was a demonstration of the operation of the machinery and his job outline (to push stacked cardboard sheets through the saw to pre-determined sizes). Using no push stick or jig when demonstrating, the supervisor then left the worker unsupervised. As he went to push the cardboard through the blade by hand as the supervisor had, it twisted and pulled his right hand into the blade.

Severe injuries to his hand meant that sections of his index and ring finger had to be amputated, and his middle finger was badly damaged. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the company, found that W.K.West Limited hadn't provided suitable and sufficient training, assessment of the risks and supervision that were necessary to operate a circular saw safely. The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined with £120,000 and £849.54 in costs. 

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Anuja Mistry-Raval spoke. "Circular saws have a well-known accident history of severe hand injuries," and said: "Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk of personal injury from dangerous parts of machinery."


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