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Safety Alert – Cylinders manufactured fr…


There have been several recent catastrophic failures of aluminium cylinders used primarily to contain gases for underwater breathing apparatus and manufactured from aluminium alloys HE30/AA6082 and AA6351. These cylinders should...

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Safety bulletin – Ergonomic Issues of DP…


A semisubmersible DP drilling rig lost control of position for several minutes.  During this time it was obliged to shear the drill pipe and disengage the lower marine riser package...

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Safety bulletin – Offshore Crane Safety …


This Alert is to remind duty holders of the requirement to have measures in place to verify the correct operation and the correct settings of all safety systems and limits...

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Suspended ceiling inspection


1 September marks the deadline by which theatre owners should have had their suspended plaster ceilings inspected by a specialist to ensure that they are safe. New guidance about this...

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Safety notice – Use of barrier glands in…


The current International Standard allows the use of a ‘standard’ Ex certified flameproof gland as opposed to a Ex certified ‘barrier gland’ without the requirement to apply the previous flowchart...

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Written by Steve McClean   |   30 September 2012
Lion Steel prosecuted in third Corporate Manslaughter case

in court

Lion Steel Limited, of Hyde, Greater Manchester, who manufacturer of steel storage cabinets and racking has been fined £480,000 for corporate manslaughter. This is only the third time a company has been convicted of the offence, and the highest fine imposed so far under the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

Lion Steel admitted the charge at Manchester Crown Court on 20 July following the death of 45-year-old employee Steven Berry, who suffered fatal injuries when he fell through a fragile roof panel at the firm’s Hyde factory in May 2008.

Three of the company’s directors, Kevin Palliser, Richard Williams and Graham Coupe, 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 Act 1974. However, at the close of the prosecution’s case, the judge ruled there was no case to answer against Williams on both the gross negligence manslaughter and HSWA charges and ordered the jury to return not guilty verdicts on these counts. He also instructed the jury to return a not guilty verdict on the manslaughter charge against Coupe, stating the prosecution had failed to prove their case against him.

There was then some negotiation between the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the defence lawyers, and it was agreed the CPS would drop all the remaining charges against Palliser and Coupe in return for Lion Steel pleading guilty to a corporate manslaughter offence. A charge against Lion Steel of failing to ensure the safety of its employees under Section 2 of the HSWA 1974 was also dropped and will remain on file.

The Judge has ordered the company to pay the fine in four annual instalments by September 2015, and also ordered it to pay £84,000 towards the prosecution costs, with this sum to be paid within two years.

These cases highlight the need for Employers to ensure that they are up-to-date and compliant with health and safety. SMC Ltd has a range of Training courses (including theIOSH Safety for Senior Executives), and Consultancy services (such as the development of Health and Safety Management systems) that are designed to assist employers meet the highest standards and stay within the law.

Written by Steve McClean   |   10 September 2012
Cumbria Construction sites fail safety inspections


1 in every 5 of the construction sites visited by inspectors in South Cumbria last week failed safety checks. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out intensive inspections in South Lakeland and Barrow in September, and found 8 of the 40 sites visited failed to meet the legally required standards for health and safety.
Inspectors issued 9 Prohibition Notices stopping particular work activities immediately, and 6 Improvement Notices requiring changes to be made to working practices.
The majority of the notices related to work being carried out at height, without suitable safety measures in place.
Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of workplace deaths and injuries in Great Britain, and raising awareness of the issue was one of the main purposes of the inspection initiative.
Inspectors also looked at the general state of sites, structural stability, public protection, fire safety and asbestos issues during the checks which targeted sites where refurbishment or repair work is taking place.

Written by Steve McClean   |   15 August 2012
HSE Consultation on RIDDOR


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has opened a 12-week consultation on proposals to simplify and clarify the reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences.

The changes proposed to Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 will remove the duty to report in cases where the information is of little use or better collected through other means, while still ensuring that sufficient, quality data is available.

The proposals include self-employed people no longer having to report injuries or illness to themselves, and the removal of both the duty on employers to report dangerous occurrences outside of high-risk sectors/activities and requirements to report most occupational diseases.

The need to report all fatal injuries to workers and those to members of the public as a result of a work activity would remain, as would the duty to report major injuries to workers.

Written by Steve McClean   |   05 August 2012
Director Prosecuted after trainee Tree Surgeon severs his thumb

tree surgeon

The owner of a Hampshire arboriculture business has been prosecuted for safety failings after a trainee tree surgeon severed his thumb on a log splitter.

Rory Stamper, 18, lost the tip of his right thumb from the base of his nail in the incident on 14 September last year. He was using a vertical log splitter to cut logs when he was distracted and inadvertently stepped on a foot pedal that lowered a splitting blade.

The machine required operators to manually hold logs in place with their hands, so as the blade lowered it caught and sliced through his thumb.

He was off work for four weeks as a result of the injury and still suffers pain and has difficulty performing certain tasks, such as writing or fastening buttons on clothes.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the splitter failed to comply with the latest safety standards for such equipment. A device should have been fitted to hold logs in place without human intervention, and the controls should have been better configured to prevent accidental use and access to the splitting zone.

In addition, there was no written risk assessment for the machine to identify potential risks and safe-working procedures.

Cedardale director Chris Kunesch, was responsible for the machine. He pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs.

Written by Steve McClean   |   31 July 2012
Accident Statistics published

New official statistics published today show the number of workers fatally injured in Britain last year remains largely unchanged.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released provisional data for April 2011 to March 2012, which shows 173 workers were killed - down 2 from the previous year.

The rate of fatal injury remains the same at 0.6 per 100,000 workers.

Figures published today also show the rate of fatal injuries in several of the key industrial sectors:

  • 49 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded - a rate of 2.3 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 59 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 50 deaths (and rate of 2.3) recorded in 2010/11
  • 33 fatal injuries to agriculture workers were recorded - a rate of 9.7 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 35 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 30 deaths (and rate of 8.7) recorded in 2010/11
  • Five fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded - a rate of 4.1 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of six deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the nine deaths (and rate of 8.4) recorded in 2010/11

National figures:

  • 130 fatal injuries in England were recorded - a rate of 0.5 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 157 deaths in the past five years and a decrease from the 146 deaths (and rate of 0.6) recorded in 2010/11
  • 20 fatal injuries in Scotland were recorded - a rate of 0.8 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 25 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 14 deaths (and rate of 0.5) recorded in 2010/11
  • 18 fatal injuries in Wales were recorded - a rate of 1.4 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 11 deaths in the past five years and an increase from the 11 deaths (and rate of 0.8) recorded in 2010/11